Finally got around to watching "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" last night. I've had the disc from Netflix forever. And by the way, the entire movie was just one chapter, meaning if you hit the wrong button you had to start from the beginning and fast forward. Fast forward!!! Like we used to do in the olden days. Is this a Netflix thing, or an indie movie/no DVD budget thing? Me no like.

War on journalism is right. "Outfoxed" details the Fox News Channel's masquerade as a legitimate news outlet, and why we must actively call it out, and call it what it is. I won't go into all the secret memos revealed, the fear-mongering, the manipulative graphics, the "some people say" technique -- you will want to see all that for yourself. What I will say is that the death of journalism, should we allow that to happen, will be the death of democracy. Already threatened by the arrival of blogging and alternative media, journalism, and journalists, must find a new toehold without the traditional "newspaper as bible" and "ol' reliable" network anchors to carry them.

I don't have enough time to write a term paper here, as I'm packing for a trip. I'll just leave with you these quotes from "Outfoxed", and hope that you will have a look at the film. It starts slow, but stay with it. You'll be glad you did.

"It's influencing its competitors. That's why MSNBC hired Joe Scarborough. That's why CNN in recent weeks has taken to reporting pretty much anything the Bush White House tells it to report. There is the sense now that there is money in the flag. And Fox knows that, and its competitors know that Fox is on to something."
-- Alexander Kippen, Former Fox News reporter, Washington DC

"For any self-respecting journalist, if you're told that the more people consume your media, the less they'll know about the subject and the more they'll support government policy - that's exactly the worst thing any journalist wants to hear or should want to hear."
-- Bob McChesney, founder of Free Press, author of "The Problem of the Media"

"The real revolutionary breakthrough of Fox is that it's eliminated journalism. There is no journalism at the Fox News Channel."
-- ibid.

"My criticism of Fox News isn't that it's a conservative channel. It's the consumer fraud of 'Fair and Balanced.' It's nothing of the sort."
-- Jeff Cohen, former MSNBC/Fox News Contributor

"What makes Murdoch particularly dangerous is that he's foremost a politician, and he will use his immense media power to shape the content, especially the news, that furthers his interests and those of his allies."
-- Jeff Chester, Executive Director, Center for Digital Democracy

"When you have one network that is so powerful, and so intent on warping the dialogue, it limits that discourse. It actually limits it to being a narrower discourse."
-- John Nichols, author, "Dick: The Man Who is President"

"The administration and its footsoldiers at Fox News did create a climate of fear and of self-censorship [at CNN] in terms of the kind of broadcast work we did [during the invasion of Baghdad]."
-- Christiane Amanpour, CNN Reporter

"It is not an issue of the Right or the Left. It is a populist issue, about people finally saying it's their democracy, and they're not going to let five companies control the airwaves for corporate convenience at the expense of public necessity."
-- Len Hill, independent producer

Learn More:

Center for Digital Democracy

Center for Public Integrity

Citizens for Media Literacy

Common Cause

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Free Press

Media Matters for America

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