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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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.


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