....LMB: "Breakdown"....

July 13, 2004

Last week, I idly mentioned that there was a new anti-Fox News documentary out called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. Looks like a good flick, using the news channels' own footage to hang it, and you can apparently buy a copy for only about $10. But it's starting to get some media momentum, so let's take another look.

Apart from its obvious controversy, the documentary is also noteworthy because it uses more copyrighted material without permission than any previous film. The director seems to be hoping that he can get around it by claiming it was "fair use", a loophole that lets you use portions of a copyrighted work for "criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research". No one's used "fair use" so heartily before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this shakes out.

While on the one hand Fox News is acting like the movie is no big deal, the network simultaneously seems to be losing its mind. In a really silly smear attempt, Fox is essentially arguing that billionaire George "Darth" Soros is the evil puppetmaster in this tale, making the movie, controlling the NY Times, and possibly eating babies.*

Then Fox tried to claim that every single ex-Fox-employee interviewed in the film was a low-level employee, fired for incompetence who lies for fun. And then Fox puffed up its chest and said that they will publicly release all of their "editorial directions and internal memos" if other major news agencies do the same. Which demonstrates all the courage of saying "I will stand in the middle of the freeway, if you do." I can say that fearlessly because I know full well that you're not gonna, and I still get to look like a big, ballsy hero (at least to the naked, stupid eye).

My absolute favorite thing though is that the film's director, in a mock effort to smooth things over with Fox, has offered to let the network air the film "for free." You, Mr. Director, are a funny man.

Anyhow, since this movie seems to be making Fox break out in a nervous, loony rash, there's only one thing to do: promote the hell out of it.

All you bloggers, post info and links about the movie on your site. Email the url to friends. Print out the logo/cover graphic and post it on the bulletin board at work. Go to Fox News HQ and pee on the doorknobs. Keep checking CableNewser, a blog that is apparently all over this story. Buy a copy of the movie, watch it, and pass it around.

I haven't seen the movie, don't know if it's any good, and guess that most Americans are already pretty aware of the reality of the movie's premise: the Fox News Channel is conservative. But if there's anything we can do to make Rupert Murdoch cry like a little girl, I say we go for it.

[update]

Wonkette has a batch of 30 Fox News memos where honcho John Moody tells his employees what to cover that day and how to cover it. Some of his directives are explicitly partisan, some are implicitly partisan, and some are just sensationalistic.

[/update]

----
*There is a whisper of truth to this Fox allegation. Outfoxed was partially funded by MoveOn.org, which was partially funded by George Soros. And a NY Times reporter wrote about the documentary, but agreed with the film's director not to call Fox News for comment till the last minute (allegedly so that Fox wouldn't be alerted about the movie, sue the director, and prevent the film's release). So obviously, these connections form a single tapestry of evil, woven by demonic succubi, on the payroll of mega-evil George Soros.**

** What's the deal with me and footnotes lately?

Posted by Jake at 07:26 PM | TrackBack (1)
Comments

looks like I now need to blog about this...

Posted by: Duncan at July 14, 2004 08:20 PM

looks like I now need to blog about this...

Posted by: Duncan at July 14, 2004 08:26 PM

A hit, a very palpable hit. martha Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.

Posted by: alex at December 1, 2004 12:01 AM

How many ages hence Shall this our lofty scene be acted over In states unborn and accents yet unknown! mike Frailty, thy name is woman!

Posted by: mike at December 3, 2004 11:35 AM

I will be correspondent to command, And do my spiriting gently. martha My meaning in saying he is a good man, is to have you understand me that he is sufficient.

Posted by: martha at December 3, 2004 11:35 AM

O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;It hath the primal eldest curse upon 't, A brother's murder. trevor While thou livest keep a good tongue in thy head.

Posted by: trevor at December 3, 2004 11:35 AM

Farewell! thou art too dear for my possessing. chuck What seest thou elseIn the dark backward and abysm of time?

Posted by: chuck at December 3, 2004 11:35 AM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

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Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply donít know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

Posted by Jake at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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