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Google Protects Healthcare From Michael Moore

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the take-two-ads-and-call-me-in-the-morning dept.

Google 1153

An anonymous reader suggests we stop over to ZDNet for a case where Google may be stepping on the wrong side of that famous Don't Be Evil line. A Google staffer is offering to help the healthcare industry contain the damage that Michael Moore's film is about to do. (Here is the original Google Health Advertisement blog post by Lauren Turner; in case it disappears, it is reproduced in full in the ZDNet post.) Quoting from the Google post: "Many of our clients face these issues; companies come to us hoping we can help them better manage their reputations through 'Get the Facts' or issue management campaigns. Your brand or corporate site may already have these informational assets, but can users easily find them? We can place text ads, video ads, and rich media ads in paid search results or in relevant websites within our ever-expanding content network. Whatever the problem, Google can act as a platform for educating the public and promoting your message. We help you connect your company's assets while helping users find the information they seek."

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Micheal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703257)

Michael has been one of the top ten most popular male names for over fifty years. Why is it so hard for some people to spell correctly?

Re:Micheal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703355)

As someone named Michael, all I gotta say is screw you.

Not Evil (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703261)

This isn't anwhere near as evil as collecting user's browsing data or cooperating with Chinese censorship. They are offering companies a PR service. I hope you're not saying that it's wrong to counter propaganda? That's all Moore's 'documentaries' are really, even when he makes good points (which isn't all that often).

Mod Parent Up! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703305)

Michael Moore is a steaming gas bag who's really only interested in one thing and that's Michael Moore. 95% of what he says is a load of crap.

Re:Mod Parent Up! (0, Offtopic)

Neitokun (882224) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703369)

As they say on 4chan, >parent >Parent's parent Same person.

Re:Mod Parent Up! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703447)

Except in this case you'd be wrong. Perhaps adding something substantive to the conversation next time instead of trolling would be in order.

Re:Mod Parent Up! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703489)

And your original post was? Informative? I think not. In general, all of the reviews (save fox) on nearly all of Moores films have been that he is correct with his figures. His interpretations leave a bit to agreed with, but he has not played loose with the facts. OTH, you have played loose with the facts as do people like you.

Re:Mod Parent Up! (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703569)

As they say on 4chan

Wouldn't it have been more direct to say, "Ignore the rest of this comment"? I highly doubt there is anything "they say on 4chan" that is worth the attention of anyone over the mental age of 13.

Re:Mod Parent Up! (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703603)

SomethingAwful sucks, desu desu.

d^_-b

Re:Not Evil (5, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703521)

Indeed. From the title, one could expect something like "Google is censoring search results about Sicko!". But really, Google is saying "hey, healthcare guys, you've got stuff on your website - here's how to get us to index it better and find it" (insert standard non-spammy search engine optimization strategies here) "and you can even advertise with us while you're at it!"

Now, I guess if your friends in the Healthcare industry are pure evil, then Google is being evil, but I don't see how you can construe that as "protection". Apparently the submitter, however, would like to protect "Sicko" from the health care industry's web sites. Meh. Lame.

Pfft (5, Funny)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703713)

Not even the diet-coke of evil.

Re:Not Evil (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703557)

Sadly, in modern America, the truth often needs propaganda to be heard. Our health care system is in tatters. Corruption and kickbacks run rampant. Pharmaceutical propaganda runs 24/7 on our televisions. Almost no one is willing to stand up for us.

Re:Not Evil (1, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703637)

I agree that our health care system could be improved. However, Michael Moore's proposal - go to a single payer system - is not the answer. In Canada, one of the systems highlighted by his film, there are cases where people have an easier time getting hip replacement surgeries for their pet dogs than for themselves. You see, pets are allowed to have private insurance. People are not.

In my opinion, the main reason our health care costs are skyrocketing is because of our unhealthy lifestyles. America is the most obese nation in the world. We are obese because people follow unhealthy dietary and exercise habits. Right now, unhealthy eating habits and poor exercise habits are externalities. People can have these habits, but insurance companies pay the costs. Until we find a way to make people pay for the costs of their poor choices while maintaining coverage for legitimate accidents, health care costs will continue to increase.

Re:Not Evil (1, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703697)

i agree, unfortunately fatties whinge loudly and vote lots, so it's not going to be mandated unless it reaches a crisis point.

the other issue, is people aren't really fat by choice, it's because we live in a world of abundance that's never been before. we are born to eat, and it's pretty hard to fight it. since we can't fight the desire to eat we should fight the other causes, such as lack of exercise and lack of sleep. at this level i believe companys can help. give your employee's a free sporting membership, give them time off to exercise during the week. here at work we have 40 minute warm up exercises 3 times a week and it's reduced the number of soft tissue injuries, which has made up for the time it take to do the exercises. don't make people work long hours which prevents them getting exercise. hell it'd probably be a good investment and help lower the companys health fund premiums.

Re:Not Evil (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703575)

When it comes down to it, it's "Do business, but don't do evil". Google is not the Gates foundation, they're not out to do charity and pro bono work. They've just stated they won't be making those profits off doing evil. They're in the business of selling advertising. They see someone getting hammered in the media, and ask "Do you need some advertising services?" Now maybe if they did something like run clearly false and deceptive advertising to the point of becoming a propaganda machine, hushed down opposing critics by refusing to advertise for them then maybe you could start to talk about evil. And even then I think advertisers should be given quite a lot of freedom of speech to advertise through Google, without that being taken as Google's position. If you can't be this "evil", then you can't do business.

Re:Not Evil (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703733)

I'd agree there, there is nothing evil about an advertising company selling it's wares. Plus all the talk about health care will only force change. Google is where it is because they have foresight and will ride each wave as appropriate.

The matters involving China are unfortunate, it's the only way they can get Google. It's a sneaky ploy by google as many services are available which help remove some power from the chinese authority. Such as the now old trick of using google as a proxy via the translate service.

Seriously... (0, Offtopic)

Azuma Hazuki (955769) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703263)

Does anyone actually trust any organization with more than 5 people or so when it says its motto is "don't be evil?" Even if Google doesn't actually have a cackling greybeard maniac surrounded by test tubes dreaming up evil plots, it has too many interests in too many areas to avoid hurting people when it moves to protect those interests.

Of course (2, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703271)

because, as we all know, Michael Moore is always about the greater good.

Cuba has a great medical system...as long as you are one of the elites.

