Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism Paperback – 5 Feb 2005
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." . .The kind of cinematic spanking that [Michael] Moore just delivered to President Bush." --"The Washington Post"
"What Outfoxed does is detail the specific ways, both onscreen and behind the scenes, in which the network's conservatism shapes its news and opinion programs." --"New York Times Magazine"
About the Author
Greenwald executive produced the 2002 documentary, "Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election." The success and political impact of that project led Greenwald to commit to two additional "Un" documenataries -- "Uncovered," which he produced and directed, and "Unconstitutional," about the erosion of American civil liberties following the events of September 11. Alexandra Kitty is a journalist who specializes in crime and media issues. She worked as a Canadian correspondent for Presstime magazine. She also wrote a cover story about Thomson for Quill magazine, and about the CBC for Current newspaper in Washington, DC.
Top customer reviews
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'!
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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Rupert Murdoch is one of too many men sucking the goodness out of humans for profit and power. This book is well-researched and, while it was written in 2005, the scandalous behavior of Fox "reporters" continues to this day. The only hope I see for a return to actual reporting the news so we can draw our own conclusions is that people are seeing Fox for what it is. Their intent is to shout slanted opinions on news drawn from other networks and do their best to beat up on anyone who disagrees with them. If they aren't borrowing from other networks, they are expressing their horrified views on celebrities in a most unkind manner because that's what attracts viewers.
Outfloxed does an excellent job of revealing the Fox method and is worth the read if only to make people aware of how the media works in this day and age. It might even serve to convert Fox watchers away from this form of entertainment and on to reputable networks who are trying to inform the public accurately.
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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