|Movie Review: Outfoxed:
Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
Alternate Title: Yellow Journalism: Alive and Thriving on FOX TV
Story: Auuuuuuuurgh! If you don't know what that sound looks like please check out Edvard Munch's The Scream for a visual.
Director/producer Robert Greenwald (with the promoting and distribution help of MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress) tackles the machinations of Robert Murdoch's FOX news network in this documentary that delves into their slogan fair and balanced coverage.
His team monitored Fox News 24 hours a day (which sounds an awful lot like torture to me) for months to discover exactly how their operate. They cited examples of bias and imbalance time after time.
The film uses the techniques of Fox talking heads using the repeated verbiage so the viewer can see how their system actually works. If you tell the viewer the same thing over and over again regardless of veracity it becomes the truth. You will never hear the words some people say again without laughing to yourself. The sequence with Bill O'Reilly is frightening and exasperating.
How the news became infotainment is not discussed thoroughly enough for me. The days of the Fairness Doctrine in the media are long gone. Equal time and balance are no longer a requirement for any news program. I realize it is all about ratings and advertising but it is not analyzed in its entirety. There are a few things that they suggest we as viewers can do to oppose this propaganda machine for the GOP. They also suggest that other news networks are taking up the same format and CNN is cited as an example of news gone wacky too.
I watched the Democratic Convention on C-SPAN because I trust my own brain to analyze what I am watching and hearing. I intend to also watch the Republican Convention (when I am not protesting or being arrested) as well.
This documentary has been released on DVD and parties have been held throughout the country in clubs, homes and restaurants. (See my viewing story below in the Theater Audience category.) It is now being released in theaters in select cities and will soon be shown in a theater near you. It has been a big seller on Amazon.Com.
Predilection: I like documentaries.
Visual Art: The annoying graphics that are used by news organizations are exposed for all their garish appeal.
Theater Audience: My friends tell me that I always have a story to tell. Well, here's another one.
I decided to order the DVD and take it with me to California while visiting family. I was to be out there during the Democratic Convention and thought I would carry the theme further with a showing of Outfoxed. I paid extra for two day shipping. As my trip approached I still had not received my DVD. I wrote to one of the producers and suggested that I had been Outfoxed by them as I had not received my DVD in due time. I received a nice note back from Kate McArdle (Co-Producer) and she apologized and said 'there was no malice -- just incompetence in the shipping department.' She offered to FedEx my DVD to California (at their expense) and refund the extra money that I paid to have two day delivery. True to her word, the DVD arrived in California and our little group enjoyed the film. When I got home to NY, my originally ordered copy of the DVD had also been delivered. I gave that copy to my friend who is off to work in Athens at the Olympics and hope many more people will watch over there.
Squirm Scale: It is very squirmy to watch the truth being distorted.
Oscar Worthy: No.
Big Screen or Rental: Go either way -- but see it. For some of Robert Greenwald's other films try: Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War, Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron, Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election, Steal This Movie, and many TV documentaries.
Length: A mere 77 minutes.
LOBO HOWLS: 8