The United States has an even better medical system...as long as you can pay for it. And your changes of being able to pay for it in the United States are better than your chances of being one of the elite in Cuba.

Re:Of course (4, Insightful)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703359)

Do you realize that healthcare is the largest cause of debt in the United States? That's fucked up.

That fact alone is more persuasive than the entire Michael Moore film. Michael Moore's real talent lies not in persuasion but in playing with the people in power as if they were kitty toys. The reactions they cause would be hilarious were it not for the fact that these were the guys running the nation--example, during the 2000 elections when MM got Alan Keyes to mosh in a pit with his friends from Rage Against the Machine Gary Bauer's quote pretty much outdoes anything I could actually say about it:

Alan, a couple of weeks ago, you criticized my good friend John McCain because he expressed some support of or interest in a controversial music group [McCain had claimed to be a fan of Nine Inch Nails]. In view of that I was a little surprised this week to see you fall in to a mosh pit while a band called "The Machine Rages On," or "Rage Against the Machine" played [Bauer is either genuinely ignorant or trying to distance himself from actually knowing the name of such an evil bandboth seem plausible]. That band is anti-family. It's pro-cop killer, and it's pro-terrorist.
He then goes on to falsely claim it's what the kids at Columbine listened to.

Re:Of course (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703593)

The reactions they cause would be hilarious were it not for the fact that these were the guys running the nation--example, during the 2000 elections when MM got Alan Keyes to mosh in a pit with his friends from Rage Against the Machine

Something tells me this was a bad example.

Michael Moore = Jack Thompson then (1)

sid0 (1062444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703685)

and both deserve to be derided.

Re:Of course (2, Informative)

uolamer (957159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703529)

The US medical system is great if you can pay for it. I really do not know much about Cuba besides what i would consider a 'one sided view' presented in SiCKO. But I have been to many EU countries and Canada. Medication sure is cheaper, on top of general universal health care. Downside from what I have seen is waiting lists depending on the country. In New Zealand I knew someone on a waiting list for a few years to get their tonsils removed, but if it would have ever became a serious issue they would have done it right then and just like in the US they could have just paid to have it done then. From what I saw New Zealand was struggling a bit economically. Canada seemed better, as well did Britain, I have never been to France, Germany, or the other EU countries.

The Medicare Part D plan here in the US seemed not help, possibly made things worse. My grandmother has to spend $500 to $1000 a month on medication, that is quite hard on most people of her age. One of my dads good friends went bankrupt paying his late wifes medical bills, then later committed suicide. Talk about 'if you can afford it' if you ever get diagnosed with something expensive enough to ruin most people.

Google seems to slowly get more creepy and evil. They are no there yet, but I personally do not like Yahoo/Google/etc catering to the Chinese government, screwing with search results, etc.

Re:Of course (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703731)

Yes. I worked for a medical bill auditing company that was trying to expand into automated Medicare PD bill review. It is a huge cluster fuck. For one thing, billing codes (as in codes referring to procedures and medications) have only recently started becoming standardized. The governmet sets limits as to how much they're willing to spend on a procedure -- they vary by market. Granted, this is more-or-less fair. There's no reason to screw New York city hospitals with Kansas City rates. But this complicates things too, as a hospital system might own a monopoly on hospital services in a city, and drive prices up in that market.

Fraud is very common, as is double billing or "unbundling" -- some procedures medically require others to be performed, so when the cost of the first is calculated, it includes the cost of the others. Unbundling is basically a sophisticated form of double billing where the the requisite procedures are billed on top of the procedure that required them. Most people don't fight this, thinking that the "big" procedure was just really expensive.

Re:Of course (4, Insightful)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703541)

The United States has an even better medical system...as long as you can pay for it. And your changes of being able to pay for it in the United States are better than your chances of being one of the elite in Cuba.


Amusingly enough, that's not entirely true. One of Moore's major points was that in the US, even if you have health insurance, they still won't pay for anything if they can find any excuse not to - and they put a lot of effort into finding excuses not to.

You know all those pages and pages of terms and conditions that came with your policy, that you didn't really study carefully? As soon as you want any money, they're going to go over every line with a fine-tooth comb, and if you forgot to dot an 'i' or cross a 't', they won't pay.

The only way to get reliable access to the medical system in the US is if you are so wealthy that you can pay your own medical bills, without relying on an insurance company. That's something in the region of the top 1% of the population. The rest are screwed (this means YOU).

Re:Of course (0)

blibbler (15793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703567)

It is interesting to note that while the GDP per capita of Cuba is estimated at less than $4000, and the USA is well over 10 times that (at $44000) the life expectancy in Cuba is only one year less than the US (at 77 compared to 78)

Re:Of course (2, Insightful)

mangastudent (718064) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703657)

And you believe the Cuban statistics???

Don't you remember the Soviet census guy who was sent to the Gulag (or executed) when Stalin's various purges (plus the Ukraine terror famine) started to make a big dent in the total Soviet population?

Nothing they published after that could be believed. The nomenklatura in Cuba have no need of published honest statistics, and it is the nature of such regimes that internal supposedly honest statistics are often faked by underlings who don't want to get the chop for not making something impossible happen when ordered from on high.

Re:Of course (4, Interesting)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703605)

Except of course for the 45 Million Americans who cannot afford it and have no insurance.

What Cuba has is an excellent 'low tech proactive health care system for every one' as opposed to the United States which does not. It has high tech medicine availible for those who can pay. In Cuba I can go to a doctor as soon as I feel unwell. I will then be treated usually preventing my illness, say pneumonia, from getting worse. I know the visit to the doctor is 'free' as opposed to in the United States where I only go to the Emergency room when I am nearly dead because I cannot afford to go to a doctor at the beginning of the illness and then the state has to pick up the entire cost on my hospital stay.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703625)

+1 (more) insightful.

Bull spit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703643)

>Cuba has a great medical system...as long as you are one of the elites.

My buddy's girlfriend severed her tendons in a home accident while they lived in Cuba and was taken to the local hospital and operated the same day. She is canadian so of course its not the same as a local but she told us about the people she met on her floor (no political apparatchiks) and compared it to waiting times in Canada and it wasnt even close.

Is there favoritism?
Probably the same you get if you are in the US and are part of the 'chosen' tribe: it doesnt affect you either way if it doenst affect you.

Bottom line, service was quick and grandmothers and housewives were treated as well.

