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Hollywood Assault on the Fox News Channel
July 12, 2004

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

The Hollywood Left strikes again. Joining the election year procession of partisanship is Robert Greenwald Productions, whose previous flicks include "Steal This Movie," a biography of the late arch-radical activist, Abbie Hoffman, "Crooked E," a made for TV film about the Enron scandal and "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War." The company is in the process of premiering its latest film called "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism."

The movie is an alleged expose of how Fox News is biased toward the conservative viewpoint of Rupert Murdoch. It features leaked policy memos, footage of FNC anchors in action and interviews with former Fox employees.

As he has done with certain films in the past, Greenwald is marketing his movie with some lefty assistance. Evidently, the group is going to distribute DVDs directly to his audience.

And in terms of funding, a significant part of the cost of the film was contributed by MoveOn and the Center for American Progress, the group that Bill Clinton's former chief of staff John Podesta is involved with.

Musical artist Eric Clapton gave Greenwald permission to use "Layla" free of charge. Singer-songwriter Don Henley contributed "Dirty Laundry." The no-longer most trusted news anchor Walter Cronkite and the left-leaning media mavens Mark Crispin Miller and Eric Alterman provided commentary.

Greenwald told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann that "the level of fear about Roger Ailes and FNC was as extreme as I've ever seen. People hung up the phone on me. People told me that their e-mail was being read...people told me to lose their numbers. They feared for their jobs."

Reportedly, the film used intercepted material from satellite feeds, which was not intended for public broadcast. Supposedly one of the segments shows FNC's Carl Cameron talking to President Bush about Cameron's wife having a delightful time campaigning with the president's sister.

The movie is also said to reveal memos from a senior FNC vice president instructing journalists on how to report about U.S. fatalities in Iraq. "Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives," the memo supposedly says.

Another memo apparently refers to coverage of the United States military's siege on Falluja. "It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of 'excessive force.' We won't be among that group," the memo purportedly reads.

A third memo on the 9/11 Commission allegedly states, "The fact that former Clinton and both former and current Bush administration officials are testifying gives it a certain tension, but this is not 'what did he know and when did he know it' stuff. Do not turn this into Watergate."

Since Fox never gave permission to use the footage, a lawsuit may end up blocking the film's distribution.

Greenwald said that one of the reasons he made the flick is because he "wanted to start a campaign to free the reporters at Fox News."

Well, I guess someone had to do something about those poor Fox News journalists who are stuck working on the #1 rated cable news station in the country.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2004
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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