I don't like Michael Moore.
It's not that I disagree with his politics (although I mostly do). It's not because I think he's a bad film maker (actually I admire his skill with the craft). It all comes down to this. He fights like a creationist.
In the creation/evolution wars, the most frequent tactic of the young earth absolutists is to take the smallest nit, then throw it into a cloud of nits in an effort to obscure a greater truth. People like Kent Hovind and Duane Gish will find a very minor disagreement in the evidence then shout, "AHA! It must all be wrong which means we must be right!"
Moore is currently quite upset with CNN for a report by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on his new movie "Sicko". In the report Dr. Gupta states Moore "fudges the facts". As you can see in this Larry King segment last night, who has the "right facts" is a matter of source and perspective. It is also elucidating to note in Moore's point by point rebuttal of the CNN report on his website the fudging boils down to such shocking disagreements as $6000 vs $7400 and 77.5 vs 77.6. Nits.
Of course, all of this presents an opportunity for Moore to turn to another frequent creationist tactic. Persecution and paranoia. Instead of a reasoned response of exploring the differences and discussing the greater truth, Moore chooses to accuse CNN of being bribed by HMOs and the pharmaceuticals. Disagreement, no matter how mild, is sinister and heretical.
Moore does do a great service. Once again, he has sparked a national conversation. We should be talking about health care. It may be the most important and most complex issue facing our generation.
But no matter how important the conversation, Moore with his burn at the stake tactics will never win the conversion.