The doctor/patient ratio in Cuba is still very high even though they've sent tens of thousands of doctors and nurses in Venezuela (those animals.... how dare they offer to take care of a poor population where 3/4 have never seen a doctor or dentist in their lives) and while their technology is behind ours, our own population want exactly dying 40-50 years ago without the fancy gadgets we have now.

Keep spreading the FUD my friend

Re:Of course (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703649)

Cuba has a great medical system...as long as you are one of the elites.

The United States has an even better medical system...as long as you can pay for it.


It amounts to the same.

Re:Of course (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703703)

Cuba has a great medical system...as long as you are one of the elites.

You do realise that the point of comparing the US with Cuba is that Cuba is a poor country with free medical services for everyone and the US is a rich country with limited access?


I have no doubt healthcare in the US is much better than in Cuba, if you have insurance, or if you can afford to pay for it.

The lack of free healthcare in the US is unusual for a developed country. The provision of a high standard of free healthcare in Cuba is unusual for a poor country.

Incredible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703277)

BILL FRIST POST.

google doesn't do evil by protecting evil (1)

Leontes (653331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703281)

Oh come on. They aren't in the humanity protecting business; they aren't some sort of superhero company. I hate bloodthirsty health professionals as much as the next rabid liberal, but seriously, google needs to protect their clients over doing what amounts to activism. This doesn't mean that smart company folk won't laugh or smile or be joyous when these clients eventually go under: but you have to play your part if someone is giving you money, it's kinda the way things work.

Re:google doesn't do evil by protecting evil (-1, Offtopic)

noiseusse (868442) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703343)

Yeah, that's what my pimp says before a trick. Then afterwards he takes my cash and slaps me a few times.

Re:google doesn't do evil by protecting evil (1)

asuffield (111848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703591)

They aren't in the humanity protecting business; they aren't some sort of superhero company.


And with the words "it's not our problem", the dissenters were shot, the unwanted were burned in their homes, and the world descended into war, again.

The only thing required for all this to happen is for all the people with an opportunity to stop it to do nothing. Nobody is in the business of "protecting humanity" and there aren't any superhero companies, so if those are the only ones who do anything about it, we're all dead.

That is not a good excuse for doing nothing.

Re:google doesn't do evil by protecting evil (2, Interesting)

casings (257363) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703659)

So by your logic all of those tobacco, alcohol, firearm lobbies are just doing their part and not actually evil. Trying to spin coverage of a practices pretty universal unethical practices is unethical. If you believe the healthcare companies practice is ethical and you feel like you need to defend it, thats great and you are entitled to your opinion, but the majority of the western world disagrees with you, more importantly the majority of ethical intellectuals disagrees with you.

Protect an unethical corporation/system all you would like. Just don't claim to be doing "good".

Google went a long way with their don't be evil slogan, but now that they are public, it is my opinion that it is time to put it to rest, because it just ain't true no more.

Re:google doesn't do evil by protecting evil (2, Informative)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703705)

I hate bloodthirsty health professionals ...
The healthcare professionals aren't the bad guys - they're just doing the best they know how for their clients (patients). What most don't realize is how their medical education has been coopted by pharmaceutical companies. In the early 1900's, the Carnegie foundation financed the Flexner Report, which was used to start shutting down about 1/2 of the country's medical schools. Closures fell disproportionately on for-profit schools, because the curiculum at schools which operated on grants could be influenced easier. I have a 1965 book which talked about a coming doctor shortage, which is an obvious consequence of closing so many of the country's medical schools... 100 Years of Medical Robbery [mises.org] is a good piece on the medical scam, as is the followup, "Real Medical Freedom".

Insurance Companies are Evil.
Pharmaceutical Companies are Evil.
Medical Professionals do the best they can in a system which is rigged against them.

Great.. (1)

Iam9376 (1096787) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703291)

..another reason to no longer put my faith into google.

-.-

Re:Great.. (1)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703433)

Why on Earth would you put your faith in a company?! If you've got to put your faith into something, try an idea like Jesus who at least promises eternal salvation for your troubles. Putting faith in any organization to always do good is just silliness. It's up to you to keep your eye on any organization which claims to be doing good in order to keep them in line.

And if you happen to think that Google or any other organization is stepping out of line, pipe up and tell them what you think they're doing wrong and how they can do right. Take action.

::Colz Grigor // This message was not brought to you by Google.

Re:Great.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703669)

Have you even read Nietzsche?

Dont be evil is just a slogan (0, Troll)

ghoul (157158) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703301)

Just the fact that they are so marketing driven to have a slogan shows they are evil. After all all marketing is evil but waht more can you expect from what is basically an advertizing firm which happens to use tech a lot. I mean nothing besides ads makes money for Google.

Hmmm (2, Insightful)

Captain Murdock (906610) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703303)

I'm not really sure what that blog post entails. Does it mean Google is going to purposely tamper with it's search formulas to make sure that health care companies don't get "Google Bombed"? Or specifically censor anti-health care, Michael Moore related content?

It's one thing to keep health care searches relevant, but it's quite another to accept money to censor content.

Re:Hmmm (4, Insightful)

mr_luc (413048) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703417)

No, no and no. It says nothing about censorship, tailoring of google's 'search formulas', or google bomb insurance. ;)

As surprising as this may be, it's just a straight-up plug for the utility of their text search ads.

Is it evil? Well, now. That's quite a question.

Sure, HMO's are evil. Sure, censorship is evil. But it would also be evil for google to refuse to sell ads to the health insurance industry.

This is not, as people have stated, a sign of google moving to protect its interests and maximize profits in a way that puts people after corporations. Offering these services, in order to let health insurance companies respond to a particularly strident and vocal political opponent, by selling them context ads, is hardly evil.

Far from it. I'd rather have text ads than know about the truly evil PR crap that is, and will continue to be, spewed across our television screens if the HMO's really feel threatened, like they did in the mid-90's.

Re:Hmmm (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703551)

I think they're actually trying to get the health care companies to start an Google AdWords [google.com] campaign. They're just saying "our product would be useful to you" and I think this story is making a big deal out of nothing.

Moore isn't Neutral (2, Insightful)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703309)

His Documentaries are not anywhere near neutral. He's the founding father of the new stream of Documentaries that don't let the subject speak for itself but ram home opinions. I think it hurts the causes as much as it helps.

