CNN took another shot at establishing its credibility in its battle with Michael Moore with a set of detailed responses to issues that
raised about its coverage. I will skip a blow by blow assessment, and just address two of the key points that were raised. Moore
1) CNN sought to question
CNN claims that they were being straight and that Moore is guilty of comparing apples and oranges because he has different sources and is comparing projections for the U.S. with actual data for Cuba.
Actually, CNN’s response is rather scary since it suggests that CNN has no one familiar with social science research on their staff. It is common to use data from different sources, when data from the same source is unavailable. If there is reason to believe that there are important differences between the methodology used by the different sources, then this should be noted.
In this case, there do not appear to be any important differences in methodologies, only the year for which the estimate/projection is made. The data for
The main reason for the difference between the $5,711 figure from 2003 and the $7,000 figure for 2006 and the $7,500 figure for 2007 is due to the year, not the methodology. It is perfectly understandable that
2) In a subsequent Moore-Gupta exchange on the Larry King show, Dr. Gupta said that Medicare is going bankrupt.
As I said in a previous post, it is not clear what Dr. Gupta could mean by his assertion that Medicare is going bankrupt, except to inaccurately imply that there is a problem with the Medicare program that is distinct from the rising costs of the U.S. health care system.
While CNN is correct in saying that funding for a portion of Medicare (Part A) is not assured under current law beyond 2019, funding for most government programs is not even assured beyond the current fiscal year. Yet, CNN’s analysts have probably never asserted that the Defense Department or the Justice Department face bankruptcy because their funding for next year is not assured.
It is understandable that a partisan in the debate to privatize Medicare would claim that the program faces bankruptcy. It is difficult to see why an ostensibly neutral news outlet would make this claim, since it conveys no information to viewers.