Friday, July 06, 2007

Exchanging anecdotes: Sicko versus Dead Meat

Kurt Loder’s critical review of Michael Moore’s Sicko makes the case that the film is unbalanced and non-evidence based:

Unfortunately, Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort, and never more so than in this film. His cherry-picked facts, manipulative interviews (with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down in tears) and blithe assertions (how does he know 18,000* 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.

Moore and others clamor for universal access. But as Loder illustrates, in socialized healthcare systems this access is often merely access to waiting lists. That point is also well made in the 2005 documentary Dead Meat which portrays Canada’s system in a negative light.

When it comes right down to it, the two films constitute an exchange of anecdotes. A balanced view of the controversy might require viewing both.

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