Not everything he says is lies, nor is it truth. He has a political point to make and he wants to make it more sexy so he'll get more attention.

As such there are points to be contained and rebutted. Roger met with Moore in Roger and Me, but Moore didn't show it. GM had years of bad press from that despite Moore being less than truthful. No wonder others have opinions on this. There are some in the Healthcare that think its fine, there's lots that think it's broke, but think it can be fixed without using Socialism as a cure due to the problems of socialized medicine in a nation that doesn't have vast oil reserves.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (2, Insightful)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703325)

Health Care is expensive, in part, because it's chronically understaffed due to professional-school elitism by the AMA and the Nurse's unions.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (1)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703339)

Fixing that would be an issue, so would fixing the lawsuits that drive up insurance in many places.

Or bringing back tax incentives to be a doctor/nurses in places that really need them.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (0, Redundant)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703415)

Health Care is expensive, in part, because it's chronically understaffed due to professional-school elitism by the AMA and the Nurse's unions.
Or maybe it's unhealthy because it's trying to fix things the hard way.
How much money would be saved if people would stop eating junk food, and maybe ride a bicycle a few times a week? Trying to treat diabetes with drugs is like driving a nail with a pair of pliers. Billions of dollars to treat a disease that is largely preventable.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703425)

Or maybe it's expensive
yes I forgot to preview

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703515)

Health Care is expensive, in part, because it's chronically understaffed due to professional-school elitism by the AMA and the Nurse's unions.
Wrong. They are chronically understaffed because so many institutions have become for-profit. The overhead of dealing with medical billing is insane and every clerk hired means one less nurse.

You think H1B visas are bad? Try going into a local hospital. We're importing a lot of our medical workers from overseas now. My mom is an RN and she tells me that she wouldn't want anyone she knows going into an American hospital. Her fellow nurses stand vigil when family members go in. A fellow nurse had to stand guard over her heart attack husband lest one of the unskilled new nurses kill the man with her incompetence. The dumb bitch dropped an IV needle on the floor and picked it up as if she were going to use it on him. One of the new stunts hospitals are attempting is replacing RN's with cut-rate staff with less training than CNA's, a gaggle of McJobbers with each one doing a small portion of the RN's overall job. Do they know what they're doing? Hell, no. But the hospital figures the wage savings will be far greater than the cost of wrongful death suits. I haven't even gone into the chaos that comes from immigrant medical workers who can't speak the fucking language. I have no problem with foreign people and foreign ways but if lives are on the line, communications had better be standardized! If the hospital is in Cuba, we can speak Spanish. But if the hospital is in the States, we'd better be speaking English and there better not be an accent thick enough to club someone with. Poor communication kills. And let's not even get into the Medicare fraud perpetrated by for-profit home health agencies, going into fucking hospices to give physical therapy to terminal cases. Look! The patient is going to be dead inside a month, there's no need for --oooh, did I see money?

There are some things far too important in life for dollars to be the deciding factor. Health care should NEVER be a for-profit enterprise. Anyone who says different needs his insurance revoked right before he's kicked down a flight of stairs. See how you like it now, asshole.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (0, Flamebait)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703687)

Health care should NEVER be a for-profit enterprise.

Why the fuck not? Food and housing are for-profit enterprises--they're just better managed. If you're poor, the government will even help you pay for them. You get a nifty debit card and you get to buy all the groceries you need. Public housing doesn't work quite that well, though...

Anyone who says different needs his insurance revoked right before he's kicked down a flight of stairs.

It should be a pretty fucking long flight of stairs before the lack of insurance makes a difference. Here's an idea, dumbasses: insurance is supposed to cover rare, catastrophic emergencies. I don't buy homeowner's insurance so some bureaucracy can pay for a plumber every time my pipes back up--I buy it in case my house burns down. I don't buy auto insurance so some bureaucracy can pay for my oil changes--I buy it in case I get rear-ended. The expense of "medical billing" comes from bad laws intended to benefit insurance companies. I would be far happier to just write you a check for setting a broken arm after falling down those stairs, thank you very much.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (4, Informative)

amabbi (570009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703619)

Health Care is expensive, in part, because it's chronically understaffed due to professional-school elitism by the AMA and the Nurse's unions.

[disclaimer: I am a med student and a member of the medical student section of the AMA.]

I hear this reasoning time and time again, and I'm convinced this is an urban legend. The AMA has no jurisdiction over the number of slots available in US med schools; at best, the AMA has influence over the number of residency slots available (since they do act to certify certain specialty and subspecialty boards). In fact, the counter to the fallacy promoted by the parent post is that there are more residency slots available per year than US med school graduates.

If you want to find fault, blame the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC), which certifies med schools and would be the body most responsible for the number of med student positions in the US. It is not affiliated with the AMA.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (2, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703461)

Is it too hard to believe that maybe, just maybe, he wants to spur debate on the health care issue in the US? I doubt the majority of people in the US would say they're happy with their coverage.

Whether or not you agree with him is irrelivant: the point is to open debate. Bring the issue into the open rather than let it fester like sores that don't get treated.

And as far as documentaries being neutral, I really wish people would get over that fallacy. Unless you're Ken Burns making a documentary on something happening over a century ago, the film ends up taking a side. Would you consider Battle for Brazil a 'neutral' piece? It doesn't exactly place Sid Sheinberg in a very favorable light.

I'll admit Moore uses more non-documentary techniques, and they seem to fall more under Op/Ed pieces, but strictly speaking, a documentary is a documentation of fact. Whether or not those facts picked are the mainstream or the outlying data points, or if they have a heavy emotional impact, it still makes them fact. Facts on the fringe are still facts.

And I think there's enough questions about that Roger and Me incident to not have it carved in stone yet...but it sounds like you've already made your mind up. That, I think, is Moore's biggest problem...he's too polarizing. The films he makes are great for opening conversation; but people seem to have already made up their mind before...

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (2, Insightful)

AusIV (950840) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703469)

His Documentaries are not anywhere near neutral. He's the founding father of the new stream of Documentaries that don't let the subject speak for itself but ram home opinions. I think it hurts the causes as much as it helps.

Michael Moore in a nutshell. All he does is polarize subjects. I watched part of Fahrenheit 9/11 some months after it came out, and while people who wanted to believe what he said could take it as gospel, it was clearly biased and misleading to anyone of a neutral or opposing views on the subject. I suspect Farenheit 9/11 raised as much support for the Bush administration as it did opposition. If Moore had been less one sided with his documentary, he might have swayed a few neutral people to his side - as it were, he only managed to push them away.

