Eyes Wide Open Film Series
Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
June 9, 2005
As the third film of the Eyes Wide Open Film Series we screened Robert Greenwald's Outfoxed to an audience of interested viewers from the U.S., Canada, England, Holland and, of course, Italy.
The documentary film included interviews with former Fox employees from producers, to anchors, to consultants, some remaining anonymous, as well as media experts from FAIR, Free Press and Common Cause. But the real shocker for those of us not familiar with the network was the actual footage from Fox News. There was Bill O'Reilly berating guests and his famous "shut up" line, Sean Hannity counting down the days until Bush would be reelected, and montages of Kerry accused of being French and a flip flopper.
There were only a few people who had actually watched Fox News. It was broadcast here in Italy in the wee hours of the night for a period and one person admitted to becoming addicted to the show; the more outrageous, the more she watched to see how far they would go.
We talked about some parallels between Murdoch and Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as far as control of the media. It was decided that Berlusconi, though dangerous, is nothing when compared to Murdoch.
We also discussed that inherent cultural trait in those of us from the U.S. to believe the government and believe the media. In fact, in the film the founder of Free Press talks about how this propaganda machine is so successful for the very fact that people don't recognize it as such, propaganda.
We then started talking about solutions, how to counter corporate control of the media. One person asked about targeting sponsors of Fox News. A quick search on the web turned up the following:
Spending Liberally -
Up to date list of sponsors of the Fox News channel, with contact details for each so you can let them know you're not going to be purchasing their products and why.
Skin The Fox -
Another list of Fox News sponsors with contact details and sample letters.
Fox Blocker -
Information on how you can request that your cable TV provider block Fox News.
And we talked about supporting independent media, such as Democracy Now!, by watching, donating and spreading the word. To keep our spirits up, we all agreed that The Daily Show was just what we needed.
The consensus was that the current administration and the corporate media have spawned a grassroots movement the likes of which we hadn't seen for some time and was also essential in creating the network of alternative media outlets we now have. That's our silver lining.
Did someone tell you that U.S. military intervention in Iraq was over? Not true: we're at it again. This time the pretext to drop bombs is "curbing ISIS" (which was created by the U.S. in the first place, to overturn Assad in Syria and al-Malaki in Iraq, and is now out of hand. Like what happened to "our" creature al Qaeda in Afghanistan). And the death toll continues to rise...
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