Reaction Paper: Outfoxed Before Watching the Documentary About Fox

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Outfoxed

Before watching the documentary about Fox News entitled "Outfoxed," I considered myself immune to the effects of the Fox network. I assumed that if I did not watch Fox News and did not rely upon it as a source of information, then I was not subject to its biases. However, I realized that Fox News has a profound effect in determining the level of discourse in the media as a whole, through a kind of spill-over effect. Even if a respectable news outlet condemns Fox for making an outrageous allegation, that news show is still giving coverage to Fox News, and sowing doubts in the viewer's mind that 'where there is smoke there must be fire.'

Fox News' tendency to attribute its own conservative, slanted views to the American public at large as a collective can be seen in its rumor-mongering statements that 'some people say' regarding the advocacy of a certain outrageous position, which creates the idea that the viewer should side with the 'common sense' of 'some people' -- i.e. The Fox news network. For an individual to have to respond 'no, I am not a terrorist, despite what some people say,' no matter how absurd the allegation raises the question in some minds: What if he is indeed a terrorist? With a similar persuasive technique, Fox uses "Ultra-liberal" as an insult, so it is assumed that the impressionable viewer 'must' understand that liberal is evil, or else he or she is foolish. Guests who disagree with the host like Bill O'Reilly are called stupid, or told to "shut up," again suggesting that intelligent people should agree with the host. When pressed by the makers of the documentary as to why he so often said 'shut up,' O'Reilly angrily replied that he had never told a guest, such as an 'out' gay high school, to shut up outright, merely shut up about his sexuality, as if this distinction was an important point and not just as silencing as saying 'shut up' to the young man.

Fox News has lowered the standards of general media journalism, which before had to show at least some veneer of objectivity to be considered respectable. The documentary depicted Fox employees talking about how they were forced to push a "right-wing" agenda or fear losing jobs. When headquarters sent a memo, suggesting that certain issues… [END OF PREVIEW]

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