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Jul 15th, 2004 5:25 AM #1
Outfoxed: Fox Doesn't Want You To See This Movie
Continuing Media Bias... "fair and balanced" my ass.
In a season of important news stories, this should be at the top. Most would probably concede that the FOX News channel is right-leaning, and most would probably say they lean to the point that they fall over, but Outfoxed clearly brings it together in a more cohesive manner.
The amount of commentary to pay the appropriate attention to this matter will require two separate articles, this being the first. As I stated in the preview, Greenwald uses four areas, which he states when seen together, amount to a clear pattern of propaganda, and not journalism. Those areas are:
The second article will specifically address the internal memos leaked through this documentary. They need separate attention because there are so many excellent examples, from the mouth of FOX themselves that prove that they are not a news organization, but rather a shill for the Bush Administration.
The clips from FOX themselves are probably the most effective tool used by Greenwald in this movie. There is nothing more damning than having Bill O?Reilly state that in the six years of his show, he only told a guest to shut up one time, then to see in rapid-fire style, him saying it over and over again, to many guests. It also was particularly frightening to see the Jeremy Glick interview. Mr. Glick was the son of a man who died in the 911 attacks who had gone against the administration?s war policies. O?Reilly pushed hard for him to come on his show, and eventually Glick agreed. Jeremy gives us insight into his ?training? to have to go on the show, including having to use a stopwatch to make sure he could get his main point out, before O?Reilly tossed him. To watch Glick, bravely explaining that he didn?t believe that America was blameless for the attacks, and to see O?Reilly get more and more heated until he finally says, ?I hope your mother isn?t watching this?, cutting his microphone, and tossing him out with security, is quite disturbing. Of course, after the cameras stopped rolling, O?Reilly?s famous quote was ?get him out of here before I *****ing tear him to pieces! Ahh fair and balanced.
The clips expertly displayed the way this network operates. The upper management would pass out talking points of the day, suggesting which way the news should be directed, then every show that day, would go out and parrot the talking points, which obviously came from the RNC, or the administration. So, if the topic of the day is that Kerry is a flip-flopper, then Greenwald walks you through every FOX commentator that day, speaking that line, in many different ways, but to drive home the talking point, that Kerry is a flip-flopper. In one amusing point, the topic of the day was apparently to say that Kerry looked ?French?, the connotation being negative because of France?s opposition to our war. I thought there would be no way this would be parroted, but sure enough, Greenwald walks us through many different FOX commentators stating in some manner or another, that Kerry looks French, even having a French guest on one of the shows to discuss why it is not a good idea for Kerry to be correlated to the French at this point in time; priceless.
The other techniques exposed by using the clips and the testimonies of the former employees is the way the news is framed. When FOX shows clips of the President, he is always framed in as best a light as possible, looking Presidential. Conversely, when they show Kerry, he is walking out of a Wal-Mart talking to a small group of people in a parking lot. These are very subtle, yet effective tools they utilize. When you combine this with the fact that FOX will constantly cut to Bush live, the resulting coverage is neither fair, nor balanced. The constant coverage of Bush live, almost gives the appearance that FOX is Bush?s public relations agent, which is the point of Outfoxed.
One thing, which I had not picked up on, was the use of background graphics. There is always a trailer at the bottom, or some kind of symbol somewhere in the background. When you look at what is being represented, it is usually either pro-Bush, or anti-democrat. If there is an alleged ?fair and balanced? debate going on about Kerry switching his mind on subjects, the trailer will read ?Kerry a flip-flopper?? This psuedo-fair technique can actually be considered subliminal, or as Bush likes to say, subliminable. The idea is that you put in the mind of the viewer, what your conclusion is.
Another interesting point made by Greenwald was the use of the phrase, ?some people say?, to interject opinion or commentary into segments which are supposed to be news. Greenwald effectively uses multiple clips, of all FOX personalities, using this phrase to taint the news and it was very effective. Besides this Greenwald exposes the fact that FOX has virtually never painted the Bush economy negatively, it is always on the upswing, growing, and as we will see in the memos, this slant was ordered. Even when the economy is shown as negative, such as a drop in the market on the Neil Cavuto show, it is described as being caused by investors concerned about a Kerry victory due to a poll. The message: support the President and the stock market will go up.
The FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) study looked at a 25-week period of time for the Special Report with Brit Hume show and who the one-on-one guest was each night. This study showed that 83% of these guests were from the right, and of the 17% that were from the democratic side; most of those were centrist democrats. If FOX really wanted to be fair and balanced, we would see a more balanced percentage.
The personal accounts were telling, and supportive of the overall theme. One whistleblower, Larry Johnson, was a former terrorism expert and FOX News contributor. A lifelong republican, Mr. Johnson is upset that the Bush administration uses the FOX News channel as its propaganda machine. He paints a story about giving his honest opinion on Hannity and Colmes, but it disagreed with Hannity, which was not his role as the right wing guest. The result? They never used him again, even though he was under contract for two more months. These whistleblowers are almost exclusively, lifers in the business, with decades of experience.
