Culture

In Defense of Wolf Blitzer

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If you haven't seen Michael Moore's latest attempt to gin up interest in Sicko—which, as Dave Weigel recently noted, is doing lackluster box office—then I urge you to not click on the video below. Moore's faux outrage, his lame attempt at creating a Jon Stewart moment, is pretty painful viewing.

Moore makes about 300 fatuous arguments in 6 minutes, like his demand that Wolf Blitzer and CNN to "apologize" for criticizing aspects of Fahrenheit 9/11 because, as he triumphantly declared, "it turned out everything I said in Fahrenheit was true." (Like the film's shocking revelation that America went to war in Afghanistan to construct a Unocal oil pipeline).

Moore says criticizing Fahrenheit and Sicko shows that CNN is "biased," yet he attacks Blitzer for not being critical enough when interviewing Dick Cheney:

You have to ask the questions. Why are we here? That's the question. Why are we here in this war? Where's (sic) the weapons of mass destruction? Why didn't you — why did it take you so long, Wolf, to finally take on Vice President Cheney? It took you to 2007 before you made the man mad at you.

Here's the problem with this argument: Like much of what Moore says, it simply isn't true. In 2005, for instance, Blitzer started his Cheney interview with the following question: "You recently made suggesting the insurgents in Iraq were in, your words, their 'last throes.' Do you want to revise or amend those comments?", and followed with inquires on how many insurgents were operating in Iraq, whether Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists, if he had read the Downing Street memo, and why the administration was so colossally wrong on the question of WMDs. Blitzer began his interview with Vice President Cheney's wife Lynne, who was on promoting a book, with a question on her husband's support of torture. Whatever this is, it ain't the slow pitch softball perfected by Fox and so brilliantly mocked by Stephen Colbert. ("George Bush. Great President? Or greatest President?)

But the most bizarre argument from Moore is his claim that had it not been for CNN, America would have stuck to its Lindberghian principals and never set foot in Iraq:

"We wouldn't be in this war if you had done your job. Come on. Just admit it. Just apologize to the American people."

Blitzer, the man responsible for the disaster in Iraq, will be airing part two of his Moore interview tonight. And CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanja Gupta, who Moore accuses of being a stooge of big pharma, will debate the Sicko director tonight on Larry King.