This pointed documentary from veteran producer and filmmaker Robert Greenwald casts in distinctly unfavorable light the Fox News Network, fricasseeing its "fair and balanced" credo while claiming that the top-rated cable news operation functions as a publicity arm of the Republican Party and the administration of President George W. Bush. With funding from MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress, Greenwald combines dozens of clips that support his assertions with observations from various left-leaning media watchers, including Walter Cronkite, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's Jeff Cohen (FAIR), Jeff Chester from the Center for Digital Democracy, and author David Brock. Additional interviews with former FNC employees and excerpts from internal Fox correspondence buttress Greenwald's positions, although no current employees and officials are interviewed.
This indictment of the Fox News Network is a raw but effective piece of work. Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism is a low-budget, low-tech affair that consists primarily of talking-head footage intercut with cleverly selected clips from Fox News. It's also a bit slanted: the only people interviewed are disgruntled former employees or media professionals who are critical of the Fox News Network to begin with. That said, Outfoxed never seems unfair or unreasonable in its criticisms because it makes its points in a quiet, rational fashion and more often than not provides footage to back up each one. Along the way, Outfoxed shows how hypocritical and malicious some of Fox News' on-air personalities can be (especially Bill O'Reilly) and reveals a lot of underhanded tricks used by the network to slant the news: a good examples of this kind of tactic is the way they have newscasters slip network-approved opinions into their reports by prefacing them with the phrase "some people say." In short, some people might be dissuaded by the inherent biases of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, but the film offers enough solid information to make it well worth a viewing for anyone interested in how the modern news media works.