CNN vs. Michael Moore: The Battle Rages

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The extended spat between Michael Moore and CNN over his most recent documentary, Sicko, is getting a second wind on the blogosphere as the controversial filmmaker says he’ll appear on The Situation Room again this afternoon with Wolf Blitzer.

In case you missed it, the epic struggle began when CNN aired a "reality check" (video)  by chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, accusing Moore of "fudging the facts" about universal healthcare. Moore responded (video)  angrily to Wolf Blitzer, apparently still bitter about CNN's coverage of his movie Fahrenheit 911, which he said doubted his claims that Iraq would become a quagmire and that the U.S. wouldn’t find any weapons of mass destruction. He used his recent appearance on CNN as a platform to critique the news network on their coverage of the war.

“I'm just curious. When are you going to stand there and apologize to the American people for not bringing the truth to them that isn't sponsored by some major corporation?" Moore asked.

"We've had a lot of commercials for Sicko that we've been running on CNN as well so, we have commercials. This is a business, obviously," Blitzer replied, unable to keep Moore on the healthcare track. Later in the week, Moore and Gupta appeared together on Larry King Live (video). Gupta apologized for misquoting Moore on per capita healthcare spending in Cuba but accused him of "cherry-picking" data from different sources. He worried that viewers would walk away thinking universal healthcare was free.

"It is free!" Moore shot back and invited viewers to his website, where he delivered a point-by-point response  with source links to Gupta's piece and an open letter asking CNN to apologize.

"I'm about to become your worst nightmare," Moore said. CNN responded with its own lengthy reply to Moore's reply. Moore declared a “truce” Tuesday. The debate continues in blogs--CNN's response was one of the most frequently linked websites Tuesday. 

A full trend of the spat as it played out in commentary in the blogosphere, including its recent resurgence, is available here.

--Marin Cogan

Update: CNN spokeswoman Mara Gassmann tells U.S. News that Blitzer will be out of town for the rest of the week, and that Moore will appear on the show sometime next week.