[June 2010] The 2007 documentary “OUTFOXED: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism” [WATCH VIDEO] examines how Rupert Murdoch's bias for all things conservative and love for Ronald Reagan, and his hatred of Senator Ted Kennedy and all things liberal created a political organization under the auspicious of a news organization with the intent of propagandizing the conservative philosophy. The film provides a disturbing look at the methodologies the most powerful name in news uses to advance the Republican agenda.
Murdoch, an Australian-born billionaire, entered the cable news market in 1996 with the Fox News Channel, a 24-hour cable news channel to compete with CNN. It was his answer to what he perceived as the “liberal media.” Fox News Channel became the “conservative media.”
It would be no surprise to anyone to know that Murdoch disagrees with the assertions made in the film. But no matter how he explains his original intent for starting Fox News Channel, what the organization became is the political and research arm of the Republican Party. It did not take long for Fox to eat into CNN’s market share and soon became known as “the most-watched cable news channel.”
To bring the so-called “liberal media” to its knees Murdoch hired heavy hitters from the Republican Party, conservative talk radio, and conservative newspapers. Roger Ailes, former media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush, became president of Fox News Channel. He was charged with carrying out Murdoch’s vision of media dominance.
Ailes turned his focus to bringing in controversial opinionated conservative talk show hosts Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly to serve as bullies and enforcers. They use their shows to take up the official conservative position and spin Republican talking points. Both hosts are well known for toxic rhetoric and verbally violent pushback on any group, news organization, or persons that dare to challenge their methods.
Hannity and O’Reilly will take a news story and invent some sort of issue around it and Fox news producer uses the issue to manufacture a controversy that is reported during their news hours. Glen Beck, their resident professor of doomsday prophecy, hammers away at convincing Fox viewers that under Democratic control, the country is headed for tyranny.
By nature of its own broadcasts and political leanings of its anchors, editors, commentators, guests, reporters, producers, and pundits, Fox’s objective is to advance conservative causes under the banner of a news organization to give a national platform to conservative activists so they can fiercely advocate for the conservative position.
Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC "Morning Joe" show [6/21/10] hailed Fox News chairman Roger Ailes as "the most powerful voice in the Republican Party” and gave the network itself credit for being "the only organizing institution for the GOP." This is a news organization being praised by a host of a show on another news network for violating the ethical standards of a journalist.
Their approach to journalism abuses the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics to “Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.”
It is no secret that Fox is adamantly opposed to any policy of the Obama Administration. President Obama described them this way: “I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration." Fox claims they are being tough because the so-called “liberal media” is in “bed” with Obama. Fox followers would more likely surmise that Fox is helping Conservatives to make sure Obama’s agenda is defeated. Fox has convinced its viewers that Obama is “bad for America.”
You would expect former DNC Chairman Howard Dean to say that Fox was a "right-wing propaganda machine," but his accusation is supported by Republicans, like columnist Jonah Goldberg, who was quoted as saying, "I think liberals have reasonable gripes with Fox News. It does lean to the right, primarily in its opinion programming but also in its story selection (which is fine by me) and elsewhere. But it is worth remembering that Fox is less a bastion of ideological conservatism and more a populist, tabloidy network."
Fox tells its viewers “We report, you decide”, but what their viewers hear and see on Fox are news stories favorable to conservative ideology and the Republican agenda and the endorsement of the idea that conservatives are “real Americans” and the Republican Party is on the side of “real Americans”. In comparison, they unashamedly lie, distort, and misrepresent information to portray Democrats and liberals as evil, morally corrupt, un-American, unpatriotic, and too inept to govern. Just another defiance of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Code of Ethics, which states, “Deliberate distortion is never permissible.”
The mission of Fox News’ broadcasts is simple…to drive nails into the coffin of liberalism forever.
© 2010 Shar’Ron Maxx Mahaffey. All rights reserved.
Follow me on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/smaxxmahaffey