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Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism 2004
Description: This movie examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in tv news, and provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the risky impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person. Media experts, including Jeff Cohen (FAIR) Bob McChesney (Free Press), Chellie Pingree (Common Cause), Jeff Chester (Center for Digital Democracy) and David Brock (Media Matters) deliever context and guidance for the storyline of Fox News and its result on society. This documentary also reveals the secrets of Former Fox news producers, reporters, bookers and writers who expose what it's like to work for Fox News. These former Fox employees talk about how they were forced to push a "right-wing" mission of view or risk their jobs. Some have even selected to remain anonymous in order to protect their actual livelihoods. As one employee told "There's no sense of integrity as far as having a line that can't be crossed."
Released: 13 Jul 2004 Director: Robert Greenwald Writers: N/A Actors: Roger Ailes, Eric Alterman, Christiane Amanpour, Harry Belafonte Genres: Documentary
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Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism Reviews:

This documentary confirmed my worst suspicions about Fox "News". As a European in the US I was shocked to watch biased, unresearched vitriol spew out of a channel which then sanctimoniously named itself a news channel. The documentary shows employee after employee confirm what most in the industry already know. Interference with news content, selection and misrepresentation of news content, presentation of opinion as news content. Murdoch makes Citizen Kane look like a saint. Unfortunately, this is not a movie, it is for real. It is not much of a democracy when one boy (Rupert Murdoch) can decide the presidency of the United States. (And he not even a US native).


Well if you go on the vote history you can say who is a Fox fanatic or not -- almost all votes are 10 or 1. My vote was 8 -- the only one. That's what this work deserves because although it is very nice it has flaws.One trouble with this film is that it is based on the ringing message (paraphrased): For democracy to work you have to have a media that does its job based on journalistic principles and ethics.Thing is, fanatics of Fox News should not care less about any of that. They wish "their side" to victory victory victory and to them Fox News is the ONLY outlet that made it possible to hear the "truth" over the tyranny of the "liberal media." They also what professional-wrestling style drama where the terrible guy (Kerry, Kennedy, Clinton etc) is built up into some sort of super-monster (that is also cowardly and hacks all the time) which makes the win all that much more sweeter.So Fox delivers. Outfoxed shows how it works -- but the storyline is just as much "what went RIGHT at Fox News" as opposed to "what went WRONG with TV journalism." It is very satisfying to see documented what many of us have already known -- how Republican/White House talking points become injected into the zeitgeist with almost no resistance. From Fox to CNN to MSNBC, then from there into talk radio and mainstream media. When you hear a keyword like "flip flopper" repeated by a dozen various anchors/pundits in 1-second shots strung together it is really impressive.Outfoxed is part of the backlash to Fox News and right-wing dominance of media. It will be interesting to see how far right-wingers will go to "debunk" this "propaganda." In any situation it could be needed viewing for all media consumers and most particularly all journalism and political science students. We'd be better off for it.


Outfoxed does an perfect job of diagnosing why folks talk so much about the Fox News network. For while Fox has some of the highest ratings of any of the news networks, it is also commonly criticized for its not so "fair and balanced" programming. It is chronicled in this movie how Fox succeeds in bringing in the viewers the same method that best-selling polemics and political talk radio do, they serve up to their audience heroes and villains. This way is so effective because the major problems facing this country and the globe are generally very complicated, and require a reasonable amount of background notification in order to create a sober judgments. However, most folks have neither the time, nor the inclination for anything like that. Most do not follow politics to learn, to be challenged, or to take action, they simply wish to feed their outrage. If their anger about the globe around them can be explained away by blaming the folks they already have ideological differences with, well that's just awesome. So, they often take refuge in the consistent, simplified, outrage-inducing commentary of their oh-so familiar talking heads. This, to me is the essence of Fox News. From its on-air discussion groups, to its choice of stories, as well as its evening talk shows, it is all about spoon-feeding folks with stories of heroic conservatives, fighting to strengthen America vs its enemies, both foreign (terrorists) and domestic (liberals). The movie demonstrates how Fox news achieves this through a steady feed of news reporting that is highly regulated, intentionally biased, and aligned around a predetermined ideological slant. As far as I'm concerned, to explain the behavior of FoxNews by telling that it is simply "standing up for the conservative perspective in a sea of mainstream media liberalism" as many conservatives do, is highly misleading. I trust one can rightfully stand up for any perspective they want, just so long as they aren't forced to resort to dishonest, intentionally biased reporting in order to create or bolster their case. In Outfoxed, director Robert Greenwald makes a very compelling situation that Fox News, in the interests of carving out that niche for itself, does that far more than the another news networks.However, since it is exposing the ways of a successful conservative organization, the conservatives who hear of Outfoxed will most likely write it off as nothing more than liberal propaganda. That to me is the ultimate trouble with the polarized American political scene. Just about anyone who would be interested in the topics matter of this movie as politically oriented as it is, has probably already made up their mind about Fox News one method or the other.



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