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Outfoxed : Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism

Discussion in 'Documentaries & Movies' started by ungovernable, May 20, 2010.

  1. ungovernable

    ungovernableAutonome Staff Member Uploader Admin Team Experienced member




    Aug 21, 2009
    Male, 35 years old
    Canada United States

    Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism is a 2004 documentary film by filmmaker Robert Greenwald that criticises the Fox News Channel, and its owner, Rupert Murdoch, claiming that the channel is used to promote and advocate right-wing views. The film says this pervasive bias contradicts the channel's claim of being "Fair and Balanced", and argues that Fox News has been engaging in what amounts to consumer fraud.

    The documentary was not released theatrically, but rather was distributed in DVD format by the Political action committee MoveOn.org, and sold online through Internet retailers such as Amazon.com, where it was a top-seller in July 2004.[1] MoveOn.org had helped promote the DVD release by taking out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times.[1]

    The film examines the global growth of Murdoch's media enterprise in the context of concentration of media ownership considerations, and argues that having one person in control of a large media conglomerate might infringe freedom of the press. Outfoxed negatively portrays Fox News on several fronts:

    * It criticizes Fox News' coverage during the lead-up to, and the aftermath of, the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
    * It asserts via interviews with former Fox News journalists that Fox News asked them to lie, and when they refused, they were fired. When the reporters sued Fox in court, providing proof of their claim, the court ruled that there is no current law against lying on a news program.
    * It claims that commentators such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity attempt to intimidate guests with whom they disagree, such as author and activist Jeremy Glick.
    * It states that more airtime and coverage is given to Republican politicians, particularly those in the George W. Bush administration, than to Democrats.
    * It claims that Fox News' premature calling of the result of the 2000 presidential election contributed to George W. Bush officially being elected, and alleges that Bush may not actually have won the election.
    * It portrays Fox News management, including Murdoch and president Roger Ailes, both conservatives, as controlling the network's content, and further portrays editorial control from Murdoch on down as ensuring which stories and issues are covered and that the coverage is from a strongly conservative perspective.
    * It asserts that suspensions or other reprisals are given to reporters and producers for not promoting the channel's political point of view.
    * It states that it picks strong confident conservatives and weak-looking complacent liberals to appear on it.

    Former Fox News journalists appear in the film critiquing the methods and perceived integrity of their former employer. For example, Jon Du Pre, a former reporter for Fox News' West Coast bureau, said that he had been suspended by Fox News management because his live shots from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Ronald Reagan's birthday — which Du Pre described was like a "holy day" to Fox News' hierarchy — were not "celebratory enough."[2] A former Fox News military contributor, Larry C. Johnson, also claimed that he was in high demand to give on-air analysis on the "War on Terrorism", until he called into question on Hannity & Colmes whether or not the United States could fight two wars (in Afghanistan and Iraq) simultaneously, an incident after which Johnson says he was promptly ignored as a potential Fox News contributor.[3]


    Variety.com reviewer David Rooney writes that the film "provides stimulating evidence of how thoroughly news can be skewed, political agendas served and a climate of fear created by a news net selling itself as an objective information service." He compares it favorably to Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, adding that without the "media spotlight" that surrounded Moore's film, Outfoxed "appears unlikely to reach beyond a liberal audience with an already vehement aversion to Fox News' partisan coverage."[4]

    Megan Lehmann writes in the New York Post, one of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, that the movie was "narrowly focused, unapologetically partisan documentary," and that it "is so one-sided, it undermines its own integrity."[5]

    Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post praised Greenwald's uncovering of "...a handful of memos from a top Fox executive", which he argued suggested network bias over the war in Iraq and the investigation of the September 11 attacks. However, Kurtz was highly critical of how Greenwald's allegations relied on "orders, or attitudes, of an unnamed 'they'...", and was critical of the filmmaker for making "...no effort at fairness or balance himself. Not only did he avoid contacting Fox, and indulge in some misleading editing, but the film also features a parade of the network's liberal detractors."[6]

    Fox News response

    Fox News called the film "illegal copyright infringement" for its use of clips from Fox News Channel programs.[7]

    It also said the film misrepresented the employment history of four people identified as former Fox News employees.[7] Fox News said Alexander Kippen and Frank O'Donnell had actually been employees of WTTG, the Fox owned-and-operated station in Washington, DC, and not employees of Fox News Channel. It said that Jon Du Pre, identified as a former anchor in the film, had actually been a reporter and that his contract had not been renewed because he was "a weak field correspondent and could not do live shots."[7] It said that Clara Frenk, identified as a former producer in the film, had actually been a "pool booker" who "expressed no concern about the editorial process" while employed there. Fox also pointed out that Frenk had been a volunteer for Bill Clinton's 1992 Presidential campaign.[6] Frenk denied Fox News' charges that she was not a producer, saying she was the co-producer of a segment called "Beltway Buzz," served as a field producer for dayside news and was detailed to be a segment producer on Fox News Sunday during sweeps.

    Fox News challenged any news organization that thought this was a major story to "put out 100 percent of their editorial directions and internal memos [and] Fox News Channel will publish 100 percent of our editorial directions and internal memos, and let the public decide who is fair."[7]


  2. Bentheanarchist

    BentheanarchistExperienced Member Uploader Experienced member




    Dec 10, 2010
  3. danzigmcfly

    danzigmcflyActive Member Forum Member




    Sep 29, 2010
    i have already seen it nothing i didn't strongly suspect. in fact just recently on fox "news" their morning crew was caught on the webcast during a commercial break joking about the the topic that was off the table (the phone tapping scandal). not that it's extremely relevant but it really irks me that they are constantly referring to the main stream media even though the majority of americas get their news from fox