Are the media misleading you?
FRISCO – How do you know if you’re watching fair news reports or what amounts to an advertisement for a particular political slant?FOX News calls its 24/7 stream of reporting “fair and balanced.” Its slogan: “We report. You decide.”Robert Greenwald, producer of a new documentary titled “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism,” asserts FOX News amounts to little more than a constant commercial for the Republican Party.Greenwald and his crew spent seven months compiling and studying FOX News footage. The result premiered Tuesday at the New School University in Manhattan and initially will be distributed through private house party screenings nationwide. It is also available for $9.95 at http://www.outfoxed.org.Sunday, a group of Summit County residents will gather at Gail Culp’s house as part of the 2,500 house parties hosted by MoveOn and Common Cause members. Locals will watch Greenwald’s documentary and discuss what they can do to fight media deception. Greenwald hopes his 75-minute documentary will spur Americans to tell such corporate networks as FOX and ClearChannel that they oppose partisan reporting.As of Wednesday night, 18 people had called Culp to reserve a spot in her living room. She’s running out of room to accommodate people but says she may have additional parties.”‘Outfoxed’ is to Fox News what “Fahrenheit 9/11″ is to George W. Bush,” said Sandy Briggs, chair of the Summit County Democratic Party. “It just lays it out there for everyone to see. Then people can make up their own minds about what’s fair and balanced.”To create the documentary, volunteers viewed recorded footage of FOX News reports from June to December, 2003. Greenwald outlined about eight key issues he wanted them to document. The categories included FOX News techniques, such as cutting guests off when they voiced disparate views and creating emotion-laden graphics to further a conservative viewpoint; attacks against people who threaten Bush’s re-election; on-air guests that ended up being Republicans 83 percent of the time; biased stories against ethnic people or those that avoided asking Republicans tough questions; emotional stories on religion or same-sex marriage; and, in general, fear-based stories.Greenwald points out that Murdoch, whom he sees as a proponent of a conservative viewpoint as opposed to a true journalist, bought FOX News in 1985. Murdoch owns 175 newspapers, 100 cable stations and 40 television stations among other media outlets. Greenwald says the mogul’s audience makes up three-quarters of the world population.He also interviews 11 former FOX News employees who talk about how upper management pressured reporters to cover news with a conservative bias.”I do think the network news has a slant, and FOX definitely has one,” Culp said. “I suspected that some of those things presented in the DVD were the case. It deepened my sense of sadness that reporting has come to this.”But what is empowering is that groups such as MoveOn can have such an extensive e-mail list and mobilize people so quickly. They’re able to get an awful lot of people involved. (Activism is) important because I think the press let us down in the early days of the Iraq war, and I think that people need to be more vigilant.”Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 245, or at email@example.com.
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