Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Well, Mr. Moore?

See update below.
Cuba banned Michael Moore's 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a "mythically" favourable picture of Cuba's healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a "popular backlash", according to US diplomats in Havana.

The revelation, contained in a confidential US embassy cable released by WikiLeaks , is surprising, given that the film attempted to discredit the US healthcare system by highlighting what it claimed was the excellence of the Cuban system.

But the memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so "disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room".

Castro's government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it "knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them."

The rest of the Guardian's story is here.

UPDATE: Moore replies:
Sounds convincing, eh?! There's only one problem -- the entire nation of Cuba was shown the film on national television on April 25, 2008! The Cubans embraced the film so much so it became one of those rare American movies that received a theatrical distribution in Cuba. I personally ensured that a 35mm print got to the Film Institute in Havana. Screenings of 'Sicko' were set up in towns all across the country. In Havana, 'Sicko' screened at the famed Yara Theater.
The lesson? Be skeptical of anything originating within the U.S. government. It's also fair to ask why the Guardian did not check the veracity of the cable.


ToryII said...

Anything leaked by the U.S. govt needs to be checked to determine if it was intentionally leaked.

N. Joseph Potts said...

The State Department cable looks like disinformation. Disinformation intended for whom is hard to say, since the State Department presumably isn't especially engaged in disinforming itself.

Much of the rest of the Wikileaked cables is subject to the same reservations that obviously apply to this cable. Wikileaks clearly has not handed us the "simple truth" on a platter, nor is it in any way their fault that they have not.

The leaked cables remain valuable and informative, even if in many cases dubious.

All information is propaganda, but...all propaganda is information.

Anonymous said...

Why should I believe Michael Moore any more than I believe leaked diplomatic cables? If you're going to encourage us to be so paranoid that we start treating WikiLeaks as a conspiracy to get us to believe a bunch of false stuff, then, well, I don't know why we're taking idiot pills before listening to Michael Moore.

You chastise the Guardian for failing to check the veracity of the cable. But have you checked the veracity of Moore's claims? After all, who has access to reliable information about what has and has not been aired on television in Cuba?

Anonymous said...

At least the initial Guardian article cited its source -- namely, the WikiLeaks cable. Its correction, in which it repeats what Moore says, cites no sources at all. But I'll bet Moore is the only one.

Sheldon Richman said...

But Moore has given any good journalist enough information to check out his claims. I really don't see why a State Department hack is more believable than Moore.