We put up our latest Hot Air Vent, tackling Sicko, on YouTube. You can watch here:
Variety reported yesterday that Moore won’t debate Tom Delay on ABC News. He was originally scheduled to debate former Rep. Billy Tauzin:
On Thursday, former House GOP leader Tom DeLay called filmmaker Michael Moore a “plus-sized publicity hound” who is “chicken” because the controversial helmer canceled a skedded appearance this Sunday on a talker to debate health care issues, the subject of his “Sicko.”
ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopolous” had arranged the debate. But according to DeLay, Moore refused to provide a copy of the doc so that the ex-lawmaker could see it in advance and then cancelled without explanation.
“Guess he didn’t expect anyone to seriously take him on,” DeLay wrote on his Web site. “Had I known he was this chicken, I would have accepted on the spot, but at least I can spare myself the agony of watching one of his mockumentaries. Bottom line: his movies, his politics, and his incessant bullying are all an act.”
Delay titled his blog post, “Sicko is Scared-o.”
Looks like Moore isn’t the only one running scared. The LA Times says top Dems are ducking the movie:
Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of South Carolina all have staked out positions sharply at odds with Moore’s approach. But none of them is eager to have that fact dragged into the spotlight.
If Moore’s fire-breathing proposal catches on among party activists, who tend to be suspicious of the private sector and supportive of direct government action, the candidates’ pragmatic, consensus-seeking ideas could look like weak-kneed temporizing — much the way their rejection of an immediate pullout from Iraq has drawn heated criticism from antiwar activists.
In “Sicko,” the filmmaker calls for abolishing the insurance industry, putting a tight regulatory collar on pharmaceutical companies and embracing a Canadian-style government-run system.
Advocacy groups are already planning to use the film to pressure the Democratic hopefuls.
“The candidates haven’t sensed the political fever in this country that fundamental change is called for in the healthcare system,” said Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Assn. “What we are going to do is call on the candidates to reconsider their positions.”
Stoking the passions of rank-and-file Democrats for a government takeover of the healthcare system amounts to political folly, respond some liberal veterans of Washington’s healthcare battles.
“To presume that the private sector is going to sit idly by to see the destruction of private coverage I think is a misreading of reality,” said Ron Pollack of the advocacy group Families USA. “I think the presidential candidates understand that if healthcare reform is going to have a chance of success, it will require bipartisanship and a balance of public and private coverage. It cannot be the triumph of one ideology over the other.”