Outfoxed review by The Grim Ringler

Being that this is one of the surprise hits on home video at the moment, a lot of you may have heard of this direct to dvd doc. For those who haven’t, this is essentially a peek into the brain of the Fox News channel. Some will see this as leftist propaganda – and they wouldn’t be wrong, but to dismiss it as just that is to miss the bigger, scarier picture. No matter what you believe, no matter what your party affiliation, this film shows news journalism at its worst and most sinister. This is not a film about a liberal agenda as much as it is a film about the failure of an entire network news team.

Using interviews with former Fox employees, competitors, and journalists, peppered with actual footage from the channel, the case in Outfoxed is made that there is a conservative agenda that drives news stories, and this agenda comes from the top. What we are shown is that, from its inception, owner Rupert Murdoch has used his influence and interest in a conservative agenda to push the news and its broadcasters towards that end. Where we really see this is with the two main talking heads of the channel – Bill O’Reilly, and Shawn Hannity, two men who push the word ‘journalist’ to its very limit. When the film focuses on the likes of these two ‘gentlemen’ it’s hard not to get riled up if you have any liberal bend to you. You see, not two men looking to open doors to knowledge and get to the truth but two men who, when in doubt, scream down their opposition in order to win any debate. And debate they will, as if they are on some sort of junior high team and are looking to make points. The best example of this is when one young man goes onto The O’Reilly Factor to explain why he is against some of the actions of the American government. What makes this guy special though is that his father died during September 11th and it is this fact that keeps O’Reilly’s attention. We see, all too well, that both O’Reilly and the young man have agendas, only it’s O’Reilly who takes things too far when he begins screaming at the man and demanding to know what the guy’s mother thinks, or, worse yet, what his father would think. And I hand it to the kid, he kept his composure, ‘cause I tell you what, I wouldn’t have. It’s one thing to take umbrage with what the kid was saying, to disagree with the notion that the president has screwed the country up and all that, but it’s another entirely to shout down someone who you don’t agree with. O’Reilly even goes so far as to ‘kick him off’ the show. The plot thickens when, the day after, O’Reilly begins painting the young man as not just a peaceful objector to the way the country is being run, but as an anarchist who hates the president. To see this makes you want to throw up, that this man, this journalist, goes so far as this to prove his point. Clip after clip shows the very dark side of Fox News, and this is not a very pretty picture. In a montage of clips we are shown how the Fox pundits begin to assert that presidential hopeful John Kerry looks ‘French’. Wow. That’s some deep, probing, insightful dialogue there kids. But what I have described is but the tip of the iceberg here. For such a short documentary, the point is made very clear, and backed up with evidence – Fox News are everything but fair and balanced. And they are getting away with it.

This is a very polarizing film. If you are left leaning, as I am, then you will love and loathe it at the same time. Love that it shows this channel as it is, but hate that Fox has abused journalism so blatantly. And those with a conservative bend will see this as another pack of lies perpetrated by the liberal media. While I believe the film to be true, any film like this is open to a lot of criticism, as any time you show only one face of an issue you are not playing fair. This isn’t about being fair though. But the truth does hurt this film in that I think it’s important enough that more people than just liberals should see it. Any time a news organization allows one ideal or view permeate its newsroom there is a problem. And with Fox News, there is a problem.

The DVD is pretty bare bones save for the doc, but the disc is relatively cheap so the purchase is worth it for the scary info you are given.

This is an attack on Fox News, and as such, a lot of people will hate it without seeing it. And fine. I believe what I believe, politically, but when it comes down to it, with journalism, all I ask for is the truth, and when a news bureau decides to paint the truth by a narrow ideological brush I get mad. It’s my hope that any of you who see this will get mad too…and will start to demand more from Fox News and any other news source that asks our trust.


8 out of 10 Jackasses
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