I'll be honest - I don't know much about the state of health care in the United States. If I ever decide I ought to learn about the subject, I'm not going to go to Michael Moore's "documentary" for my "facts". Anyone who refers to it for facts made up their mind ahead of time. Quite likely, Moore's film will rally opposition to his cause, and it may even lead to a strong opposition of socialized medicine.

Re:Moore isn't Neutral (-1, Redundant)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703695)

That's odd. I've seen breakdowns of his films that pretty much point-by-point show how almost every "fact" he uses is made up, how he edits together clips to produce misleading footage, how he makes up census numbers, and just flat-out lies at almost every turn.

"This plaque says X" when it says Y.

The sad thing is that he tries to champion good causes, but even the die-hard Democrats often distance themselves very far from him because his tactics are so piss-poor.

Encouraging people to get the facts rather than accept Moore's opinions carte-blanche is anything but evil.

slow and steady but predictable (1)

KarmaOverDogma (681451) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703317)

As soon as Google went public, their stated policy of "don't be evil" began its slow but steady erosion. This is just one more relatively small example of it. Someday Google may turn out to be quite nasty indeed. Time will tell, and I hope I am wrong.

hhm.. (1)

Kuku_monroe (753761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703323)

As for Sicko, all I can say is -- go easy on that buttered popcorn.
Because buttered popcorn could charge you $60,000 to reattach your middle finger.

(if you don't know what's i'm talking about, check this: http://www.ifilm.com/video/2858169 [ifilm.com] )

Google lost as soon as it began.... (1)

zonezero (175540) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703335)

Any company with the chance at large profits will go public and as soon as that happens do no evil takes a back seat to the stock holders. This has always been the case and it always will be...we are all human and we are all greedy little #@$@$@$^.

Google knows where the money is (1)

throatmonster (147275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703347)

The healthcare industry has it. The uninsured don't. I'd be surprised if Google isn't working feverishly on health-related web apps: Track your health online here, more b-b type stuff like helping doctors offices and hospitals track data, then of course selling that data to the insurance industries so they know who to drop.

ad company (1)

More Trouble (211162) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703361)

Exactly how "not evil" can an ad company be? "Don't be evil" directly conflicts with Google's raison d'etre.

Be realistic (1)

Meor (711208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703365)

Calling Moore's films documentaries is about as accurate as calling Slashdot "news". They're both opinionated editorials.

Don't Be Evil Is Just a Cover (1, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703367)

It's a distraction. Google is now as evil as they come - Chinese censorship, logging people's searches, identifying people by their searches, invasive street-level photography, invasive satellite photos, you name it.

Goggle has gone dark.

Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (3, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703387)

And with the right lawyers, you can get very creative with the defining.

I enjoy the conservative reaction to Michael Moore. They hate him so much that they discount anything he says automatically. He could tell a conservative his hair is on fire and that conservative would use his final breath denying it as just another liberal plot.

I like Michael Moore. Most of the time he's on my side of a given issue. The only problem I have is that he can sometimes get a little sloppy when he's being cute and this gives critics a means of attacking the messenger directly and the message by proxy. I thought there were some weaknesses like that in Bowling for Columbine that undercut a good message. I was very pleased with Fahrenheit because he took himself out of the picture for the most part, critics could no longer direct their ire at Michael Moore the director. There were so many clips where administration officials could only be taken at their own recorded word, there's just not any way to spin what was said. Critics were left with saying "Michael Moore is a fat fuck, therefore what he said is wrong."

With SiCKO, it really doesn't matter if you are left or right, conservative or liberal, dem or rep. Health care is a problem for all of us. This system is fucking broken. To all the conservatives fuming at Michael Moore for saying nice things about France's health care system, shouldn't the US be able to outdo France? Shouldn't we be able to beat them at health care if we're the greatest nation in the universe?

What it boils down to, there's enough money and wealth in this country to pay for everything, it's just concentrated in the wrong hands. How many fucking billionaires do we need? How many Enrons do we have to see before we start seriously taking the business-criminal class to task? I'm not just talking about a few show trials that accomplish nothing, I mean serious reform. Because the mess that is health care is just another symptom of the greed disease that is killing us.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (2, Insightful)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703443)

The only way you can really do this is crippling tax rates on the super rich, which only work for so long and has a side benefit of killing the industrial drive that creates them. Or you gut the military spending.

I'm not just talking Iraq with the military spending either. No new jet planes, aircraft carriers etc. Some might argue for this, some might argue against it, some might try and find some other place to get the money. But in truth the US choose national security over national healthcare. I've got my own issues with national Healthcare. (Imagine having a nationwide version of the DoD system or the VA). I don't feel our government is able to give that care even with the money.

Honestly, our best bet is bulk buying plans, requiring private insurance for anything approaching a full time job, and trying to make insurance rates stop climbing, both for doctors and patients. Hell, make it much more of a tax write of for every patient a doctor or hospital sees for free. Make it enough and doctors will find it to be their wild. This along with more incentives for new doctors and nurses might help us with out going big government.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703595)

The only way you can really do this is crippling tax rates on the super rich, which only work for so long and has a side benefit of killing the industrial drive that creates them. Or you gut the military spending.
Yeah, military spending would be a nice place to start. We spend more on warfare than the rest of the world combined and we're still getting our asses handed to us by irregulars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We spend like crazy but we sure don't get much bang for the gigabuck. And according to that CNN poll, "The United States spends more than 15 percent of its GDP on health care -- no other nation even comes close to that number. France spends about 11 percent, and Canadians spend 10 percent." Those countries seem to have better health care for a lower expenditure. Hmm, I wonder how that can be? Oh, right: it's not a for-profit system.

I'm not just talking Iraq with the military spending either. No new jet planes, aircraft carriers etc. Some might argue for this, some might argue against it, some might try and find some other place to get the money. But in truth the US choose national security over national healthcare. I've got my own issues with national Healthcare. (Imagine having a nationwide version of the DoD system or the VA). I don't feel our government is able to give that care even with the money.
I'd argue that most of that DoD money is wasted anyway. I'm all for a strong defense but what we're talking about here is military-industrial complex corporate welfare. The metaphor I use to describe government spending, it's like trying to use a lawn sprinkler to fill a dixie cup. Sure, you'll fill it eventually, but it'll take fifty gallons to fill up an 6 ounce cup. Military spending is out of control and needs a serious revamping.

