Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Opinionator: Tobin Harshaw & Chris Suellentrop

  • Another surprised liberal for Michael Moore: The New Republic’s Jonathan Cohn, author of “Sick,” reviews Moore’s “Sicko.” “Moore has not always been the most intellectually rigorous storyteller — or, for liberals, the most useful ally,” Cohn concedes. He writes of “Sicko”:

    I spotted plenty of intellectual dishonesties and arguments without context — enough, surely, to keep right-wing truth squads (and some left-wing ones) busy for weeks. Moore also couldn’t help but stick in unrelated jabs about the Bush administration’s efforts to fight terrorism and insisted on hyping Cuba’s medical system — an awfully poor way to counter the generations-old slander that universal health care is tantamount to “socialized medicine.”

    Still, by the time the final credits ran, it was hard to get too worked up about all of that. Because, beyond all the grandstanding and political theater, the movie actually made a compelling, argument about what’s wrong with U.S. health care and how to fix it. Sicko got a lot of the little things wrong. But it got most of the big things right.

  • All by herself: “If the S.A.T.’s analogies section tested politics and pop culture, even the dimmest teenager would agree that ‘Hillary Clinton: Politics = Celine Dion: Music,’ ” writes Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks. “Both Clinton and Dion have enjoyed astounding career success. Both showed early talent but are now widely accused of being sellouts. Dion’s interesting, edgy early songs were replaced, during her bid for superstardom, by trite and formulaic crowd pleasers; Clinton’s interesting, edgy early policy positions were replaced, during her bid for elected office, by trite and formulaic crowd pleasers.”

  • The Los Angeles Times editorial page calls the United States “a human rights abuser“: “As long as the U.S. continues to deny due process of law to ‘enemy combatants’ detained indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, and as long as it commits extrajudicial kidnappings of terrorism suspects and ships them to countries known to torture detainees, it will remain guilty of cruel and tyrannical behavior.”