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Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism [Paperback]

Alexandra Kitty
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Feb 2005
Presents an analysis of Fox News Channel's television broadcasts, examining the conservative agenda of Rupert Murdoch, its owner, and discussing the influence of that agenda on Fox's presentation of the news.

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Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism + The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: DISINFORMATION COMPANY LTD; First Edition edition (5 Feb 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932857117
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932857115
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,001,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Without free speech there can be no accurate news: people generally do not want to air dirty little secrets about their dangerous, immoral, corrupt or vile practices, and if they have the power to censor any unflattering dirt that can hurt their reputation, bragging rights or careers, they will do it. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kitty kills the fox! 12 July 2011
If you have seen Robert Greenwald's riveting 2004 documentary of the same name, you will want to read this equally fascinating book by noted political analyst Alexandra Kitty. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with ex-Fox news producers, reporters, and writers, it exposes how employees were told to distort the news to fit a right-wing point of view or risk dismissal, and how guests, such as Iraq war protestor Jeremy Glick, was invited onto the channel only to be bullied on air.

The book fleshes out what we saw on screen, producing a frightening picture of what can happen when too much media power is put in the hands of one man. As I write this, Murdoch's empire is being shaken to its core by the biggest scandal since Watergate - not before time either! Should you be tempted to feel sorry for him, read this. Also buy the documentary. They complement each other perfectly.

A friend of mine recently suggested that a Murdoch-type character should be the next Bond villain. He looked amazed when I told him this had already happened - 1997's excellent 'Tomorrow Never Dies'!
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I'm no lover of Fox News Corp, nor of Rupert Murdoch's organisation in general; that's probably why I bought this book (!). But I was extremely disappointed in it right from the start, and largely skim-read the second half.

It's full of ridiculously partial anecdotes and tidbits of information about individual Fox programmes and presenters, but apart from quotes from program transcripts and a few internal emails there is almost no supporting evidence to back up its claims. It's also laid out in a most confusing fashion, and is delivered in a breathless style which is quite inappropriate to an exposé of this kind.

I fear this book has done its own cause some harm.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be Afraid Be Very Afraid or Be Informed and do something? 18 April 2005
By Scott A. Riddle - Published on Amazon.com
I'm calling for a nationwide boycott of Fox. This book exposes the tunnel vision being created in the United States by the vast majority of corporate outlets like Clear Channel but, as the title suggests, its focus is on Fox channel's biases. We, the United States citizens, are being divided into two camps and Fox supports if not outright is creating this division to further it's conservative camp's agenda by it's use of tactics ranging from distortion and ignoring of facts to outright lying to its viewers, the American people. I was shocked, frightened, and infuriated as I was informed of Rupert Murdoch's abuse of power. I for one do not believe that manipulation of the people should be the purpose of the media. If you love freedom and believe that you deserve honest and truthful journalism then I'm sure you'll want to read this book. After reading it I'm sure you will feel the same way I do and if you do then don't watch Fox, that includes The Simpson's but..., especially don't watch Fox News, don't read USA Today, or go to Fox movies, or buy magazines owned by Rupert Murdoch, and refuse to listen to Fox musicians on Fox radio stations and for good measure avoid Clear Channel, you know the ones that fired Howard Stern, because they belong to the same camp. If you feel attempting to bankrupt Rupert Murdoch for his corrupt practices perpetrated on the American citizens is going a bit far, or would take to much effort, at very least seek out alternative media sources for your local and world news. ON THE OTHER HAND IF YOU LIKE FOX NEWS BY ALL MEANS CONTINUE TO ENJOY BUT YOU SHOULD AT LEAST BE INFORMED OF WHY IT IS YOU TEND AGREE WITH EVERYTHING THEY SAY. For everyone that wants a more honest reporting from their media I suggest listening to [...] and for fun check out the animated political cartoons of Mark Fiore at [...]
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'fair and balanced' the Fox News myth 8 Feb 2008
By dunniano - Published on Amazon.com
This documentary is a must for people who are intersted in the political bias of the media. Fox News is better known as Mr Murdochs flagship right wing news channel which describes itself in laughable terms as 'Fair and Balanced'--- yeah if you are a card carrying member of the G.O.P(Republican Party) and a right wing conservative.The documentarty looks at the propaganda methods Fox use and has an insight to the Right wing agenda and its clever delivery by Fox...NOT( repeat propaganda time and time again until some poor Joe Public or Joe the Plumber actually beleives it no matter how warped and ludcrious it actually is ).Many former Fox editors,anchors and other former employees inform on the bullying eye of Big Brother Fox.As Fox News champion of the Right Bill O' Reilly(Shut up!!!) would say "The spin stops here"-----Does it? Watch this documentary for a real taste the crazy mixed up world of Foxland which makes Disney positively a reality .... Fair and Blanced it isnt!!!!Please note I use the word News when referring to Fox this is used loosely !!!! Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Neil Cavuto etc...etc.... your boys took one hell of a beating.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ammo belt to support the DVD 2 Dec 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Long, long ago I saw the "Outfoxed" DVD. No, it didn't stock up on that many surprises, just put 'em in context, and gave me some specifics as to why I don't trust anything Faux as far as I can puke it. Interesting, though, I loaned it to various colleagues who didn't know Faux was that bad; they swore off anything Faux after seeing it!

