OutFOXed: Rupert Murdoch’s War Against Journalism (2004)

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This documentary has very good intentions. It attempts to expose what Rupert Murdoch is doing with the Fox News Network, which is essentially to create a Republican propaganda machine. If you don’t know that’s what he’s doing, then this movie might wake you up. Or at least get you to look into it a little more.

The problem is, if you don’t know what Fox News is doing, you’re probably a moron. And you’re probably not seeking out intellectual pursuit of such concepts. And you wouldn’t do best to watch this particular video.

There’s something I call the “oooh, dis! Gotcha!” kind of reporting (being a reporter of the failings of Fox News myself). Fox News is big on it. It’s called “corollary,” which is a logical precept used by corrupt politicos for tens of centuries.

A good example of how Republicans do this is by calling people and asking the question, “How would you react if X senator fathered a black baby out of wedlock?” You then have people who think that X senator fathered a black baby out of wedlock simply because they’ve heard the terms together…a correlation.

Fox does it ALL the bloody time. They don’t SAY Kerry is a flip-flopper. They say that “some people say” that Kerry is a flip-flopper. And this film points that out, in one of its better moments.

The reason I bring it up is because this movie also does the same thing through the whole of the format. Instead of facts, figures, and transcripts, it sticks to a lot of talking heads saying that Fox News has a bias. Which is corollary. Anecdote.

What makes Farenheit 9/11 so effective by comparison is the fact that they have citations for everything they say, and there are a lot more facts presented. Which is what a documentary needs to be effective.

There are a few good recordings from Fox they put up. But most of them are out of context, and most of them are schewed to fit whatever is being said. It points out the general tendencies of Fox, but never knuckles in and really shows, statistically, how much Fox is conservative biased beyond a few scant mentions of the 9/11 data. It doesn’t compare it to CNN or show how much of CNN is liberal and/or conservative (which, if you look at both in an even cursory way, both schew conservative right now on criteria which can be codified in data).

Good attempt. Poor execution.