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November 2004   

Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work � both as an academic and politician. Now he�s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.


The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government�s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.


What�s In a Name?
McDonalds is doing it, IAG has done it, James Hardie desperately needs to do it � and now the Labor Council of NSW is doing it, re-working its brand to meet the changing demands of their markets.


 Unions Dump Labor

 Shearers Brush Woolly Mammoths

 Girls Should Be Short Changed

 Sydney Turns Down Volume

 Minister Rides Collie

 Staff, Trees Weather the Blame

 Offshore Embassy for Families

 Visy Paper Folds

 Workers Unplug Power Cuts

 Silverwater Offers Porridge

 Environment Wiped Out In Dubbo

 Justice Eludes Kariong Staff

 Nelson Flags Another Raid

 Five Steps to Sanity

 Activists What's On!

 Too Young
 Let's Start A New Party
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Foxy Fiasco

To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

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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