What is the problem with all of this? You must understand that FOX passes themselves off as a news network. That means that they are supposed to research and present findings, not merely opinion. There are people out there that watch this station as if it was providing them with impartial news, when in reality it is feeding them the talking points of the RNC and the White House. That is not only inherently wrong, but it cuts to the heart of our democracy. If we cannot rely on the media, then our information is controlled, not accurate. Furthering this problem is that the other mainstream media is also concentrated. About ten sources control nearly all mainstream media in this country. These sources are corporations that do not have your best interest at heart, but their own bottom-line profits. If cow-towing to the administration is what is good for business, then that is what they will do.
There is no better example of that than this story. Yesterday there was a press conference announcing this movie at the Ritz-Carlton. Tonight there was a premier at NYU. This is a major news story, yet the silence is deafening. FOX threatened other stations to not cover it and it looks like they may be bowing to the pressure. Ultimately, Murdoch does not differ much from his counterparts, except in gall. In the New York Daily News, it was only covered, in the gossip section! The message is clear, mainstream media will want this to be a non-story and only we can stop that. News stations are supposed to provide fact, not rhetoric or opinion. Commentary shows can provide opinion, but FOX has done such a masterful job of blurring the lines between the two, that you can no longer tell the news from commentary. They do not have to report, because they already decided what to tell you and that should be very frightening to everyone in a free society.
I'm definatly going to see it. Faux news doesn't rank very high with me.
Jul 15th, 2004 11:01 AM #2
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This should be in the pasted long blah forum. MM....do we need to go into detail about this...Fox is pro bush...DUH!!
Jul 15th, 2004 4:10 PM #3
Talk about the subject, not forum management. I posted the article in full because it's what we like to call a 'talking point.'
If a major media outlet is going to be 'pro this' and 'pro that' how can they 'tout that "we report, you decide" and use the motto "fair and balanced." Some of the seedy underhanded reporting by fox is worth mentioning.
Jul 15th, 2004 4:33 PM #4
Continuing Media Bias... "fair and balanced" my ass.
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Jul 16th, 2004 7:10 PM #5Commentary shows can provide opinion, but FOX has done such a masterful job of blurring the lines between the two, that you can no longer tell the news from commentary.
This is a major news story, yet the silence is deafening. FOX threatened other stations to not cover it and it looks like they may be bowing to the pressure.
Perhaps major news networks didn't run the story because its not as big as this guy thinks (or because the RNC feeding FOX what to say seems conspiracy-theorish at best) .... then again, they may not have covered it because if you replace "FOX" with "X News Agency" and all the fox news people / commentators with X News Agency's personalities, it turns out it still makes sense (even if you want to go conspiratorial and say the DNC feeds them thier lines).
"Fox isn't fair and balanced... they are balance." - can't remember who said that, but i felt i should quote it so as to not take credit.
May 3rd, 2005 4:45 PM #6
Wow... The look at the first paragraph... the HOST is saying thatur tree-Ing youing lieberals to blame for high gas and oil prices
May 3rd, 2005 5:05 PM #7
Why is it OK for CNN and CBS to be liberal biased, while Fox is not allowed to be conservative biased?
May 4th, 2005 2:58 PM #8Originally Posted by stewey
CBS imo is "fair and balanced".
May 4th, 2005 4:10 PM #9Originally Posted by lotrfan55345
CBS is far from "fair and balanced". Remember the documents?
May 4th, 2005 6:08 PM #10
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I used to work in Canadian TV years ago and what I remember from back then was how difficult it was to figure out Where the influences were coming from. The Big Money string pullers behind any media outlet will, unless they don't care, try to influence that media outlet to their (the Big Money's) views - this is an aspect of human nature we're all familiar with (and why I chose to abandon any career in that media form).
However, there is still room for subtlety in gross examples of manipulation. When I was busy channel surfing on that horrid day back in September 2001 I actually found myself watching the FOX feed Very carefully, because at the time I was watching (19:00 - 20:30 PDT) they had two vacant talking heads (brunette man, blond woman) I'd never heard of blabbing rote statements off AP and Reuters feeds. Then the blonde woman started on about the level of tragedy involved, with a Smile on her face (the standard newscasters generic smile), she summed up saying something like, "I guess we'll never know the full extent of the damage..." and then giggling.
After that my opinion of FOX was horrid, of course, and it wasn't until I was watching the opening salvo's of Oil Wars: Clone Of The Attack (the second time around in Iraq) that I noticed the FOX feeds were still full of that horrid talking head syndrome.
