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CNN's Gupta Battles Moore about 'SiCKO' Stats

     The Michael Moore jihad against CNN spilled over on to the set of “Larry King Live” July 10. Moore followed up his July 9 tantrum about CNN’s Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta by going toe-to-toe with Gupta.

     The Michael Moore jihad against CNN spilled over on to the set of “Larry King Live” July 10. Moore followed up his July 9 tantrum about CNN’s Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta by going toe-to-toe with Gupta.

 

     In the previous battle, Moore was angry because Gupta claimed Moore fudged the number in his movie “SiCKO.” Moore demanded an apology but all he got was a minor correction and the charge that he used selective statistics to make his argument.

 

     Gupta, who hasn’t been a strong proponent of the free market system, admitted to only one error in his CNN report, but he showed Moore’s complaints didn’t match up with what was in his movie to what he had posted on his Web site.

 

     “Michael has a lot of different numbers here and he's pulling them from different places,” Gupta said. “One quick example – Michael, I think you'll agree with me on this … $251 is what you cite in the movie as the per capita spending – which I just corrected by the way, you heard that – per capita in Cuba. You have $229 on the Web site. So, your Web site and movie don't jive.”

 

     What had originally appeared to be a he said/he said argument about the statistics turned out to be inconsistencies of data in Moore’s movie. Gupta revealed Moore had selected the worst statistics from various reports to make his case.

 

     “Where you pulled that $251 number was a BBC report which by the way stated that the per capita spending in the United States was $5,700,” said Gupta. “You chose not to use the $5,700 from one report and chose to go to a totally different report and you're sort of cherry picking data from different reports.”

 

     Gupta told Larry King that Moore’s film could be doing more harm than good. “But I think the numbers are important here,” Gupta said. “Because the issue here is that it blackens the eyes of people who are actually trying to do something about health care, who actually want to know the numbers work, want to do right by their bodies and their loved one's health. It makes it very hard to advance the argument if you're not getting the numbers right.”

 

     Moore pointed out on his Web site Gupta selected one source, Dr. Paul H. Keckley, who was identified as a Deloitte health care analyst in the Gupta report, was a Republican donor. “Don't you have a right as a journalist, a responsibility actually, to tell the public when you're using an expert – this person is a Republican, he's with a think tank that's connected to Tommy Thompson, you know,” Moore said on “Larry King Live.”

 

     Although Keckley’s role in the Gupta report was limited, he is a Republican donor. However, Moore neglected to point out Gupta is a Democratic donor. Gupta has given $8,200 in campaign contributions, all Democratic candidates since 2000. They included House of Representative candidates Jon Paul Jennings, Brad Carson, Dianne Byrum and Jamie Metzl.  Gupta also gave to Carson when he made a failed run against Tom Coburn for Senate in 2004.

 

     But that’s all just a drop in the bucket compared to the $25,500 Moore has given in campaign contributions since 1990 – all Democrats.

 

     Moore had appeared earlier in the day on “The Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer in a taped segment from the day before. Apparently tensions had eased and the two were chummy again. “Thank you Wolf and thank you for telling me during the break you really liked the film,” Moore said. “I thought it was a powerful film,” replied Blitzer.