Wednesday, October 14, 2009


For those of you that do not know, this blog is being written, in part, for a course at the University of Western Ontario on blogging. In this course we periodically have to write a response to something we watched or discussed in class.

In this entry I am going to respond to a Documentary that we watched in class titled, “Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism.” The film’s focus is Fox News and makes an impressive jab at their “imperfect” ultra right wing viewpoints (which is, in all honesty, not a difficult thing do—just watch any episode of The Colbert Report or The Daily Show).

It is always funny for me, as a Canadian, to watch anything Fox News related because a Canadian counterpart to Fox News doesn’t really exist (yet). While watching this documentary, it is hard for me not to find the tactics used by Fox News to be comical. These tactics include: using fear to get their audience to believe what they have to say, “muddy the argument enough” until they “win” with at least a draw, and playing off of “the people that don’t think that [they are victims of propaganda because]… they’re much easier to propagandize.” In other words, they take advantage of American ignorance…

An example from the documentary of Fox News’ formula is a portion where they interview Jeremy Glick. In this portion Jeremy talks about his appearance on the O’Reilly factor. Jeremy discusses how Bill O’Reilly hushed him and denied him a word in edge-wise anytime that he had anything potentially threatening to say that was contrary to O’Reilly’s POV. The documentary made it seem as though anybody who doesn’t let O’Reilly manipulate them is almost immediately kicked out of the studio.

The slogan of Fox News, which the documentary kept referring back to, is “fair and balanced” and I feel like the main point that it was making is that Fox News is far from fair and far from balanced. Fox News deals with "news" (or should I say, opinion) poorly and uses way too much yellow journalism (sensationalism), but I would argue that the trend and direction that most news channels seem to be heading in is not for from what we see on Fox News today. Even though, as I said at the beginning, I don’t find Canadian news this comical, I fear that it may not be too far off.

The end the documentary discusses that a public uprising is necessary for this phony reporting to be stopped and although I agree, I wonder if, with the rise of the Internet, people care enough about TV news at this point to not let it go to shambles.

1 comment:

  1. you know you're in trouble when the most 'balanced' news is satirical...

    fox news is embarassing. Is Glenn Beck just playing a huge joke on the world? I think so