Honestly, our best bet is bulk buying plans, requiring private insurance for anything approaching a full time job, and trying to make insurance rates stop climbing, both for doctors and patients. Hell, make it much more of a tax write of for every patient a doctor or hospital sees for free. Make it enough and doctors will find it to be their wild. This along with more incentives for new doctors and nurses might help us with out going big government.
Oh, dear. Are you a free marketer?

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (2, Insightful)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703609)

The only way you can really do this is crippling tax rates on the super rich, which only work for so long and has a side benefit of killing the industrial drive that creates them.

This, of course, is one of those oft repeated, and completely, utterly, false canards, which the accolytes of the All-Powerful Deity of the Free Market Mammon are so fond of breathlessly repeating.

If it were true, the only motivation for progress, since beginning of time, would be massive piles of gold coins. That would mean Aristotle, Socrates and Plato were in it for the money, right? How about Copernicus? They made him the King of Poland, no? Or, say, Da Vinci, who surely ended up owning most of Venice, right? Perheaps this is to old for ya, lets try something modern: Albert Einstein. Given their relative contributions to humankind, that dude certainly died with a fortune which makes Bill Gates look like a pauper, no?

How about industry then? A typical Japanese CEO makes about 10 times the average salary of a worker in his corporation. A CEO of a US corporation is now past 500 times that of an average employee in his operation. Are you trying to tell me that Japanese CEOs lack any motivation to produce quality products and therefore their companies are 50 times less competetive?

I could go on like this for hours.

The point is that the phenomenon of people taking seriously (particularly in the USA) the laughable assertion of unquestionable equivalency between drive to innovation, increase of productivity and unrestricted, boundless, avarice is a very recent one.

This is a testimony to the success of the propaganda of the greed-mongers, in their unceasing efforts to destroy any reasoning ability in people's brains and to obfuscate pretty much all of the recorded history which directly contradicts their inane greed-centered world-view.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703677)

Yes, that's right:
Money is Bad,
Freedom is Slavery,
Ignorance is Strength, at least on /.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (2, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703641)

The only way you can really do this is crippling tax rates on the super rich,
One thing that gets glossed over in SiCKO is how much profiteering there is in the U.S. healthcare system. For example, when my Grandmother was in the final months of her conventional treatment for Multiple Myeloma (sp?), her doctor perscribed Thalidomide [essentialdrugs.org] . Cost for a one month supply (30 pills, iirc) was $2309.99. Cost in Brazil: $0.09/pill. Thalidomide's patent has long-since expired, but the U.S. distribution company has patented a method that's supposed to keep the pill away from pregnant women (Thalidomide was banned because it causes birth defects).

Just one example - there are countless others.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (1)

myth24601 (893486) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703477)

With SiCKO, it really doesn't matter if you are left or right, conservative or liberal, dem or rep. Health care is a problem for all of us. This system is fucking broken. To all the conservatives fuming at Michael Moore for saying nice things about France's health care system, shouldn't the US be able to outdo France? Shouldn't we be able to beat them at health care if we're the greatest nation in the universe?


According to CNN:
""Sicko" also ignores a handful of good things about the American system. Believe it or not, the United States does rank highest in the patient satisfaction category."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/06/28/sicko.fact.ch eck/index.html [cnn.com]

So everyone tells us that our system is so bad but we like it.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703545)

According to CNN:
""Sicko" also ignores a handful of good things about the American system. Believe it or not, the United States does rank highest in the patient satisfaction category."

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/06/28/sicko.fact.ch [cnn.com] eck/index.html [cnn.com]

So everyone tells us that our system is so bad but we like it.
Which poll? I don't see a citation there. Are they saying this is from WHO or is it from some other poll?

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (1)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703543)

In England Moore neglected to mention that the UK is slowly dismantling the system that he praises. In Canada he got grilled by their press for misrepresenting how many people are dying waiting for opperations. In Cuba, ever dissident is cursing his name, or at least would be if they knew about him, but instead are thrown behind bars for daring to think diffrently then Da Capo.

That's the problem with Moore. He is good at making things entertaining... But his is not documenting things, he is making propaganda movies to back up his own point of view. That includes fibbing fibbing about Charles Heston, calling Launch Vehicles for satellites "ICBMS"

In short, Moore doesn't care to tell you the truth, he just wants to entertain you and outrage you so you will support his remarkably ill-formed opinion. He does no service to either liberal or conservative causes.

In this context, I have very little problems with what Google is doing. I am not a fan of HMOs or Moore. I have no problem with beating each other into a bloody pulp.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (1)

bagboy (630125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703571)

I'll start out by saying I'm middle class, not rich. It burns me up to hear cry-babies say there is enough wealth in the hands of billion/millionaires to handle things and to redistribute wealth. Many people who are wealthy spent most of their lives work extremely hard and being smart with their decisions. They are entitled to reap from what they sowed, just as anyone is. The Robin-Hood syndrome does not work in a country where you are free to make of yourself whatever you want. I grew up in middle class, did not have mommy and daddy pay for college (which I never really finished), joined the military for little pay, raised a family of five, got out and busted my hump studying independently to earn the pay I have. If I ever make it further up the pay scale, I'll be damned if I'm gonna let some cry-baby say "I deserve some of your pay, because I'm not willing to work as hard as you do to earn it." Take two jobs if you have to. Study night and day if you have to. I did.

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703611)

If I ever make it further up the pay scale, I'll be damned if I'm gonna let some cry-baby say "I deserve some of your pay, because I'm not willing to work as hard as you do to earn it." Take two jobs if you have to. Study night and day if you have to. I did.
So, "Bagboy", which two supermarkets are you working at?

Re:Depends on what your definition of "evil" is (1)

willyhill (965620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703707)

I enjoy the conservative reaction to Michael Moore. They hate him so much that they discount anything he says automatically. He could tell a conservative his hair is on fire and that conservative would use his final breath denying it as just another liberal plot.

No less interesting is the liberal reaction to Michael Moore. If I wasn't looking hard I'd think he was Moses coming down that mountain with the Ten Commandments in his backpack.

Moore is an alarmist. He gives you a tunnel vision POV of a problem and then tells you "see? see how bad it is!! run for the hills!!!"

He's no better than the people he's "unmasking" or whatever he's trying to do and raking in hundreds of millions in the process.

