Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism
The media is to democracy what the nervous system is to the body. If the media is not functioning well, the democracy suffers. What this means is that what the public learns about political candidates is what the media decides to show them. Citizens are faced with a critical decision regarding their country’s future when they step into the voting booth. Their choices need to be based on solid information, so that they can cast an informed vote.
Rupert Murdoch has a net worth of $12.4 billion, according to Forbes. He currently owns nine satellite television networks, 100 cable channels, 175 newspapers, 40 television stations, and one movie studio, among others. Murdoch’s US television networks currently reach 280 million people, while his Asian television networks reach 300 million. His magazines have a readership of around 28 million people.
Murdoch bought Fox News in 1985 and stepped away from the scene for at least the first three years. This was probably due to the fact that the station was successful and he saw no reason to change anything. Everything was running smoothly until one day when he began sending orders about what he wanted to see and hear. A former news director states that there was a cultural foundation to what Murdoch wanted. This included racial issues and AIDS. They would receive memos, which clearly instructed which issues needed to be highlighted during the upcoming days. Every morning there was a detailed list of subjects to be talked about and not talked about. In so doing, Fox News eliminated any notion of journalism and blurred the line that separates news from commentary. The sense of integrity was lost.
Former employees say that they were treated as criminals when they tried to leave the station and were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. Some discovered that their reputations had been damaged out of revenge when they tried to get other jobs. It was an environment of fear in which their activities were being monitored. More than a newsgathering organization, Fox News became the proponents of a point of view.
What makes Murdoch particularly dangerous is that he’s first and foremost a politician. He uses his huge media power to shape the content of the news in order to further his interests and those of his associates who are all part of the conservative Republican community. He turned the network into a 24-hour political advertisement for the GOP. This documentary brings to light how Fox News Channel is used to advocate and promote right-wing views. Watch more now.