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No Pulse in ‘Sicko'
July 2, 2007

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Many in the media are trying to spin the box-office numbers for Michael Moore's "Sicko" documentary, but the figures for Moore's latest movie pale in comparison to the opening take of his previous film.

"Sicko" took in an unhealthy $4.5 million on its opening weekend, while "Fahrenheit 9/11" grossed just under $24 million on its debut weekend.

Part of the reason for the dollar discrepancy is that people have caught on to Moore's failure to provide accurate information as he tries to entertain using a documentary format.

"Sicko" sings the praises of the highly flawed, non-free-market healthcare systems of France, Canada, and Cuba. Even media sources that normally give kudos to Moore have taken note.

  • The Associated Press compared "Sicko" to "a trial for those who oversee healthcare in the United States." The A.P. described Moore as a "chief prosecutor," but also noted that "one aspect missing from the film is the defense."

  • CNN checked Moore's facts and found them wanting. While Moore holds Cuba up as a model system, the communist dictatorship is ranked lower than the U.S. in the very same list that Moore touts. America's healthcare is ranked the highest in patient satisfaction as well, but facts such as this one never make it to the screen.

  • Kurt Loder of MTV, in an article titled, "'Sicko,' Heavily Doctored," accurately described Moore's docu-deficiencies, writing, "Unfortunately, Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort, and never more so than in this film."

Loder added that "his cherry-picked facts, manipulative interviews [with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down in tears] and blithe assertions [how does he know 18 million people will die this year because they have no health insurance?] are so stacked that you can feel his whole argument sliding sideways as the picture unspools."

With comments such as these from left-of center-sources, Moore is going to have a hard time blaming his below par box-office on a plot by the right.

In other tilted entertainment news, with the vacancy on ABC's "The View" still up for grabs, Roseanne Barr is doing her best Rosie imitation on her Web site.

Barr, whose name has been mentioned as a possible replacement for O'Donnell, has this advice for Congress: "Impeach the president and the vice president, they are traitors to America; and so are all of their supporters. Impeach! Anyone in congress who refuses to save our union from these traitors by doing nothing needs to be recalled."

The comedienne also puts out the following pleas: "Save our troops!!! Save our schools and hospitals and jobs. Feed our hungry and poor!"

No lefty rescue roster would be complete without at least one mention of Katrina. "Save the drowning people in New Orleans!" Barr blogs.

The national anthem decimating diva fails, however, to provide any ideas on how the saving should take place.

Barr closes her post with a non-partisan wisecrack and smacks the media in the process: "Anyone who mentions Paris Hilton one more time must die!"

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Copyright © 2007
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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