‘Outfoxed’ Exposes Calculated Bigotry of Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. Fox News Network
Exposes Calculated Bigotry of Rupert Murdoch’s U.S. Fox News Network
by Henry Edward Hardy
Outfoxed (2004) is a film that takes on the “fair and balanced” pose of the US-based Fox news network. It is a fast-paced and well-focused expose of the blatant partisanship and meanspiritedness of the leading US “news” infotainment network. Outfoxed is a light snack. In 77 minutes it fulfills its mission to undermine the claims of objectivity and credibility for Fox’s programs and personalities.
What is missing from this video’s “radical lite” presentation is depth or context. One wouldn’t understand from viewing this video that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch is, in the words of the Wikipedia, “generally regarded as the single most politically influential media proprietor in the world.” Nor that this is the man the BBC once compared to Citizen Kane. But no matter.
Here are juicy tidbits of Walter Cronkite, characterizing Fox as a “far right-wing organization.” There is vicious, quivering, snarling righteous bigotry from Fox anchor personality Bill O’Reilly.
Ex-CIA employee and former Fox commentator Larry Johnson explains how, when he tried to give his honest opinion on air regarding the inability of the US to fight another full scale regional war while it is occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, Fox stopped using him for the remainder of his contract.
Other putative Fox tactics include character assassination, a program stacked 5-1 with Republican guests, distracting or misleading graphics, and intimidating the hapless guest by verbally attacking their families, their patriotism and at last shouting, “Shut up!” and cutting their mikes.
Outfoxed is a product of the Disinformation Company. Their website, http://www.disinfo.com, explained (09/2004) that the company was founded in 1995 by TCI (now part of Comcast, a premiere competitor of Murdoch’s Hughes Electronics DirectTV subsidiary).
The director of Outfoxed is Robert Greenwald. Greenwald’s earlier projects include the mediocre adaptation of the life of antiwar radical Abbie Hoffman, Steal this Movie, and the Farrah Fawcett film, The Burning Bed.
Greenwald’s TV and B-movie heritage shows in his direct and fast-paced, no-nonsense presentation. But in Outfoxed his crew has assembled great damning clips from Fox broadcasts and a host of disenchanted former Fox workers, along with enjoyable and penetrating comments by pundits such as David Brock, Walter Cronkite and Al Franken. Good infotainment, and good talking points for discussion with your left- or right-wing friends or co-workers.
A version of this article appeared previously in Current Magazine and on Electric Current, http://eCurrent.com/
Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Henry Edward Hardy