Sanjay Gupta - CNN Medical Reporter - Tops Obama's picks for Surgeon General

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Cleverboy, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #1
    Just read this New York Times article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/us/politics/07gupta.html
    In looking up past appearances, I ran across this controversial clash Gupta had with Michael Moore regarding his Sicko movie.

    Michael Moore vs CNN's Sanjay Gupta on Larry King Live
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR2U_SAWHdQ

    Listening to the whole thing is pretty gruelling. It seems Michael Moore was simply trying to raise awareness about the healthcare situation in America, and was little interested in complete accuracy, while Sanjay Gupta was tripped up by a blatant error in CNN's original report, that while he admitted to it at the beginning... sorely tainted his comments in Moore's eyes. In the end, I felt I could see Gupta's point more than I could see Moore's. The problem being whether their is more benefit in speaking intelligently about healthcare issues, or "cherry-picking" facts (as Moore does) with less regard for complete accuracy.

    Gupta seemed to note that it was very DANGEROUS for Moore to keep insisting that healthcare in other countries was "free", considering the price being paid by their citizens. It reminded me of an argument I had once, where someone said their cable "on demand" had thousands of "free" movies included in their prescription. We ended up agreeing that the movies weren't "free", they were "complementary" or "gratis". Throwing around terms like "free" certainly BLINDS people to the reality that services and procedures have very real costs, and in the end, the price we pay may be too high if we do not approach the problem realistically.

    In the end, I'm left feeing very interested in what Gupta has to say. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders, despite CNN's initial mistake on reviewing Moore's film. Healthcare is a very complex issue, and it would be interesting to have a well-spoken, tactful "national doctor" for America at its helm. Watching him wait his turn during Moore's rants felt very telling about his patience and empathy all said.

    ~ CB
     
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #2
    Gupta seems to be a good choice. His medical background, his advisory background and his CNN background all make for someone who is well tuned to America's health needs and probably more importantly to its healthcare deficiencies.

    There have been too many duds over the years whose sole emphasis has been on abortion or illicit drugs. Two issues which need to take a back seat to the health care nightmare that exists in this country.
     
  3. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #3
    And yet another awful appointment. This makes a total of two corporate health"care" shills in positions related to health policy.
     
  4. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #4
    The surgeon general doesn't make policy. He's basically a spokesperson who tells the public what Obama tells him to say. Considering he's been on TV for awhile and viewers seem to like him, it's not a bad pick.
     
  5. BoyBach macrumors 68040

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    #5
    In the UK healthcare is not "free" (it's funded through taxation and NI contributions), but, importantly, the NHS is "free at the point of delivery".


    So his role is that of a glorified PR man and, thus, a total waste of money!?
     
  6. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #6
    Yes. That's basically all the surgeon general is, but this country has had one since (according to Wiki) 1871, so the position isn't going away anytime soon.
     
  7. freeny macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Yes, just like every other "news person" on every tv chanel and in every news paper, they are there only to pass on information to the public and a complete waste of money.
     
  8. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #8
    Exactly. Which is why I think Moore needs to watch his words more closely. I think he's just convinced that "free" is a simpler word... its just wildly inaccurate.

    That said, in that YouTube link, Gupta at one point voices a heavy dosage of skepticism that government run healthcare is an automatic panacea for our medical woes... meanwhile MM gets perturbed that Gupta doesn't think "free healthcare" is "free healthcare" when the tax payer is directly involved (as well as concerns about speedy medical access).

    I empathize with Moore, but I get the impression that people like him believe in clean, easy answers to very complicated questions (either that, or they're VERY shrewd in staying focused on their own high points, oversimplifying things monthly so that they can be easily understood).

    I think our ONLY chance with healthcare reform, is to keep things as transparent as humanly possible (to the public), and to let people clearly know the value proposition being offered. Otherwise... people think you're lying if your facts are not consistent (ie. mixing projections from the Bush administration with final data from the WHO).

    ~ CB
     
  9. runningman macrumors regular

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    #9
    The only issue is Dr Gupta's limited role as a practicing physician and his expanded role of being a medical reporter/correspondence. If we are choosing a surgeon general on exposure then we need to consider Dr. Oz, Michael Crichton and Dr. Seuss
     
  10. freeny macrumors 68020

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    #10
    please stick to the living...
     
  11. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #11
    And that's supposed to make it okay? He's still in a position of influence (over the public), and his support of the pharmaceutical industry and private health"care" is still wrong.
     
  12. johnmartin78 macrumors regular

    johnmartin78

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    #12
    Is it just me or does it seem like Obama is just appointing famous people.I mean,I think a lot of people can name more of Obama's cabinet members than they can of all the past presidents combined.
     
  13. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #13
    It's just you. Sanjay Gupta is the only famous person I can think of. And while Hillary Clinton might be famous, that's what comes along with being a former first lady, senator and presidential candidate. Of course she's famous, and I'm not going to hold that against her.
     
