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ISSUE 118 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/1/2004

Outfoxed, A balanced debate: Movie provides selective evidence

By Chase Donaldson
Contributing Writer


Friday, October 1, 2004

Outfoxed, a $300,000 project funded by Moveon.org, a left-wing organization which once implied an analogy between President Bush and Hitler, was shown in Viking Theater this past week.

The documentary offers little substance or credibility. The arguments in the film are supported by disgruntled ex-employees of Fox News, biased analysis from extreme liberals like Al Franken, and selectively chosen memos which suggest an administrative bias against the Democratic Party.

In the movie, however, director Robert Greenwald, an admirer and apparent student of propagandist Michael Moore, forgot a few choice memos. USA Today revealed that Greenwald deliberately excluded numerous memos telling reporters to give equal time and credence to speeches given by John Kerry and to downplay credibility given to Kerry critics.

Outfoxeds method of choosing memos that fit their agenda is extremely misleading, and its Michael Moore-style distortion of the truth suggests how much stock a viewer ought to place in the film.

The film implied that it was Fox News biased election reporting that cost Al Gore the 2000 election. Newsweek magazine reported a story conveniently forgotten by the director where [Rupert] Murdoch [the owner of Fox News] is backing & Democratic nominee Al Gore.

Murdoch also served as vice chair of a Gore fundraising event and contributed $50,000 himself. He also allowed the Democratic Party to use the Staples Convention Center for their 2000 national convention at no charge, a $10 million gift.

Even after the election when Al Gore retreated into private life and taught journalism at Columbia University, guess who Gore invited as a guest speaker? You guessed it; the very man who Outfoxed claims maliciously orchestrated Gores loss in the 2000 election, Rupert Murdoch. Gore must forgive and forget pretty quickly.

The film also fails to point out how the Fox News Channel hurt the Bush campaign in 2000 by breaking the Bush 1976 DUI story. Although the Associated Press and other news outlets declined to run the story, it was the alleged right-wing Fox News that, allegedly, almost cost Bush the controversial 2000 election, with 25 percent of voters in exit polls claiming that the story influenced their voting decision.

Outfoxed did correctly establish that Foxs editorial staff, namely Bill OReilly and Sean Hannity, are right-wingers. It also raised the important point that these political pundits can be very egotistical, disrespectful and downright rude.

However, one must also keep in mind that Hardball, Crossfire and the Abrams Report are all left-wing editorial programming found on other networks that are guilty of the same offenses and the same style of disrespect and belligerence.

Disregarding opinion programming as just that, the important question that begs to be asked is how do the different media outlets actually cover the news? A 2003 study done by professors from Stanford University and the University of Chicago found that all of the major news outlets except Fox News Special Report received a score to the left of the average member of Congress and that the Fox News Special Report is the most centrist.

Here is a study, whose conclusion has been supported by other media outlets such as the Washington Post, done in academia (no friend to conservative thought), stating that the media has a liberal bias reporting the news, and that Fox News is the most centrist.

Those who cry bias at Fox News should look at the numerous studies on media bias as well as the recent scandal at CBS and see what is really going on in the media world. But then again, the makers of Outfoxed and its fans are not interested in the truth but are solely interested in pushing the liberal ideology. Until we are able to get past these detriments to discourse, no problems with the media will ever be resolved.


Contributing writer Chase Donaldson is a sophomore from Kildeer, Ill. He majors in chemistry and psychology.


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