Netflix produced a 20/20 style documentary series called Dirty Money, that spins left.
~ Aristotle Sabouni
While the show is interesting and watchable, it's completely dogmatic, one-sided, and filled with lies of omission and commission.
It reminds me of High School civics, history, social studies, all over again: though this is slightly more interesting.
Season 1[edit | edit source]
It's sort of a documentary, in the same way Joseh Goebbels made documentaries. As the Director/Producer Alex Gibney said, "Objectivity is dead. There's no such thing as objectivity. When you're making a film, a film can't be objective."
Alex's stepdad was the infamous wife-beating peace activist, president of the well-known Soviet front organization (SANE/Freeze), clergyman William Sloane Coffin.
Alex seems to have learned his balance and moderation from somewhere: as he doesn't even try to present both sides, or trust his viewers... and his shows reek of a far-left, authoritarian (posing as an anti-authoritarian) worldview (he writes for HuffPo and the Atlantic, in a "speak only the truth to power that power wants you to speak" kinda way). Thus, being an unimaginative follower of the progressive agenda, he's loved by Hollywood and the media and wins all kinds of accolades, but he is as balanced as a one-legged stool.
However, other than trying to further his biased postmodern-Marxist agenda into duping his viewers that everyone in business is bad/corrupt, the actual stories and presentation are interesting. And despite his best efforts, some truths slip through the plot holes. So while he exaggerates some information, bury's counterfactuals, and is selling you on his far-left ideology, it is well-produced/directed (he has talent), the stories move along well, you get a lot of at least one side of the truth, packed into one-hour shows, and dare I say it's very entertaining.
So if you're a skeptical person (Wikipedia:Critical_thinking critical thinker), and you take notes or research/think-through what he's leaving out, or you just like to hear what the other side of reality thinks of everything, the show is quite valuable -- and I completely recommend it.
If you're the type that believes what you were taught in school, see on CNN, MSNBC or read in the NYT without question -- then you're already programmed enough. And all this dose of confirmation bias is going to do, is enrage you more at the injustices of a corrupt/broken system, and push you that much further into the land of snowflakes, social justice, and intersectional activism.
In other words, it's fine for people emotionally over 40, and horrid for people under 30... whatever their actual physical ages are.
Volkswagen emissions scandal[edit source]
You're spoon-fed the ideas that it was just greed and arrogance that caused the callous disregard for the planet. While I'm sure greed and arrogance were part of it, it forgets to hint at the truth: the regulations were unmitigated bullshit all along.
The truth was it was because CARB and the EPA set unreasonable and unattainable standard, and so VW had a choice of surrender a market, or cheat.
You might not agree with VW's decision, but if you don't know why they did it, then you don't understand what happened.
This documentary (and most of the media) leaves you ignorant of why, while feeling like you know more than you do. It turns people into progressives: arrogant, ignorant and sanctimonious (or worse: willing to lie for their cause).
Details[edit | edit source]
After pretending NOx is like Wikipedia:Zyklon_B Zyklon B, the show sensationalizes a dumb PR stunt that VW was considering showing how much less bad their Diesel was compared to older American Diesels (which was true BTW), by subjecting humans to the exhaust, before they moved to monkeys. But that flim-flams and distracts from the truth that VW was trying to show: NOx and particulates aren't great, but they aren't death in an exhaust pipe like the EPA and CARB and this "Documentary" were trying to convince the gullible.
The truth is:
Now I don't know if CARB was stupid or evil: whether they did it just because they hate diesels (I suspect), or because they didn't know what they were asking (they might be that dumb). But knowing the basics or not, they were destroying VW's business for the fraud of "helping the environment", even though that was complete bullshit since NOx was lower than ever, and was not a problem in most of California, and punishing diesel cars did nothing to solve that the problems. In the end, the VW management likely felt that CARB was arrogant, ignorant and unreasonable: and they were backed into a corner of cheat, or give up a whole market (that consumers wanted), over a fraudulent, abusive bureaucracy. And it's in that context that they decided to create a cheat (a "defeat device").
You might not agree with VW's decision, but if you don't know why they did it, then you don't understand what happened. And this documentary leaves you ignorant of why, while feeling like you know more than what you do. It turns people into progressives: arrogant, ignorant and sanctimonious (or worse: willing to lie for their cause).
So they did a good job of documenting how VW cheated, but leaving their viewers ignorant as to why it happened. And the important question of did CARB overreach, were these regulations good regulations, or punitive destruction of a technology because they wanted (or got kickbacks) from electric cars. Of course this didn't explore anything deeper than a VW hatefest, even going so far as to over-dramatize their Nazi origins. Starting by calling your enemies Nazi's, and ending with lies of omission.
Scott Tucker and Payday Loans
HSBC & Sinaloa Cartel
Maple Syrup Heist
We Steal Secrets
Gibney's Documentary on Julian Assange and WikiLeaks is widely criticized by people that know more than him on the topic, and by Julian Assange and supporters.
- Alex Gibney responds to criticisms about "We Steal Secrets": https://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/robert-manne/2013/07/01/1372650669/we-steal-secrets-response-alex-gibney