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Please begin with an informative title:

Like many, I was too into the All-Star Game to see Michael Moore take on Dr. Sanjay Gupta last night on CNN. Crook and Liars has the video.

During the segment, it became clear that Gupta - and, for that matter, CNN, believes one thing:

You are an IDIOT!

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For those who missed the run-up to this shown-down, Gupta instigated this with a "fact-check" segment he ran (just before Moore appeared on Wolf Blitzer's show) in which Gupta said Moore had "fudged the facts" in "Sicko!" That's a serious charge to make against a documentary film maker, and Moore was, predictably, quite upset.

So Gupta and Moore went head-to-head, where Gupta made an amazing statement:

I also think this whole idea, Michael, of just calling it a 'free system,' I think is a little bit nebulous to people who don't fully understand what you mean by that. Yes you've got to raise taxes significantly...
Wait a minute - Dr. Gupta, do you think Moore's audience doesn't understand that when he says "free system," he's talking about a system being paid for by taxes?
I mean, it's very hard to pay for this sort of thing, and to just call it "free" and say it's "free" makes it - I think makes it very - it's murky, Michael, at best, and I think that's what I have difficulty with, when you're trying to really advance a scenario here where we can get health care for everybody.
Dr. Gupta, anyone over the age of 10 can understand that a government run program is paid for by taxes. Any person in Moore's audience with an IQ north of a brick would understand that this is what Moore means by a "free system."

You really don't think we're that stupid, do you?

You would have to agree with the point that people would walk away from your film with the perception that health care is free in England and Canada. I mean, you're a filmmaker, you know how to do this sort of thing. You pay for it through taxes.
Oh my Lord - you do think we're that dumb, don't you?

At this point in the interview, Moore is flabbergasted, and Gupta, actually thinking he scored a point, said smirkingly, "We've got Michael Moore speechless here - that's pretty hard to do here!"

Moore, being a rational person, proceeded to go to the rather elementary argument that the costs of private health care paid through private insurance are more than the costs if collected through taxes. But Gupta wasn't arguing that - he was actually arguing that people would come away from "Sicko!" believing that no taxes are collected to pay for health care in England or France.

This is an rare moment of candor from CNN - here, one of their "journalists" tells us what they really think of the intelligence of their audience. We are simply too stupid to comprehend that a "free system" would be paid for with taxes - a point, BTW, that Moore makes again and again in his film anyway.

In case you think Gupta doesn't really believe you're an idiot, he later said:

To just say to someone who doesn't have a sophisticated understanding of how health care works that it's free is simply not true.
Those of us who have watched the degeneration of CNN have suspected for years that they think we're morons; now we have proof.
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to ellinton on Wed Jul 11, 2007 at 08:38 AM PDT.

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