Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
Instead of shutting up, why don't we just shut off? The award winning documentary which has turned into a phenomenon written by Robert Greenwald attacks one of the most popular TV News programme in the US, the FOX News channel. In the 77minute documentary viewers are treated to a large amount of evidence on the endless biased information that Fox News shows against left wing and liberal views. Presented through employees who used to work for Fox News, talking heads and both political and media analysts, and supporting much of its claim by using the Fox News Channel's own smug and thuggish behaviour to indict them. The documentary is quite scary if you come to think of it, showing full videos that prove that owner of Fox News Rupert Murdoch is guilty who owns more or less 75% of the world's media and that Fox is not a genuine journalism.
In "Outfoxed" we get to see interviews of many former Fox News employees. Some of the stories are humorous. For example one reporter was fired because he failed in succeeding to publish more exclusive events for former US president Ronald Reagan's birthday. The documentary shows many news speakers and guest speakers who have made comments against the Republican Party were fired. Fox News controversially blur out the lines between news reporting and opinion, this is what the documentary examines. There are plenty more examples like these shown in the documentary which are worth the watch.
Surprisingly enough not only were the employees being strongly censored but also the guest speakers. This really makes the show bias, what is even the point of watching Fox News if opinions are being censored. For example on Bill O'Reilly's talk show he repeatedly tells his guest Jeremy Glick to shut up rather than allowing him to disagree with his ideas. It is very shocking and at its most scary to see this but at the same time amusing as O'Reilly repeatedly tells Glick to "shut up" over and over again. It shows unacceptable behaviour coming from a news reporter's mouth, specifically in the case of Jeremy Glick who was invited to the show to talk about his father who was killed on 9/11. As he began to talk about his anti war views and failures the US government had done O'Reilly immediately got angry saying "This is a bunch of crap" and "SHUT UP" until Glick's microphone was shut off and kicked out of the studio. This seems certainly an unprofessional way of handling a talk show, although this is a typical mentality that Fox News has, a stubborn way of saying "you are wrong and I am right."
Exaggeration and propaganda is another tool that Fox News uses, which the documentary shows by suing statistics that almost all political news are about the Republican Party. Shockingly 83% of the news was about the conservative party and only 17% about the Democratic Party. The number of Republican to Democratic guests that Fox invites is unequal where they invite about five times more Republicans to the show. Far from being "fair and balanced" news, including that Fox also in purposely invite weak liberalist on stage. This is what the documentary suggests. One of the propaganda techniques that Fox news is "spin" and vagueness for example "some people say..." This ambiguous weasel word is a technique they use to slip their own opinion into a so called objective news report.
Some might say Fox News is the most fair and not biased news, it would only make sense for someone to say that if they were a conservative. Fox News clearly not only shows extremely personal and biased commentary to the news but also poor quality of news including celebrity, fashion and gossip. It is doubtful that Fox News is a good source of journalism.
This is might all seem like a spoiler but for a film like this it is not, only once watched you can get a good sense of understanding. The bottom line? Fox News is hardly reliable as a source of news, but one thing is for sure it can be relied on to having the same big bias. It is a pity that so many people believe what they hear and see. Maybe this documentary will help although the problem with "Outfoxed" is that it is unlikely to change minds and that too is also very biased. If you don't like Fox News, why not simply switch channels? And indeed, "Outfoxed" fails to make a coherent argument as to why, exactly, Fox is problematic.
It is not a blockbuster movie but certainly worth watching for those seeking an interest about the media.Rationale
For my written task on Media and Culture I wrote a review about the documentary "Outfoxed" mentioning the bias of Fox News. It was written with an informative tone hoping to address an intellectual audience of adults and students how the documentary "Outfoxed" shows the biased side of Fox News and that it is worth watching. Trying to address the audience that they should not believe everything the news says, thus changing their mind on the mainstream media.
In my article I tried to use adult humour and verbal irony with phrase like "If you don't like Fox News, why not simply switch channels?" This sentence I had put in my conclusion which makes the reader to be rational and build curiosity in them about the film. I tried as well to use a sophisticated level of vocabulary with word choices like " ambiguous and " controversially "although generally the vocabulary in my review is simple and easy to understand of which a review should be like in my opinion. Finally I tried to draw a conclusion like one might see in a higher level publication such as the New York Times with sentences like "It is a pity that so many people believe what they hear and see. Maybe this documentary will help although the problem with "Outfoxed" is that it is unlikely to change minds and that too is also very biased." Using these elements I feel I reached my purpose set out in the task.
This task addresses the topic option Media and Culture and specially addresses the topic of bias in mainstream news media. I chose to make a review because I felt that in this way I could best express what I learned from the topics we studied in this unit and how I feel about them. I also read some reviews on the internet to give me a general idea how I should construct mine.