Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On News DVD (READ GUIDELINES BEFORE POSTING)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert_eb, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    Has anyone seen this documentary? Is this a straight to video release because I don't recall it being released theatrically?
     
  2. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    It seems to be straight to video. I ordered it from DDD a few days ago and am waiting for it to arrive. It's a very inexpensive film, list price is about $10; DDD had it for $6.
     
  3. Norman Matthews

    Norman Matthews Second Unit

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    Well, if anyone's actually interested in the DVD, I can tell you that technically, it's pretty bad. Video and audio quality are quite poor, though I guess no worse than can be expected for a movie of which probably half is recorded from on-air broadcasts, there are no chapter stops, and maybe it's just my player (Panasonic RP62), but I can't even fast forward or rewind.

    As for the movie itself, I won't get too into it, but I personally found it less illuminating than I had hoped. I think I'll just leave it at that for now.
     
  4. Norman Matthews

    Norman Matthews Second Unit

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    Correction to my previous post: I guess I should have checked before posting, but I have no problem fast forwarding or rewinding on my Toshiba, so it's probably just a player thing.
     
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I'm seeing the film tomorrow night at a house party.

    Search here to find a house party in your area.
     
  6. Robert_eb

    Robert_eb Supporting Actor

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    I ordered it thru DDD yesterday. Pretty good price at $5.99 shipped.

    This release hasn't gotten much advertising that I've seen. Has there been any print or other advertising promoting it's release?

    Also, please keep your political comments to yourself. I know it's hard for some, but please make an effort.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Robert_eb: It's been getting press from some large-market papers, but not much actual advertising. I think it's had some good internet coverage (Wonkette jokingly called it "the poor man's Michael Moore's poor man's F911"), but that's about it.

    The technical issues probably stem from the fact that this was basically recorded from on-air broadcast through either capture cards and/or DVR straight onto DVD-Rs before editing.
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    So yes, it is allowed to discuss such things insofar they are part of the theme of the movie under discussion.
    But no further than that, please!
    A logical side-effect of rule #4 is that you cannot discuss those topics if you didn't see the movie.

    Cees
     
  9. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    They take some things out of context in this movie. They show clips of some reporter quoting a politician and present it as if it is the reporter's view. Also they feature a countdown of sorts for the Presidential Election on Hannity & Colmes where Hannity counts down the days until Bush wins, leaving out the fact that Colmes does the same thing for Kerry.

    I'm not trying to be political here and aside from any views I may have this blindness and ignorance hurts the message the film hopes to portray and there are better ways about going about it than this.
     
  10. jonathan_little

    jonathan_little Stunt Coordinator

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    From the back of the DVD: "For the first time ever, this documentary reveals the secrets of former Fox News producers, reporters, bookers, and writers who expose what it's like to work for Fox News. These former Fox employees talk about how they were forced to push a 'right-wing' point of view or risk their jobs. Some have even chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect their current livelihoods. As one employee said 'There's no sense of integrity as far as having a line that can't be crossed.'"

    The bulk of the documentary consists of newly recorded interviews, but there's also a bunch of stolen Fox News footage edited in as well. It ranges from a montage of clips of Bill O'Reilly telling people to "shut up" to Rupert Murdoch telling viewers that the "economy is on steroids." The Fox News footage varies in quality. Most of it was recorded from the Fox News broadcast onto DVD by the film's producers, while a few clips are obviously from VHS tape.

    Perhaps the most interesting piece of footage is of Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron chatting with then Governor George Bush before an interview where Cameron admits that his wife is working on Bush's presidential campaign. I think the film's weakness is that outside of the former Fox News talent, most of the interviews are done with people who are clearly liberal, so this film is probably not going to change the opinions of any loyal Fox News viewers.

    The 77 minute documentary is presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio with 48khz/16bit uncompressed PCM sound, though the sound of some Fox News clips clearly come from a heavily compressed source.

    Also included on the disc is a 30 minute "making of" featurette (4:3, Dolby Digital 2.0) which shows, among other things, the array of DVD recorders that were used to record the Fox News channel endlessly for the first five months of 2004. The bulk of the featurette is made up of a few conference calls and self-made 'interview' footage of the people who spent months watching and cataloging specific Fox News programming for this film.
     
