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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Democracy Now! and Michael Moore expose fascist targeting of individuals

Democracy Now! and Michael Moore expose fascist targeting of individuals - National Human Rights | Examiner.com


Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! TV and radio interviewed whistleblower Wendell Potter who revealed corporate involvement in neutralizing Targeted Individuals by "researching" them, followed by a sophisticated public discrediting campaign with media complicity. On behalf of big business, Cointelpro, the US counter-intelligence program, has historically employed these tactics to ruin lives of targets defending human rights, thorns in the side of the ruling class.

With blessings to that ruling elite, Michael Moore emailed his subscribers explaining a death threat against him.

According to the Democracy Now! interview, former Vice President of CIGNA, among America's largest health insurance companies, met with other big health insurers for planning to "push" Michael Moore "off a cliff."

Potter spoke of the industry targeting Moore due to his movie, "Sicko". Corporate elite discussed the film's potential to sway public support for the human right of health care for everyone, "socialized medicine" that cuts major industry profits, as most practiced human rights do.

"So the large health insurance companies came together over a common cause: Stop the American people from going to see "Sicko" -- and the way to do that was to cause some form of harm to me (either personally, professionally or...physically?)" writes Moore.

Moore highlights the following section of the Democracy Now! interview:

WENDELL POTTER [former executive, CIGNA]: ...We were concerned that the movie ["Sicko"] would be as successful as "Fahrenheit 9/11" had been. And we knew that if it were, it really would change public opinion about our health care system in ways that would be harmful to the profits of health insurers. So, it was very important for this [attack] campaign to succeed. At one point during a strategy meeting, one of the people from [the insurance companies' public relations firm] APCO said that if our efforts, our initial efforts, were not successful, then we'd have to move to an element of the campaign to push Michael Moore off a cliff. And not meaning to do that literally, but to—

AMY GOODMAN: Are you sure?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, I'm not sure. To tell you the truth, when I started doing what I'm doing [as a whistleblower], I was concerned about my own health and well-being, maybe just from paranoia. But these companies play to win. And we're talking about some big bucks at stake here—billions and billions and billions of dollars.

AMY GOODMAN: So what were they talking about when they said, "If this doesn't work, we're going to push him off the cliff"?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, it would be just an incredibly intense PR effort, if necessary, to spend more premium dollars to defame Michael Moore, to discredit him even more as a filmmaker.

AMY GOODMAN: So, were you doing research on him?

WENDELL POTTER: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: You were going—personally?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, I was a part of the effort. I didn't—that was part of the reason for hiring APCO and to work with a trade association, is that it relieved me of the responsibility of doing that kind of work. You paid for it to be done by people who were experts in doing that kind of research.

AMY GOODMAN: But they were doing an investigation into him personally?

WENDELL POTTER: Well, absolutely. We knew as much about him probably as he knows about himself.

AMY GOODMAN: About his wife, about his kid, about—

WENDELL POTTER: Oh, yeah. You know, it's important to know everything that you might be able to use in some kind of a campaign against someone, to discredit them professionally and often personally.

AMY GOODMAN: And did you use that?

WENDELL POTTER: You use it if necessary.

"The interview goes on as Potter reveals how his front group was able to get its talking points and smears into stories in the New York Times and CNN," writes Moore.

"It is a chilling look inside how easy it is to manipulate our mainstream media..."

Moore also highlights Potter talking about "how they may have succeeded in influencing CNN to run a factually untrue story about "Sicko" by its reporter, Sanjay Gupta (which led to my infamous encounter with Wolf Blitzer and later, an apology from CNN for getting their facts wrong)."

The smear campaign resulted in single payer, according to Moore, reminding readers that "the public option never even made it into the real discussion on the floor of Congress."

Manipulating minds of citizens against their bes interest is rampant.

Moore calls the interview a "fascinating peek behind the curtain of how corporate America really runs this country. And how if any of us get in their way, then those people must be stopped.

"It begs the question: Seeing how there's more of us than there are of them, how long will we let their takeover of our democracy continue?"

Learn more: Read or watch the Democracy Now! interview with Wendell Potter.


1 comment:

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall said...

I had a very similar experience as the leader of Washington State's single payer coalition between 1996 and 2002. However it was my impression that the insurance lobby also had considerable help from several "left" foundations - which I have since learned were probably CIA fronts set up to discourage genuine grassroots activists. I write about this in my recent memoir THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE (www.stuartbramhall.com). I currently live in exile in New Zealand - where grassroots organizing is about 1,000 times easier, owing to the absence of corporate/intelligence interference in local organizing.