Wednesday, June 20, 2007

SICKO sabotage

The other night I was sitting with friends, and one of them asked me, "Have you seen Sicko yet?" I was confused and said, "Well, it doesn't open until the end of this month." And she replied, "Well, it's online. You can download it and watch it. I watched it last night." The conversation moved on, but I was still confused. Would the Weinsteins really offer up a movie for free on the internet? At first, I thought this was really cool: offer free access and let everyone see this film that obviously attempts to address some serious issues on our screwed up health care system. And offer it online before it comes out in theaters? Come to find out it was sabotage. (Or was it.) Someone had leaked the film onto the internet, against the wishes of Micheal Moore and, more importantly, against the wishes of the cash cows otherwise know as the Weinstein Brothers. As a result, the Weinsteins have hired a firm to inundate internet with fake Sicko downloads that end up being advertising for the film. (Full story on Advertising Age HERE.)

I saw the trailer for Sicko before Killer of Sheep last weekend, and I have to admit, I was laughing out loud. The trailer starts out with Bush speaking to a crowd: "We got an issue in 'merica. Too many good docs are gettin' out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country." Yup. That's our president. And then Moore standing in a boat in Guantanamo Bay pleading for entry so the three 9-11 workers he has with him can get the same health care the "the evil-doers get." (Gitmo apparently offers free healthcare to the people it tortures....) Despite the jovial nature of the trailer, I'm sure the documentary is full of facts that we already suspect exists and will make any person with a conscience sick.

While I see Micheal Moore as just as much an opportunist as a filmmaker, the work he does is nonetheless important. I like that he pushes peoples buttons and, be it good or bad, Micheal Moore is the Left's version of "fair and balanced." Thus far, Moore has spent much of his time promoting his film by outlining how the government is investigating him. Not really surprising, and I can't really say I sympathize with him because I'm sure he is up for the fight, both financially and physically. I have to wonder if this sabotage isn't just more creative PR. Sicko opens on June 29th. Or you can chase the elusive download online.

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