OUTFOXED (DVD) – In this scathing documentary from Robert Greenwald, the Fox News Channel comes under fire. First the film illustrates the way that its owner, Rupert Murdoch, has dominated the media, buying up TV stations, cable channels, and newspapers worldwide. Next, Fox’s reporting tactics are looked at with a fine-tooth comb, revealing a clear pattern of nonobjective journalism. On talk shows and in other debate forums, hosts push conservative points of view. Former employees give anonymous interviews confessing that they were instructed to put a right-wing slant on their work. But the dominant message of the film concerns the mantra of “fair and balanced,” which Fox uses to promote itself. By examining the way that Fox collects and reports news, this film shows that it is simply not fair and balanced. For instance, on Bill O’Reilly’s talk show, he repeatedly tells guests to shut up rather than allowing them to disagree with his agenda. Layering of quick clips–so that we hear O’Reilly tell guests over and over to “shut up, shut up, shut up,”–is one of the most amusing tactics used in the film. But the reality is that by refusing to allow certain opinions to be expressed, and by tainting information to promote a conservative plan, Fox’s viewers are being deprived of the truth. These issues are put into context through informative analytical commentary from media professionals like David Brock (author of THE REPUBLICAN NOISE MACHINE: RIGHT WING MEDIA AND HOW IT CORRUPTS DEMOCRACY), Jeff Chester (of the Center for Digital Democracy), Jeff Cohen (founder of FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Al Franken (a host on Air America Radio), Robert McChesney (host of the radio program Media Matters), and Chellie Pingree (president of Common Cause). Copyright (C) Muze Inc. 2005. For personal use only. All rights reserved.

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