…examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, have been running a “race to the bottom” in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know.
The film explores Murdoch’s burgeoning kingdom and the impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person.
Media experts, including Jeff Cohen (FAIR) Bob McChesney (Free Press), Chellie Pingree (Common Cause), Jeff Chester (Center for Digital Democracy) and David Brock (Media Matters) provide contexamines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, have been running a “race to the bottom” in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know.
Outfoxed is like a junior Fahrenheit 9/11. It is only playing at small arthouses in cities that have huge anti-Bush audiences to draw upon (NY, D.C., L.A., San Fran, Berkely). The Quad seats about 150, and it was nearly full last night. If you enjoyed Michael Moore’s film and would like a second dose, Outfoxed might be for you. The Quad is offering seven screenings a day, but I don’t expect this film to have “legs” the way Fahrenheit did.
The film’s not-so-shocking revelation is that FoxNews is unabashedly an organ for the Republican Party. I doubt that anybody in the audience will be surprised by this, so most of the film’s 1:15 running time is just reinforcing what we already know. As in Fahrenheit, the director has cleverly chosen the most damning evidence, and edited it with an intent to ridicule.
Perhaps the funnist moment is when FoxNews anchor Brit Hume claims that the chances of dying in the line of duty in Iraq are about the same as the chances of being murdered in California. More damning is that about 83% of Hume’s guests on his 1-to-1 interview show are Republicans. Hume can interview anyone he wants, of course, but not when the network claims to be “fair and balanced.”
But Outfoxed doesn’t know where to stop. Pompous “experts” lament “the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know.” To the contrary, Rupert Murdoch hasn’t taken control of my right to know anything. It’s up to us, as citizens, to seek out what we need. The information’s out there — indeed, more of it than most anyone can possibly absorb. It’s people’s own damned fault if they choose to let Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity spoonfeed them.
In this sense, Outfoxed lacks Fahrenheit’s sure touch. No one would accuse Michael Moore of objectivity, but even he stops short of such sweeping over-generalizations. Outfoxed is worth a look for the laughs it gives us at Fox’s expense — if you’re into that sort of thing. I had a good time, but I could have done without the over-blown fears about the collapse of our democracy. Luckily, most of Outfoxed is more solid than that. And more fun.