Another Sensationalist /. post with no substance. (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703405)

If one actually RTFA -- actually, if you read the blog post, all the poster is offering to do is to place adverts. That's it.

The blog post only offers to place adverts that highlight campaigns from health service companies. There is no "protection" offered. In fact the word "protect" does not appear in the blog post.

Who's being evil here? (0, Redundant)

Grave (8234) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703413)

To suggest that Google is taking sides is a bit ridiculous. They're simply looking at an opportunity to make some money by offering advertising services to the health care industry. If that's evil, so are 99.99% of your fellow citizens.

I have watched Micheal Moore's previous work, and consider it horribly one-sided and narrow. Arguments that are sensationalistic and focus only on a single side might drum up a bit of support from some people, but not everyone. To me, this sort of thing is nothing but propaganda. I'm not going to get into a debate here about our current health care problems, but I will say that anyone who views this film should take the time to do their research and come to their own conclusions before blindly agreeing to any conclusions this film may come to.

Re:Who's being evil here? (1)

willyhill (965620) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703487)

They're simply looking at an opportunity to make some money by offering advertising services to the health care industry.

That's a little disingenous, isn't it? Considering the context of that blog post?

Since apparently, everyone knows that Moore is always right, "Sicko" can't be any different than Bowling for Columbine or Farenheit 9/11, right? I'd bet the attitude wouldn't be so lenient towards Google if they'd offered the US government or firearm manufacturers a "Get the facts" campaign after those.

Surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703423)

So Google is in the business of making information mare easily available to people now, even if Michael Moore doesn't approve? How evil!

Is Google a tech company anymore? (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703445)

Since when did Google start doing other party's PR for pay? What, did a Googleite's 20% project evolve into a PR division for hire? Or is doing 3rd-party PR one of a Googleite PhD's bright idea? Seems strange.

How is this evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703453)

I missed the part about how the motto "don't be evil" means choosing what side to support in a non-black and white issue.

He Gets Results (1)

Volfied (307532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703459)

Say what you will about how Michael Moore presents his material, but he stands up for what he believes in and he gets things done. If absolutely nothing else, Bowling For Columbine was a great achievement because, through it, he was able to stop Kmart from selling handgun ammo. Granted, Kmart's in trouble and Wal-Mart would have been a much greater achievement, but it was an actual, tangible result. With that act, more than anything else, he earned my respect.

Re:He Gets Results (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703523)

Moore's assault on the 2nd amendment makes him a threat to the US constitution. That doesn't make him a hero, it makes him an enemy of the US constitution. We have a legal method to change the constitution, and it isn't through media hype or public hysteria. It's called a constitutional convention, and it's done it's job many times over the last couple hundred years. If he wants to eliminate the 2nd amendment, he needs to buy some congressmen. Whipping up public hysteria that prevents law abiding citizens from exercising their 2nd amendment rights is an attack on the rights of every US citizen, whether they choose to exercise those rights or not.

Re:He Gets Results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703537)

Dude.

Please.

He got K-Mart to stop selling handgun ammo, but do you really think that statistically changed the number of gun deaths or injuries ?

As you point out, K-Mart is dead, and people can buy handgun ammo at other places, most commonly, where or who they bought the handgun for the in first place.

That did not get anything done, any more than crying at the funerals got anything done. "Getting things done" means ACTUALLY CHANGING THE WORLD. I.e., if he had gotten anything done, there would have been fewer deaths or at least fewer school deaths or something afterwards. However, that number drifts around up and down, weakly influenced by the economy if anything, and no effect by Michael Moore is visible.

That said, I am a big fan of Michael Moore, I have been since I saw "The Big One." However, he got the same kind of results from his films, so far, as Gore and Kerry did in their elections: they fucking lost. If you truly care about these things, you care about winning.

Moore's propaganda (3, Informative)

flar2 (938689) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703465)

Why are we so quick to label Michael Moore's films as propaganda? It seems like a quick and easy way to dismiss him without actually dealing with what he says. I've seen SiCKO and can't understand why any average American would want to dismiss Moore so quickly. ~~ooooh scary socialism~~

going public = evil turning point (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703471)

As soon as a company goes public and has stock investors' interests to worry about, they start to turn "evil"..it's just the way things work. Just take a look at the gaming industry. All of these companies have filthy business practices. The only company exempt from this I would say is id Software, and this probably because they're the only gaming company left that's never gone public.

Doesn't need to be "fair" or "balanced" (5, Insightful)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703485)

Pardon the slightly offtopic rant, but there is an article on the AP wire entitled "Moore's 'Sicko' gives accused little say" by Kevin Freking and Linda A. Johnson. (You can find it yourself if you want to, but I'm not about to send them traffic.)

To boil it down to a soundbite (in appropriate MM style), is this quote: "The industry -- doctors, drug makers, hospitals, insurers -- is charged with greed and putting personal interests above patients'. ... But one aspect missing from the film is the defense. Do not expect to hear anyone speak well of the care they received in the U.S."

It disgusts me that the mass media like to skirt around issues by claiming things aren't "fair and balanced". If I can't afford to feed my family, what good does it do me to know that my neighbour just had filet mignon for the fifth day in a row?

The issue is not whether the US healthcare system is incapable of producing good results, nor whether the most vulnerable in the country are taken care of. The issue is that there are large parts of the US population that is unserved or underserved by the current health system. They are un(der)served because they are not so poor as to fall under medicare, but they are not so rich as to be able to afford proper health care themselves.

It should not be beyond the capacity of a wealthy, civilized country to ensure that its entire populace--particularly its hard-working middle class--is kept healthy.

(And no, I'm not arguing that Canada has a perfect system, either)

- RG>

Opposing Moore is evil? Not. (-1, Troll)

eagl (86459) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703499)

Moore is a fat retard. He deliberately mis-represents a handful of facts telling far less than half the true story, to forward his own agenda. Opposing him is not evil, it's simply the other side of a disagreement.

Nobody I know or respect thinks Moore is anything but a clown. Google helping those companies, industries, and individuals that Moore craps all over only seems fair. Why shouldn't they get the chance to tell their side of the story too? Or is letting the accused tell their side of the story evil? In the US, fairness used to mean letting both sides tell their tale. Maybe Moore is now the only one allowed to say anything, and anyone who thinks he's wrong is evil? Ummm... Not.

