7.6/10
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Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism (2004)

Unrated | | Documentary | 13 July 2004 (USA)
Documentary on reported Conservative bias of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel (FNC), which promotes itself as "Fair and Balanced". Material includes interviews with former FNC employees and the inter-office memos they provided.

Director:

Robert Greenwald

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Cast

Credited cast:
Roger Ailes ... Himself (archive footage)
Eric Alterman Eric Alterman ... Interviewee
Christiane Amanpour ... Herself (archive footage)
Harry Belafonte ... Himself (archive footage)
David Brock David Brock ... Interviewee
Tom Brokaw ... Himself (archive footage)
George W. Bush ... Himself (archive footage)
Carl Cameron Carl Cameron ... Himself (archive footage)
George Carlin ... Himself (archive footage)
Neil Cavuto ... Himself (archive footage)
Douglas Cheek Douglas Cheek ... Narrator
Dick Cheney ... Himself (archive footage)
Richard Clarke ... Himself
Jeff Cohen Jeff Cohen ... Interviewee
Alan Colmes ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

Documentary on reported Conservative bias of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox News Channel (FNC), which promotes itself as "Fair and Balanced". Material includes interviews with former FNC employees and the inter-office memos they provided.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MK2 [France] | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 July 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Outfoxed: La guerra mediatica di Rupert Murdoch See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$78,054, 8 August 2004, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$237,277, 22 August 2004
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On 18 July 2004, a network of "house parties" premiered this film on DVD throughout the USA. The screenings were synchronized to begin at 9:20 PM Eastern time, and afterwards, a two-way communications link via computer was used to voice opinions and interview several of the people involved in the documentary's production. See more »

Quotes

Bill O'Reilly: I'm not a right-winger, I believe in global warming!
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Connections

References Network (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Dirty Laundry
Written by Don Henley and Danny Kortchmar
Performed by Don Henley
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User Reviews

 
It worked for Goebbels, why not for Murdoch?
26 July 2004 | by Pingo-2See all my reviews

As with FARENHEIT 9/11 (2004), I will split this review up into two parts. One, the technical part, and two, the political part.

The movie itself is well made, even though the first 20 minutes or so have a bit of sloppy editing. Too fast clips make the text a bit hard to read. The interviews are often cut, which can be seen as a "shift" in the interviewees position, but this is not always clear. Usually, when making such editings, you make a white flash to indicate that you have omitted some words from this interview.

Particulary in this movie this is very important, since the whole issue here is FOX's use of the words "fair and balanced". This documentary however isn't fair and isn't balanced, but then again, no documentary is. The moviemakers doesn't use, or even pretend, to say that this documentary is "fair and balanced", so they might get away with it, but I still believe they should make these things a bit clearer to the viewer.

Second, I must say that the length of the film (approx 1 hour and 20 minutes or so) is perfect. It is not too long and not too short. The moviemakers get their point through and in a very good way.

Where other filmmakers usually spend too much film on themselves, these guys let the FOX's material speak for itself. And does it work? Oh yes!

This film is so hilarious sometimes that one can only wonder if ANYONE with an IQ over 80 can take this O'Reilly guy seriously. He is a total jerk and treats everyone like trash, and most of what he says himself is either "shut up" or some lies. The fun part is the way this material is edited, since we can actually tell for ourselves that O'Reilly IS lieing. I had the most fun with the O'Reilly parts, but he is quite a character to make fun of too. Not much is needed, you just have to watch him and hear him and you begin to laugh. I haven't watched FOX "News" so I was stunned over the fact that they have someone that is so ridiculus on the air. O'Reilly is so embarrasing that if I was related to him in any way I would change my name.

The other part of this review, the political part: Obviously this movie is made and released in good time before the 2004 election. And it is quite obvious that the makers of this film doesn't like Bush, and that they like Kerry. With that said, I believe this film will hold better after the election than, say, FARENHEIT 9/11 will. This film will still be important after the election, and I think that is this movies strongest point.

It is quite clear that the techniques used by Murdoch in his FOX "News" channel is in many ways the same techniques Joseph Goebbels used when he was working for Hitler back in the 1930's and 1940's. Similarities like censorship, bashing of political sides they don't like, use of symbols, use of fear. I am not saying here that Murdoch or anyone associated with FOX are Nazis - I just say they use the same techniques to get their propaganda through.

And it is propaganda. Watching the FOX "News" material is quite shocking, especially the parts which deals with hard subjects like 9/11 and the Iraqi war. Not counting O'Reilly here (because no one can take that guy seriously anyway), the rest of the FOX "News" staff seems to give quite a good impression. This is where it gets dangerous, since they are literary saying the same things that O'Reilly does, but with a calm and intelligent voice that can't be ignored.

Murdoch and the Italian PM Berlusconi has also some interesting similarities. Even though Murdoch can't create his own laws, he seems to have a strong link to the US Government (especially if there is a Republican as President) which kind of grants him this power anyway. That is, of course, not free press.

And if the FOX "News" channel just said that they were Republican or Conservative or that they said that "we support Bush - not Kerry", then there would be nothing wrong with this, or at least very little.

But when FOX uses the words "Fair and balanced" and even have this as a logotype used in their shows and on their website with the impression that it is a registered trademark (!) - THEN it is something really wrong. That is actually a lie, and when a news network lies about something, what parts of what they say is true?

Obviously this is FOX' view. Intelligent people can, as FOX say, "decide" for themselves. And last time I was in the USA I only met intelligent people, so I wonder... Does anyone really take FOX seriously?

I give this documentary 8 of 10. It is interesting, fun and will still be an important film after the election. It is not perfectly edited and have some other issues, but overall, it is a good film that I hope many people watch, even if you don't agree with the point of view.


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