Friday, February 11, 2005

Outfoxed

For the most part, I have avoided news stuff related to Democrat vs. Republican cooties. It's one of the blessings of being in a post presidential election year. We have sent the roller coaster clicking up the first hill, and what happens from here on out is just what will happen, barring the thing jumping the tracks.

My wife and I joined Netflix recently, because our last good video store in town closed their doors, and we have nothing but Blockbuster now. Like most movie lovers, I don't rent at Blockbuster unless I have no other alternative. A while ago I put in my queue Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism and forgot about it. But it hit my door, and while my lovely wife was out running errands and the baby slept, I gave it a spin. "Outfoxed" demonstrates - Shock! Horror! - that Fox "News" is just a propaganda arm of the neocons. It's not like anyone paying attention didn't know that, but to have it spelled out in neon and indelible marker is partially fun and partially excruciating.

Like many liberals, I'm just trying to grin and bear it during the next four years, hoping Bush baby doesn't do too much damage to our nation, doesn't get too many of our kids killed in bullshit wars, and doesn't manage to dismantle Social Security. Our nation has survived worse, so I'm hopeful. And, who knows, there is a tiny, miniscule, itty-bitty chance that Bush's war on the Middle East will cool their jets on trying to kill us. If that ends up being the case, I'll take my crow with BBQ sauce, thank you very much.

Our national politics aside, something needs to be done about Fox "News". A simple truth in advertising suit might be in order, though it would be hard to win. As one of the commentators in the film points out, if someone has an established record of lying (he was referring to loofah boy Bill O'Reilly, though Rush "as long as it's pharmaceutical" Limbaugh would fit the bill, too), it's more difficult to prove that they KNOW that they're lying, and thus nearly impossible to prosecute them in the courts over the same. Ain't that a pickle?

The end result of watching "Outfoxed" for me was just getting pissed off all over again about something I can do nothing about. As long as people tune in to the propaganda network, and the advertisers know this, it will survive. Making laws about what's new and what isn't would never work, so really, this will only go away when and if folks who watch it as though it were real news eventually recognize it for the crap it really is.

About the only practical thing I can think of that can be done is the legitimate news outlets simply downgrading Fox "News" to an unreliable source, and never giving it any traction outside of its channel on TV. This may occur as a natural progression, actually, because lies and deceit are usually eventually uncovered. Let's hope, eh?

2 comments:

Pete H said...

And who have we to thank for this? Ronald Reagan. It was near the end of his 2nd term when he quietly eliminated the Fairness Doctrine - a rule that allowed for equal time for opposing viewpoints. From this a propaganda machine slowly but steadily evolved. We need that doctrine back bad! But of course, with Murdock at the helm, that's impossible. We are ruled by a plutocracy. We're not a Corporatist society. That's what they're trying to soften us with. "Corporations rule, and they're not people!" In our tax code, yes. But in reality it's wealthy, fat, chickenshit hypocrites who run them.

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