Today I watched Robert Greenwald‘s latest, “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” the controversial new doc that my colleague Brian B. wrote about in indieWIRE today (and Brian C. blogged about this morning). In fact, FOX News is taking hits from numerous docs right now, including the incredible report on squashed stories in “The Corporation,” to harsh criticisms in “Orwell Rolls in His Grave” and a blow in “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Built upon footage compiled by researchers who scoured FOX News Channel broadcasts for months, the film paints a frightening portrait of the slant of the nation’s #1 cable news network. Sure, we all felt that FOX News was biased, but seeing Greenwald’s assembly of footage, combined with testimony from journalists who have worked for the channel or its affiliates sure pack a powerful punch.
FOX News’ slogans “Fair & Balanced” and “We Report. You Decide” are an even bigger joke than I ever imagined. The real “star” of the movie, if you want to call him that, is Bill O’Reilly. Constant clips capture O’Reilly at his raging worst. It is amazing that he maintains such a devout following for a program that could barely be classifed as entertainment, let alone news.
With “news” networks like FOX leading the way, is it any surprise that the American viewer doesn’t trust the media? Only 25% of people surveyed believe all or most of what they see on the network, according to the recent Pew Research Center’s Biennial News Consumption Survey. Amazingly, local news, the big three networks, NPR, and MSNBC all ranked below FOX News on the survey. Of course, the highest ranking news outlet on the survey was “60 Minutes” with only 33% believing all or most of what they see on that program. Thats a scary snapshot of how we view the media today.