If the salvos against Fox News in the documentaries "The Corporation" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" aren't enough for you (who can forget the story related in the former where the "boss" tells his hapless reporter that Fox will tell you what the news is?), then you'll be waiting as eagerly as I am for the release of "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism."
Unfortunately, that wait might be longer than you think, as the initial release will consist of "house party" screenings (whatever that is) and eventually DVD sales. The filmmaker Robert Greenwald also worked on a 2003 doc called "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About Iraq War" which I'd never heard of (but would love to see), and became interested in covering Fox's slanted news coverage after hearing journalists use the word Foxification to describe it (like Google or Photoshop, when a brand name becomes a verb or noun with a general meaning, it's best to pay attention).
Yahoo has posted a story on the release from AP, so check it out,
but here are a few highlights:
"Fox host Bill O'Reilly is seen on his show insisting he has told a guest to shut up 'only once in six years,' after which he is seen in clips telling one person after another with whom he disagrees to 'shut up.'" (I know that O'Reilly "shut up"-watching is one of our very own D-Day founder's favorite pastimes, so he'll definitely enjoy that...).
"The documentary also includes a rapid-fire succession of clips of more than a dozen Fox hosts using the phrase 'some people say' — which the filmmakers say is a way to insinuate opinion disguised as reporting into on-air discussions."
"The study found conservatives accounted for nearly three-fourths of ideological guests on the network's marquee news program, "Special Report with Brit Hume," between June and December 2003, and that Republicans outnumbered Democrats five to one."
If you haven't seen "The Corporation" yet and are interested in the Fox "Just Like Journalism" TM style, I strongly recommend you run, don't walk, to theaters to see it. Sandwiched between a look at corporations as having the characteristics of pathological individuals and a look at their runaway pillaging of the Third World is a fine report of two Fox reporters' attempts to cover the Monsanto case. As strong as I think the rest of the film is, this is really the highlight, as the two extremely sharp and funny journalists give a step-by-step account of Fox burying their story under pressure from Monsanto.
As a final postscript, I (finally) saw Fahrenheit 9/11 yesterday after dozens of missed opportunities and crossed wires. The film is strongest when it sticks to hard documentation (the two versions of Bush's service record) and less so when it leaves innuendo to fill in the blanks. Moore is still the master though of deriving emotional impact from the stories of everyday people, especially in Flint, Michigan and in particular one very brave and patriotic mother. For all the attacks on liberals as elitist and latte-drinking (drive around Michigan and try not to find a Caribou or Starbucks coffee everywhere you go), Moore clearly loves the people of Flint, goose-with-bonnet welcome mats and all, and his "elitism" hasn't altered at all his wardrobe which still consists of jeans and the ubiquitous baseball cap, Mid West standard issue. Having grown up in southeast Michigan, and attended band shows in Flint union halls that looked like bombed out hulks (which at the time I associated with Beirut), it's clear Moore hasn't given up on middle America despite their often being associated strongly with the Bush presidency. The most telling fact is that Moore is no longer credited with quirky gimmick-laden docs which allow you to laugh along to release some of the pent-up frustration over being powerless. No, you can't stop the auto companies from leaving Flint, or Nike to act in a responsible way perhaps, but you can vote. While "Roger and Me" is more of an elegy for the death of American manufacturing, his films and books have progressively been injected with a sense of urgency- that it's now or never. His works draw a line from Flint factory workers to Third World shoe manufacturers to Iraqi families and back to American soldiers, direct from, where else? Flint, MIchigan.
The other day I saw P.J. O'Rourke on Tucker Carlson, who voiced his point a view that whatever the reason for going into Iraq, knocking a major player off the chess board was always to be commended.
Guess who the pawns are?