  14. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #14
    Here's 6 incidents which either show Gupta's ties to pharmaceutical companies and how that influences what he reports, or how he makes wild unsupported claims that later are proven to be completely wrong.

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/living...echnology/sanjay-gupta-surgeon-general-460109

    Here are the six reasons they give. Read further at the link above.
    It seems to me that the position of Surgeon General shouldn't belong to a fear monger with ties to pharmaceutical companies.
     
  15. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #15
    Can you show me any previous surgeon general who hasn't had ties to pharmaceutical companies?
     
  16. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #16
    Because previous surgeon generals have had questionable relationships with pharmaceutical companies it's okay if Gupta is a pharma-shill? Corruption is alright because everyone else is corrupt? I don't understand what you're trying to ask.
     
  17. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #17
    All Surgeon General nominees are going to have some kind of connection to pharmaceutical companies simply because most of them are physicians.

    I fail to see any proof that Gupta is a shill. He certainly wasn't the only Viox cheerleader and anyone who takes Michael Moore seriously has a screw loose.
     
  18. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #18
    It wasn't that he didn't take Moore seriously. It was that his attack of Moore was full of false information or information provided by private insurance corporations. A serious fact-check would have been welcome, but it's troubling that Gupta led a false attack on Moore when the Surgeon General is supposed to be a public informant. The Moore situation wasn't the only time he jumped the gun and reported false information. The position would be better served by a physician with a cooler head/temper.
     
  19. runningman macrumors regular

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    #19
    I don't necessarily agree with the appointment for a multitude of reasons. But there are some serious flaws also in the internet article your using for support. Physician ties to pharmaceutical industry are no different than congressional ties to defense contractors, developers, manufacturing, automotive etc. If you seek to judge a physician based on that then I think you are in a difficult spot as anyone you deal with in a position of wealth, status or power will have similar ties. Though you need to remember physician ties with pharmaceutical companies are more tightly regulated than the ties for other businesses.
     
  20. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #20
    Yes, I am aware of this, and it's wrong. "Everyone does it" isn't a valid excuse for these actions.
     
  21. runningman macrumors regular

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    #21
    I apologize for the second post. As far as the second attack on Moore. Moore is just as guilty for twisting the facts and his editing techniques as anyone. His movies as they are not documentaries are entertaining and I think excellent venues to create dialogue on a subject to solve some of the problems we face but to take his supposed data at face value as the truth is a bit much. It would also be nice to see him practice what he preaches in regards to the issues he complains about.
     
  22. runningman macrumors regular

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    #22
    I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. The act of business means that one must interact with other people who provide either the equipment or services that one needs. Some solace should be taken that the pharmaceutical interactions with physicians is very tightly regulated in what can be given and discussed. However, on the flip side look at your congressman taking european jaunts for fact finding missions. If you have an issue with this call your congressman and have that regulated.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

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  24. runningman macrumors regular

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    #24
    Oh I can see that crying little girl right now
     
  25. Cleverboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Cleverboy

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    #25
    I wasn't "FULL OF" false information. It's pretty clear most of Moore's videos are "full of" false or misleading information themselves. Often times, in pursuit of making his point, Moore unfortunately has been known to embellish the truth, or state something as FACT that is in truth a "projection" of available data. I remember watching a video of him defending his facts on a DVD once, it he turned an event meant for something else, into a speech on defending his fact-checking and accuracy. I like the guy, but it was embarrassing. If I were you, I wouldn't get behind Moore as a paragon of truth. He's an important voice, and he brings attention to things... but he's simply not objective, and sometimes he leans more towards entertainment and titillation. I think in the video above... what you characterise as "leading an attack on Moore", Larry King characterizes as an overall positive assessment of Moore's "Sicko", with some criticisms. Gupta asked Moore a good number of questions during that piece, and while Gupta answered for the incorrect number he used, Moore kept changing the subject, anytime Gupta highlighted inaccuracies.

    YES or NO, Moore. Moore is FAR too defensive and passionate to be where ANYONE's buck should stop on truth. The press often has to make retractions or apologies on misreporting. That's the difference between press and Moore's pseudo documentary film-making. He's accomplished a lot, but no one should get too caught up in his counter critique on his critics. He's not in it to be as accountable as news agencies need to be.

    I was reading the DailyGreen article you'd linked to (I ran across it on Digg today):
    http://www.thedailygreen.com/living...echnology/sanjay-gupta-surgeon-general-460109

    Going back to the Digg comments, it seems VERY clear that many reasonable people read these 6 points on DailyGreen as "uneven" in their relevance. The whole thing where they try to imply Gupta actually suggested that people eat their iPhone's is sadly telling about whether they're making a reasonable critic of the man.

    ~ CB
     

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