Michael Bergeron
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Merchants of Doubt

Merchants of Doubt
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A factory chimney belching out smoke and surrounded by fog exemplifies the theme of Merchants of Doubt. This well made documentary takes the viewer on a step by step process depicting how spin doctors use the media to make people accept lies as truth.

The tobacco industry knew for decades the link from smoking to cancer and heart disease yet lied repeatedly before congress and in news interviews. In a bait and switch tactic they shifted the blame for house fires from falling asleep with a lit cigarette to the amount of flame retardant in furniture. Now it seems that sofas had so much flame retardant that it was actually toxic to those sitting down.download

Soon the greater issue of global warming takes the center stage. The IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) releases a booklet exposing the facts. So a group of paid scientists working for big corporations releases a similarly looking booklet right down to graphics and font that states the opposite. If you want to know the truth research the facts. If you want to believe the falsehoods take everything you hear at face value.

Not surprisingly the filmmakers behind Merchants of Doubt also made Food, Inc. (director Robert Kenner) and An Inconvenient Truth. In fact some clips from the latter film turn up in MOD. Go into this film with an open mind and prepare to hear arguments from lobbyists who’re paid $200 an hour to turn factoids on their head.

Merchants of Doubt plays exclusively at the River Oaks Three.

— Michael Bergeron