Even though it is politically one-sided, I think that Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, is a highly effective liberal activist documentary. I would recommend the film because it sets out to prove something and it does so. I'll bet anything that it will make (or has made) the blood of both liberals and conservatives boil, if for different reasons. When Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News in 1996, its CEO (or Chairman, 1 of the 2!) Roger Ailes said, "We'd like to be premier journalists and restore objectivity." Which is like a tobacco company spokesman insisting cigarette smoking doesn't cause cancer.
The documentary zeroes in on the politicizing of Fox's reporting, from daily memos deciding on what topics to focus on and which to avoid all together. It discusses the trivializing of the "Fox News Alert," originally conceived as an attention-grabbing device for earth-shaking events, but soon used to report the daily movements of J-Lo and Martha Stewart. The filmmaker also uses amusing rapid-fire compositons of different aspects of the network to make a mockery of such claims as "We Report, You Decide" and "Fair and Balanced" (the network's slogans).
A good part of Outfoxed focuses on the company's blurring of news and commentary, how anchormen and reporters are encouraged to repeatedly use catch-phrases like "some people say..." as a means of editorializing within a supposedly objective news story; how graphics, speculation and false information are repeated over-and-over throughout the broadcast day until it appears to become fact, and in doing so spreads like a virus and copied on other networks. A PIPA/Knowledge Networks Poll points to glaring, fundamental misconceptions about the news perpetuated upon Fox viewers, versus information received from widely respected news-gathering organizations like NPR and PBS. Asked, for instance, "Has the U.S. found links between Iraq & al-Qaeda?" only 16% of PBS and NPR viewers answered "yes," but a frightening...
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