Friday, December 17, 2010

Another item I've been meaning to write about for some time now: the Michael Moore / Wendell Potter exchange on Keith Olbermann's show. It's worth watching both Part 1 and Part 2.

It's disturbing to hear Mr. Potter admit to what was common practice by these insurance companies, as if there exists an understood, step-wise protocol on how to discredit someone or something. You try X and if that doesn't work you move to Y, and if that doesn't work you.... Really scary.

A particularly unsettling admission by Wendell is when he says, "But I think it meant that we would do what we had to do to create ads and op-eds that we would get conservative pundits to place in newspapers with the whole objective of, as they call it, reframing the debate, to try to move the attention from them to you as a filmmaker." [My emphasis]

Is Wendell inferring that these companies can "create" propaganda per se, or a fabricated line of attack, and then simply find one of many conservative "pundits" to write it up and get it published in a major newspaper? Really? As if insurance companies have a Rolodex filled with right-wing writers for hire, who are just waiting for that call telling them what to write, with the chosen writer likely sending the finished copy back to the company for final edits. In fact, Potter seems to imply that the insurance companies would actually write the op-ed and then get a conservative writer to attach his/her name and get it published.

I don't doubt it happens, but nonetheless it was revolting to hear.

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