Then, it occured to me, that if I wanted to be a subtle subversive in a manner which would be difficult to pin down, I would use a media outlet that had a bad reputation, make it worse with carefully orchestrated 'screw ups,' insure a loyal viewing public with Pure Tripe, then feed the masses who've tuned in for American Idol all the propoganda I could during commercial breaks and so forth.
The 'dumbing down' is a way to shake off the chaff, get rid of those who have bullshit filters of their own and force them (through negative stimulus) to find other sources of entertainment (like Mythbusters on Discovery). That way they don't have to worry as much about the crap they broadcast - once they've assured the majority of the viewers are the kind who will sit through bullshit - they'll feed the masses as much as they can stand.
This hypothetical situation is one I dreamed up, thinking that the easiest way to create an army of converts is wait for a bunch of volunteers, then get rid of the thinkers.
And, as always, my head might also be lodged in my colon ...For every human problem there is an easy and simple answer. And it is always wrong. - H.L. Mencken
May 7th, 2005 7:38 PM #11
On the topic of bias, you go to what you want to hear. This is true in all of us. So whether any station is acutally "biased" is simply based on people not liking what they hear. More conservatives go to FOX, more liberals go to CNN. Its just how it is I think.
Does anyone here get the International Channel? Im not sure whether the Channel is itself foreign or just the shows, but The International News show has more substance in the half hour it's on whilst American shows are still talking about celebrity break ups. Theres Japanese news, German, English, some shows about Arabia, E.U., Canada and a show called Special Assignment, which does pretty informative reports on different countries. Like Mongolia for example (not kidding). Although, it doesn't talk about America so much, definetly watch that if you want more substance.Rage_Garden
May 7th, 2005 8:13 PM #12
I wish my sattelite got BBC world. I want that international channel too... the closest thing I get to international news is CNBC world.
May 7th, 2005 8:26 PM #13
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CNN is liberal to the core.
Fox is a tad conservative.
You raging liberals out-way us in the media, and ultimatly it will leed us all to the end."Its not Facism, because we don't call it that..."
May 7th, 2005 8:52 PM #14
There are conservative biased news outlets and liberal biased news outlets. Stop bitching and watch the ones you like.
May 8th, 2005 7:29 AM #15
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you guys have a great point...CNN, CBS, other networks have historically been much more receptive to liberals, while fox came around and became that way with conservatives...
The real reason I think FOX is highly rated? The music. ANd graphics. People like snappy graphics to get them into their news story...they liked loud music. FOX gives them that. If you take the same script and same anchors CNN had today and placed them in FOX studios, CNN would be higher rated.
May 8th, 2005 7:34 AM #16
Originally Posted by Rage Garden
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Originally Posted by stewey
It seems that you have ignored the fact that many civilians, humanitarian aid workers, tourists, allied soldiers, and even reporters have been killed because of the controlled media's influence on Operation Iraqi Freedom's justification. It is because of the overuse and misuse of the term "freedom" by the media that politicians have successfully convinced the public that their soldiers should die to protect their political interests. These indoctrinations using "terrorism" and "freedom" continue to be selling points through a controlled media in order to instill an Americanized point of view worldwide.
Of course, in order for the media to seem believable, it has to have an established reputation. Basically, the higher the reputation of a news organization, the stronger its effectiveness to manipulate the public. Without that one simple tactic of using high reputations to indoctrinate the masses, neither subliminal nor direct methods of propaganda can be consistently effective. Hitler was a master of such a tactic.
No doubt, Hitler used such a formidable expedient to perfection. All he needed was to gain the presidency in his democratic country in order to effectively influence his people through speeches, banners, parades, and many practical forms of media to promote his National Socialist German Workers' Party. Did the majority of his people question him and his controlled media? No they did not. Instead they had followed exactly what you just wrote. They had allowed themselves to become subjective and fearful of voicing out their opinions. Even though their nation was a democracy, they had contradicted their very rights of free speech and patriotism by following a government and leader in which they subjectively and subconsciously elevated above the rest of humanity.
May 8th, 2005 9:03 AM #17
Well, I will put it this way.
You don't like Fox's news broadcasts? Don't watch them.
You make it sound like Fox is the only news station in the country. There are quite a few news stations, each with differing "bias". Fox has freedom of speech (well to a point, thanks to FCC) in the way they present news, just like CNN, MSNBC, etc.. do. There are no government controlled news outlets, in which case I would agree that they should be 100% fair and balanced.
Why is it not OK for Fox to have a conservative bias while CNN, CBS having a liberal bias is OK?
You don't hear conservatives bitching about CNN or CBS (except the forged documents).
May 12th, 2005 9:43 PM #18CNN liberal bias? Look at Paula Zahn...
CBS imo is "fair and balanced".
I absolutely could not stand them during the beginning stages of the Iraq war. It was disgusting.
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