I got this book then, hoping it would complement the film. Actually, I think it does. My particular nemisis is bill o'lielly (who threatens Jeremy Glick, the young son of a 9/11 victim in the film, according to Glick, so that Glick was frightened. "He's a big man!" [6.4"] Glick proclaims.

And telling everyone to "Shut up!" while denying that he says that.

Then there's the brief clip of Al Franken saying that attorneys said that it would be hard to sue o'lielly as Billy Boy is so oblivious to his fallacies that he might not even know he's lying!

Well, I mention that as there's a long section on Billy Boy, including a segment which asserts that billy's days are numbered. It's only a matter of time before someone more audacious--a bigger liar?--comes around to put billy to shame. That, by the way, is while the author(s) comment on billy's intelligence, his style of putting his panelists on the defensive with an offensive style only billy has mastered so far.

Well, I shouldn't get caught up in billy. He's hot worth it. There's also sections focusing on Hannity and Colmes, Ann Coulter, Faux's guests, why they choose them, how they support the channel's ideological angle, etc.

Contrary to one reviewer, I think the book will stand on its own. But you might be better off seeing it as a supplement or complement to the DVD. It surely the DVD and the book indicate why integrity is needed in choosing media. (Note I don't suggest censorship. But I've argued for years that people should refuse to show up on the Faux propaganda machine, and its doors will close. Then let it's "correspondents," some of whom I've had the displeasure of meeting, may have to get a job in fast food. "Would you like fries and my last DVD with that order?" And then "journalism" may actually evolve to something resembling reality, not just a channel for the reactionaries and sheep who take Faux seriously.
7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Noble cause, terrible book 19 Feb 2006
By David A. Bede - Published on Amazon.com
Rupert Murdoch's right-wing "news" empire is certainly ripe for a scholarly expose, but this isn't it. It's more like fighting yellow journalism with equally yellow journalism. Interesting tactic, but it doesn't work at all. I haven't seen the film "Outfoxed" (to which this book is intended as a companion piece), but after reading this, I certainly hope the movie is better.

I definitely agree with Kitty's point of view on Fox News, so my complaint about the book isn't political in the least. No, my criticisms are entirely stylistic. It's quite simply the worst-written book I've read in a long time. If you can remember anything your high school history teacher told you never to do in writing a research paper, chances are you'll find multiple examples of it here. Slang terms are found absolutely everywhere in the book, incomplete sentences turn up every few pages, and Kitty's own biases appear in places where they definitely don't belong. (A Canadian, she snidely refers to New York and Washington as "dueling candidates for center of the universe" at one point, and also labels Fox News watchers "sexually frustrated".) She also violates the cardinal rule agaisnt assuming prior knowledge on the reader's part, going on for pages in the first chapter about Conrad Black and the downfall of the Hollinger corporation without providing any information at all on who Black is or what actually happened to his company.

I think I understand the tone she was aiming for here, but she missed her target entirely. The familiar, conversational tone she's attempting here hardly ever works in nonfiction. While it is clear to me that she hoped to make the book more accessible through her approach, the sloppiness of her style actually makes it much more difficult to understand. Also, her in-your-face attitude amounts to sinking to the level so often employed on Fox News, which defeats the purpose of a book-length critique of it.

Eric Alterman and Mark Crispin Miller have both written more broad-based looks at the right wing media in general. Until another full-length look at Fox News comes along, their work is adequate for anyone who wants to learn more about Murdoch and his enterprise, even if it isn't comprehensive. Meanwhile, skip this one!
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