A couple of years ago an Army nurse, hawking her new book on C-SPAN, paid homage to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The neurosurgeon, seen regularly on CNN, had laid down his reporter’s microphone in Iraq, slipped into the field hospital tent where she was stationed and performed operations which saved the lives of soldiers with head trauma. To this nurse, Gupta was nothing short of a true hero.
To be honest, I don’t like to listen to Dr. Gupta as the medical breakthroughs he often reports seem only affordable for the filthy rich. But, after hearing this Army nurse’s stories, my respect for him rose.
President-elect Barack Obama, as you know, plans to nominate Dr. Gupta for the post of surgeon general. About 15 minutes after this news broke, the far left went nuts.
Enter Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, Princeton professor with a Ph.D. from MIT, and current Nobel Laureate in economics. Krugman tells us “The Trouble with Sanjay Gupta” (LINK).
Well, I trust Krugman, who has for years been dead-on about this country’s economic path, so I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this one. Krugman’s complaint about Gupta? Are you ready for this? Gupta reported that Michael Moore in his film “Sicko” “fudged the facts.”
Although Moore has been known to do just that in some of his terrific documentaries – the fact-check site Spinsanity.org (LINK) once stated Moore is as bad as Ann Coulter at fact-bending – Krugman says Moore’s film was accurate.
The really interesting part of what Krugman had to say follows:
“Moore is an outsider, he’s uncouth, so he gets smeared as unreliable even though he actually got it right. It’s sort of a minor-league version of the way people who pointed out in real time that Bush was misleading us into war are to this day considered less 'serious' than people who waited until it was fashionable to reach that conclusion. And appointing Gupta now, although it’s a small thing, is just another example of the lack of accountability that always seems to be the rule when you get things wrong in a socially acceptable way.”
On last night’s edition of “Countdown,” MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, who has said Gupta’s nomination would be like naming Judge Judy as attorney general, went a step farther – wondering if Krugman’s remarks mean Obama’s appointments are part of “the Washington culture – if you’re on the inside, you get the job, while those crazy left-wing nuts are frozen out.”
Yep, same Olbermann. One of the NBC/MSNBC pompon-waving Obama Cheering Squad throughout the presidential campaign.
Now, Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) is going after Gupta. Conyers supports “single-payer” insurance, and that was the context of Gupta’s complaints about “Sicko.”
The bright side of a Gupta appointment, to me, is his strong support for preventive medicine, which, as he has stated, is a lot less expensive than treating people after they get sick. I could get behind a surgeon general who pushs a wellness agenda.
Related DemWit posts:
“A plan for the 44th president,” 11/17/08