Dr. Gupta, Give Me the News

I've got a piece up on the website of The Nation about why we should be glad Sanjay Gupta won't be the Surgeon General. Basically, there are aspects of his medical coverage that I don't think are very consistent with what we want in the nation's doctor. A brief excerpt:

And then there was the time Gupta really tried to take a stand--on very weak foundations. Purporting to do a "reality check" on Michael Moore's 2007 film Sicko, a devastating expose of the failings of the American healthcare system, Gupta accused Moore of having "fudged the facts," and yet Gupta was the only one who got anything unequivocally wrong. His report misattributed an incorrect statistic about the Cuban healthcare system to Sicko; in fact, the error was CNN's and Moore had it right all along. In some ways still more disturbingly, when the two went head to head on Larry King Live it was clear Gupta largely agreed with Moore about the systemic problems with US healthcare--and yet he nevertheless put his credibility on the line with a weak hit job on Moore's movie.

After digging into the whole Moore vs. Gupta episode for this piece, I ended up extremely down on Gupta. He took on a talented polemicist without having his facts straight, and so really got it handed to him. Here's the video; and here's the link to the Nation piece:

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So Michael Moore the documentarian takes on CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta the medical science guy in the former's first appearance on the network in three years, arguing that the latter committed libel by claiming the filmmaker "fudged the facts" in the new documentary Sicko. The two argued vociferously…
Michael Moore, whose movie on US health care, Sicko, is said to be a devastating indictment of said system (haven't seen it yet), had a bit of dust up recently with CNN's health correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. You can see it on the video linked below. Here's the scenario. With Moore as an upcoming…
As Revere points out, Michael Moore gave Sanjay Gupta a whomping. What I missed in the Moore-Gupta match, though, was the big picture. Basically, they argued over details: Gupta put together a "fact check" that claimed Moore fudged various numbers, while Moore showed that his numbers were…
Just another quick note reflecting further on my 8-minute gut reaction yesterday to word that Sanjay Gupta might be nominated as Surgeon General in the Obama administration. I still contend he's a great communicator but realize that the "both sides of the story" aspect of journalism has made some…

Yeah, taking on a master propagandist like Michael Moore is like wrestling with a pig. You get dirty, and the pig likes it. You also usually lose.

Guptax?

On our patience (and patients)??

Orac says taking on a master propagandist like Michael Moore is like wrestling with a pig.

I guess we all now know what you think of Michael Moore, now don't we, Orac.

Perhaps you are letting your prejudice of Moore cloud your assessment of what he has to say. Michael Moore's Sicko (or why Orac should relent and go see this movie)

Rather than merely sling insults (mud wrestling with pig, etc) perhaps you would care to enlighten us all by pointing out specific facts that Moore got wrong in Sicko.

Gupta tried that and fell flat on his face and he interviews people on national TV for a living.

But maybe you're up to the job, eh, Orac?

After all, your a "SCIENCE BLOGGER".

Go for it. I notice you're also a NEURO SURGEON.

So, by all means, demonstrate to all of us what you learned in med school (or perhaps what you knew when you were born).

By Dark Tent (not verified) on 07 Mar 2009 #permalink