Michael Moore is not perfect (1)

jr748 (767465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703503)

Michael Moore is not perfect... he's been known to fabricate facts and stretch the truth:http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=manufac turing+dissent&btnG=Google+Search [google.com]

Re:Michael Moore is not perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703639)

A lot of that material doesn't hold up under scrutiny. Moore has rebutted much of it on his own site.

This isn't Google doing PR (3, Informative)

e-scetic (1003976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703505)

Isn't it propaganda to frame Michael Moore's documentaries as mere propaganda, and isn't doing so also an attempt to dismiss the films as irrelevant? Especially in the absence of any counter-arguments or proper criticisms of the films? Ok, Moore is propaganda, yup, I believe you, well just because you said so... Way to counter propaganda with ideology.

A truly honest person would have to admit his films are not completely devoid of facts or statistics. And that sometimes the facts *are* one-sided, there isn't always balance in the world. And by the way, America isn't the perfect Disneyesque world, all rosy and wunnerful and perfect.

As for Lauren Turner, she's doing what sales and marketing types do, targeting her message by identifying with the fears and needs of her specific audience. She's trying to sell ads. Ads are only a small part of a proper PR campaign and I doubt Google is getting into the PR business.

Why has Sicko been featured on Google News (1)

Mobile Mineral (675157) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703511)

for about two weeks now? It has stayed on top of the entertainment section day after day. Sometimes it fills two spots out of three in the entertainment section. Is it really a robot doing that?

CIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703527)

Michael Moore is suspected in internet circles of being an "operative."

Evidence:

Bowling for Columbine: The movie does not mention reports of additional people/cars ferrying arms to the killers. Likewise, the movie presents the viewpoint that "guns are bad," which is at odds with the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, et. al.

Fahrenheit 9/11: This movie presents the view that our cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia led to the 9/11 attacks. However, if you ask the Bush administration what happened on 9/11, they would tell you the same thing. Saudi Arabia bombed us, Bush was asleep at the wheel, etc. What does Michael Moore have to add?

Sicko: Director Moore, makes an illegal trip to Cuba and takes little more than PR flak over it. Who let him go?

Finally, Moore's attack interviews should leave anyone unsettled. They are not journalistic.

Re:CIA (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703583)

Likewise, the movie presents the viewpoint that "guns are bad," which is at odds with the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, et. al.
That's fallacious in both clauses--an AdVerecundiam in the second and a misreading of the facts in the first. Considering that guns are just as common in Canada which has much fewer of the Columbine stuff and Moore even mentions that in the film, the most you could say about Moore's gun opinions are that "The NRA is ridiculous". Which it is.

Time for the Google apologists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19703555)

to come to the fore. Protect your little darling, nerds, she has investors at her teats. That makes everything OK because, someday, even you might get to work there, and they have free soda. Free!

Critical thinking (4, Insightful)

Bombula (670389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703565)

It's disappointing that so many slashdotters - intelligent and educated people that they tend to be - are reactionary blowhards who obviously haven't even seen the film, and that these same people are so unable to stomach criticism.

Newsflash folks: criticism is the basis of both science and democracy. The ability to be self-critical is what makes science and democracy different from religion and theocracy. You can't criticize Jesus. That means you can't learn, you can't grow, and you can't improve. Hurray!

People who scream 'Michael Moore hates America' are pathologically incapable of thinking critically or handling criticism, even when it is constructive criticism that is desperately needed. Accept Sicko for what it is: a searing and accurate indictment of our disgraceful healthcare system. Unless you are wealthy, our healthcare system is a catastrophic failure. It is complete and utter crap compared to the systems in other developed countries, and it is an embarrassment to our country.

If you care about our country and have a functioning brain, you'll get over the knee-jerk reactionary denial and accept this unpleasant truth, and then go out and help make a change.

Not As Clear-Cut as One Might Want (1)

ewhac (5844) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703579)

You could look at this two ways.

One is that Google is planning on "taking sides" on the issue, and is letting their New Friends know that Google stands ready to help them get their message out, and undermine Moore's.

The other is that Google, as a money-making concern, knows that the medical industry and big pharma will want to put a contrasting opinion out there in opposition to Moore's, and are going to spend enormous amounts of money to do it, so why shouldn't Google get some of that money?

Personally, I think it's the latter. In this sense, Google is acting as an arms merchant, not taking sides, but more than willing to sell weapons to anyone willing to pay an honest price for them. It's a rather cheesy ethical dodge, not looked upon highly by many people, but a valid one nonetheless.

Schwab

If true... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703589)

I doubt it is even a conscious attempt by google as a whole. If you read it, it is a generic letter sent as a template to everyone who wants their reputation overcome.

Google has two distinct parts:
1. Search Engine: This is omnipotent, not game for random changes unless approved by the management itself as in China's case.
2. Ads: This is a spinoff from search. This is highly configurable, and google can game the system in your favor if you pay them enough.

What the staffer offered was option 2. Google is earning money off 'sicko' to polish over the tattered reputations of many a HMO.

But if it is option 1 (which is highly unlikely), we need to be terrified and the next democratic president needs to sick google with anti-trust and break them up.

Silly rabbit. You were looking in the wrong place (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703645)

Don't look at what they _do_. Look at what they _say_ [google.com] .

And, technically, the principle states that one _can_ make money without doing evil. I don't see how that logically implies you _can't_ make money doing evil. So there's a lot of room to adjust the mix as market conditions warrant and I'm sure when the day comes that more money can be made not doing evil, they will be at the forefront with a really nice statement of principles like that.

Not evil (yet) (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703651)

As long as google isn't removing or altering the listing of desenting views on their engine this isn't evil. it's just a PR service. you have to face it, that many people like michael moore talk total bullshit, companys should have the right to produce their own counters to such nonsense.

always remmeber that with people like moore, you aren't seeing the truth, just their highly opinionated and edited version of it.

So, the debate is over then? (4, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 7 years ago | (#19703701)

Ray Bradbury said it best: the remedy to speech you don't like is more speech. (As opposed to censoring the speech you don't like.)

A Google person is offering to help health care organizations tell their side of the story, and this is "evil"? If you think this is "evil" then I guess you think there is no room for debate here.

Personally, I think health care issues are not so cut-and-dried as that. For a look at the other side of the story, consider this editorial from MTV:

'Sicko': Heavily Doctored, By Kurt Loder [mtv.com]

steveha
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