From Jim Gilliam's blog archivesKurtz: "it's neither fair nor balanced"
July 18, 2004 12:26 PM
Howard Kurtz covered Outfoxed on CNN's Reliable Sources this morning: "it's neither fair nor balanced."
7/18/04, CNN Reliable Sources
KURTZ: Coming up, the new film that takes on Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and the gang at Fox News.
KURTZ: You can't see it in any movie theater, but a new DVD called "Outfoxed" is generating plenty of media buzz.
KURTZ (voice-over): Filmmaker Robert Greenwald, a big fan of Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 911" uses unauthorized Fox News footage to slam the network as pro-Republican and pro-Bush. "Outfoxed" trots out liberal commentators, from Al Franken to Walter Cronkite, and some former employees to depict Fox as shilling for the GOP. And the movie has its moments.
There was this embarrassing exchange when correspondent Carl Cameron sat down to interview George W. Bush in 2000.
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: My wife has been hanging out with your sister.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yeah, good. My county (ph).
CAMERON: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) has been all over the state campaigning...
KURTZ: Cameron told me that despite his comments, his wife never actually worked for the Bush campaign.
Then there's Bill O'Reilly, seen in some heated exchanges with guests.
BILL O'REILLY, HOST, "THE O'REILLY FACTOR": You shut up about sex (ph). Shut up. Why don't you just shut up?
KURTZ: The movie digs up some memos to the staff from Senior Vice President John Moody, such as this message last April on Iraq coverage -- "Do not fall into the easy trap of mourning the loss of U.S. lives and asking out loud, why are we there?"
But it ignores other memos, in which Moody, for example, says speeches by Bush and John Kerry should be given equal time.
And that's the problem with "Outfoxed." In skewering Rupert Murdoch's network, it's neither fair nor balanced.
The filmmaker says there's a good reason.
ROBERT GREENWALD, PRODUCER, "OUTFOXED": I absolutely never called Fox News and I have two words. Al Franken. They sued to stop him. They sued to stop the book. They're litigious.
KURTZ: But the film makes it looks like Fox never has liberal guests, which isn't true. Worse, there's some misleading editing, such as this snippet involving an anchor seeming to blast the book by former counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An appalling act of profiteering.
KURTZ: But that wasn't the anchor's opinion. He was actually quoting Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
Fox responded to the film with a challenge to other news outlets. Quote, "If they will put out 100 percent of their editorial directions and internal memos, Fox News Channel will publish 100 percent of our editorial directions and internal memos, and let the public decide who is fair."
KURTZ: There's plenty to criticize at any news organization, and liberals may love this movie, but it would have been stronger if it had laid off the editing tricks and included some contrary voices.
Kurtz: "it's neither fair nor balanced" (07.18.2004)
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Mon Jul 19 2004 3:26 PM
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