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Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Dr. Sanjay Gupta, weasel

I missed taping it, but this morning Dr. Sanjay Gupta admitted that he made a mistake in transcribing, and that "Sicko" really says that Cuba spends $251 per person, not $25. But then he notes, as if it's significant, that the WHO says Cuba spends $229 per person, and says (quoting from memory), "I just don't know why Moore doesn't use the real numbers."

What a weasel! First of all, Michael Moore explains on his website that he chose to use the U.N. numbers ($251). But more importantly, a scientist such as Dr. Gupta should understand what I tried to explain by example in the post below - the idea that there is a "real" number or a "correct" answer to the question "How much does country X spend on health care?" is simply unscientific. This "fact" isn't a fact like the speed of light - it's an assumption-based, definition-based estimate of a moving target. And implying that someone who arrives at a different answer than you is "fudging the facts" is, as Moore states, nothing short of libel.

Update: Fact-checking myself. I've got the video now. My quote from memory of Gupta above wasn't accurate, but I do believe it represents the essence of what he had to say. You can judge for yourself:

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