Interview: The Reich Stuff
Economics: Crime and Punishment
Environment: Beyond The Wedge
International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Politics: Labo(u)r Day
Human Rights: Arabian Lights
History: Labour's Titan
Review: Foxy Fiasco
Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
The Locker Room
What’s In a Name?
Shearers Brush Woolly Mammoths
Staff, Trees Weather the Blame
Environment Wiped Out In Dubbo
Let's Start A New Party
Labor Council of NSW
Robert Greenwald's Outfoxed puts the spotlight on a style of journalism that is more Entertainment Tonight meets MTV than any genuine attempt to present the most pressing events of the day.
It is easy to identify the views of the presenters, because they are the views of Murdoch, which are a direct reflection of the views of George Bush: God is good, Islam is bad, France is the Antichrist, homosexuals are sinners, war begets peace, and anyone who disagrees should just shut up.
Add to this mix the rolling banners touting Republican hyperbole and the flashing boxes zooming in on selective shots designed to make a mockery of those in the bad books and to shed a positive light on Murdoch's Chosen Ones.
Then just overlay with some ridiculous advertising jingle-like music that accompanies the spectacle and the overall effect should be positively laughable. Except that they are serious.
Outfoxed tares to shreds the Fox News motto "We Report, You Decide" and it makes light work of its task. It's all there - the photographic evidence, the footage, the horses mouths.
Despite the Murdoch mouthpiece's attempt to dress itself up as the paragon of objective journalism the opposite is so blatantly true that Outfoxed easily proves its point within minutes. For the remaining time one contends with the mental image of shooting apples in a barrel.
It's not difficult to throw barbs at biased infotainment-style news reporting. Fox News is an extreme example but as the movie points out, the success of the formula in attracting mass audiences and valuable advertising dollars makes it an increasingly attractive template for many others.
News services don't need a media giant at the helm to encourage biased reporting. They don't even have to be right wing.
The phenomenon is so rampant even journalism courses teach the fresh blood to tailor their text to the audience. Whether that audience was pre-existing or whether watching Fox News can actually turn people into gun-toting war-mongering lunatics is like trying to debate the chicken and the egg.
It is likely the fair minded of the world would change the channel if presented with the Fox News spectacle for too long. Maybe even they would turn the sound down and put it to music, or possibly turn the television off altogether.
For this reviewer being subjected to the format for the entire 77 minutes of the Outfoxed movie constituted the longest time period I have ever or will ever spend being subjected to the horror.
For this reason it is hard to recommend Outfoxed without some trepidation. However it is a historially significant snapshot of the latest trends in propaganda and a good study on the dangers of allowing media oligopolies to dictate our version of reality.
Outfoxed highlights the danger of further relaxing media ownership laws and it helps add context to George Bush's election win.
It also confirms what the conspiracy theorists have been touting all along: the modern world is corrupt and it is all a nasty plan to ensure a that couple of rich guys get even richer and that those who most covet power can drink their fill of that too.
See Outfoxed to rub shoulders with other likeminded types and re-enforce some of your prized world views. But don't expect to find any rednecks being converted.
They are more likely to be at home watching Fox News on cable or one of its many and ever increasing number of equivalents.
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