26 Oct 2017

Review: Merchants of Doubt

I watched this 2016 documentary a few weeks ago. You should too. (Also watch Thank You for Smoking.)

It uses clever graphics, archival footage and expert interviews to explain the "Industry of Denial" that came to life in the era of Big Tobacco and grew under the care of Big AgBig BankingBig CarbonBig Sugar, and Big Social Media.

In most cases, these industries have hired lobbyists, "scientists" and politicians to push the same message over and over, i.e.,
"There's no clear evidence that...
  1. current subsidies and lax regulations mess up our diets and pollute the environment;
  2. the financial system transfers money from the poor to the rich;
  3. cigarettes cause cancer;
  4. fossil fuel consumption drives global warming;
  5. sugar consumption leads to obesity and diabetes; or
  6. use of Facebook and other "slot machine in your pocket" apps lower your IQ and happiness;
... but we are dedicated to preserving...
  1. food buyers'
  2. savers'
  3. smokers'
  4. drivers'
  5. citizens'
  6. childrens'
... freedom to choose based on the best information available. That's why we call for more study of this problem."
Their strategy, in other words, is to obfuscate for as long as possible while continuing to sell a product that they -- the ones who have the motivation, data and money -- know to be harmful to their "customers" and society.

It would be funny if it wasn't so pathologically evil.

Bottom Line: Some people are willing to lie to you to make money. Don't believe them. I give this film FIVE STARS to bringing abundant, believable evidence to that reality.

For all my reviews, go here.

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