9News gave GOP's Wadhams, but no Democrats, platform to react to Moore film

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

A 9News report about the Michael Moore film Sicko featured comments from Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams but did not provide any Democratic response for balance. 9News reported that Moore's film proposes "a state-run health care system," then noted that Wadhams said such a system "is not the solution." An article on the station's website similarly omitted any Democratic response.

In a June 24 report about Michael Moore's Denver stop to promote his film Sicko, KUSA 9News reporter Adam Chodak interviewed Colorado Republican Party chairman Dick Wadhams, who said the health care reform policy proposed in the film would be "one big monstrosity." However, 9News offered no response to Moore's proposal from any Colorado lawmaker or Democratic Party official.

Chodak reported that Moore is proposing "a state-run health care system," then introduced Wadhams by stating that while Wadhams says "there is a problem, a state-run system is not the solution":

CHODAK: In Sicko he claims that America needs a state-run health care system, similar to the one found in Canada and England.

[...]

WADHAMS: There's no doubt that the health care system needs to be improved.

CHODAK: Dick Wadhams is the Colorado State Republican chairman. He says while there is a problem, a state-run system is not the solution.

WADHAMS: It would be one big monstrosity that would be terribly inefficient and that would reduce -- result in rationing of health care.

Similarly, 9News' website reported that Moore is proposing "a single-payer health care system" like the one in Canada, but stated that Wadhams "does not agree" and noted his assertion that Moore's proposal "is not the solution":

Moore suggests a single-payer health care system, which would essentially create a state-run system that would provide universal coverage. He points to Canada as a good example of such a system.

[...]

Colorado State Republican Chairman Dick Wadhams has not seen the movie yet, but does not agree with its conclusion. He says a state-run system is not the solution.

"It would be a big monstrosity that would be terribly inefficient and would result in rationing of health care," Wadhams said.

"Sicko" opened in New York City Friday. It is being released nationally this coming Friday.

The online article, like the report aired June 24, failed to provide a response to Moore's proposal from any Democratic Party official or Colorado lawmaker.

From the June 24 broadcast of KUSA's 9News at 10 p.m.:

CARRIE MCCLURE (co-anchor): The filmmaker who made Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 made a stop in Denver this morning, or evening, rather. He was here to talk about his new movie, Sicko, which lashes out at the American health care system. 9News reporter Adam Chodak was at that rally Moore spoke at today and joins us in the newsroom with more. Adam?

CHODAK: Well, Carrie, hundreds showed up for this rally; it took place on the west steps of the Capitol. The rally was tied to the early screenings of Sicko that took place across the country this weekend, including Denver. Moore was certainly the keynote speaker, but not far behind was an Aurora woman who actually appears in Moore's new film.

[begin video clip]

DONNA SMITH: My name is Donna Smith. I'm from Aurora, Colorado.

CHODAK: Donna Smith felt the need to introduce herself to the crowd. Not many people know her. But that's about to change.

SMITH: I'm one of the few Americans featured in Michael Moore's new movie, Sicko. And I'm --

CHODAK: Featured because several years back, Donna and her husband, Larry, were hit by medical problems that quickly turned into medical bills.

SMITH: So we were just being buried alive by all of the costs.

LARRY SMITH: We just could no longer make it.

DONNA SMITH: And I have to introduce Michael, so I figured I'd better be short and sweet. My Sicko commander in chief.

CHODAK: Sunday she took great pleasure in introducing a man she says is standing up to the system that left her bankrupt. Michael Moore's new movie, Sicko, attacks the health care system.

MOORE: The system that is set up to be cruel to those who are the have-nots.

MOORE [in movie clip]: This is Rick.

CHODAK: Like in his other movies, Moore uses personal stories to drive home his point.

MOORE [in movie clip]: He sawed off the tops of two of his fingers.

CHODAK: In Sicko he claims that America needs a state-run health care system, similar to the one found in Canada and England.

MOORE [in movie clip]: Instead of money going into the cashier's window, money comes out.

WADHAMS: There's no doubt that the health care system needs to be improved.

CHODAK: Dick Wadhams is the Colorado State Republican chairman. He says while there is a problem, a state-run system is not the solution.

WADHAMS: It would be one big monstrosity that would be terribly inefficient and that would reduce -- result in rationing of health care.

MAN ON THE STREET: So, you're the one in the movie?

SMITH: I am.

CHODAK: A debate is exactly what Donna and her husband want. A national discussion that may produce a national movement.

SMITH: The system has got to be fixed.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.