  11. Vickie_M

    Vickie_M Producer

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    I just finished watching this movie and, oh my god, it was an eye-opener. It was made by the same director who made Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War, Robert Greenwald. It's really hard for me to say much about it without getting political (or insulting to the people who watch and believe Fox), so I'll just say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    I watched it on my computer's DVD-ROM and I thought it looked pretty good. It might look worse on a regular television set. Although Uncovered is the more important movie, IMO, Outfoxed doesn't have the annoying, intrusive background music track that nearly ruins Uncovered.

    I like the fact that these documentaries are being sold cheap. We bought Uncovered at Virgin Megastore for $9.95. This was also $9.95 via www.outfoxed.com. It makes me hope that other (ahem) upcoming documentaries are priced cheaply.

    The behind-the-scenes extra was almost as good as the movie itself. It was nice to meet all these people who had worked on the film, especially the poor souls who had to spend their time watching the channel and logging what went on. I don't think I could do that even you paid me. I'd go nuts.

    The only other extra was a trailer for Uncovered.


    What's DDD?
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    DeepDiscountDVD.com


    Even though I'm the type that will probably end up disagreeing with the theme of this movie, given its cheap price I will definitely check it out. I have no problem watching something I might not agree with if only because it gives me a better idea of the viewpoint being expressed.
    When it comes to documentaries like this and F 9/11, I'm most interested in the way things are edited in a film to make the point, and what might be left out. In many ways, at least to me the editing of a documentary is the most important part in trying to get your point across, and that's true whether or not I agree with the point that is being advanced.
     
  13. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Well, I just finished watching this. (Don't order it from the Outfoxed web site -- took me nine days to get it, even though they're located right here in California. And no confirmation that they'd received or shipped the order. But I digress...)

    Um... God, it was really depressing, wasn't it? I got really angry during the Bill O'Reilly segment.

    Was it a "fair and balanced" documentary? No. The criticisms regarding the editing are valid. Many or most of the examples of anti-Democrat/pro-Republican remarks made on the air were from guest commentators on Fox, not from their anchors, but this is never pointed out in the film. Now, I myself have watched Fox enough to know that, but many might not. In addition, clips that were clearly of a split-screen debate from commentators showed only the conservative comments, not the liberal. It made it sound like the liberal point of view is never heard on Fox at all.

    There's also a downright embarrassing segment on an idiotic poll -- the PIPA/Knowledge Networks Poll, which compared views on the Iraq war of people who got their news from Fox with people who got their news from... not CNN, not MSNBC, not CBS, ABC, or NBC... but from PBS and NPR! Uh... not a good comparison. Kind of a slanted study there.

    Then there was a brief interview with a young man who composed the music for the Fox News Alert. He was lamenting that that music was composed for important breaking news, and Fox was now using it and their News Alerts for gossip on Martha Stewart and such. That bit was stupid. They should have cut it out.



    I did a little research on that, and that's a huge exaggeration. According a statement issued by Fox (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,125437,00.html), TWO of the interviewees billed as Fox news anchors were employed by their Washington D.C. affliate, WTTG -- Alexander Kippen and Frank O'Donnell.

    But since Fox apprently owns the station, the line does blur. Ask Miramax empoyees if they're employed by Disney and you might get several different answers. Regardless, Rupert Murdoch, whom the film is really about, DOES own WTTG, so their comments regarding pressure at that station to put a certain spin on the news cannot be ignored.

    And Fox has not disputed the employement of the other interview subjects (though they claim two of the six misrepresented their positions at Fox, e.g. "reporter" rather than "anchor").

    Whatever the case, "Outfoxed" does make some pretty disturbing patterns apparent, patterns that were already plain to anyone who watches Fox:

    The anchors consistently make thinly-veiled, pro-conservative/anti-liberal comments, and always seem to highlight the worst news about Democrats, but rarely if ever pursue any negative news about President Bush.

    Fox News anchors were virtual attack dogs during President Clinton's years in office, but they handle President Bush with kid gloves.

    Conservative commentators appearing on Fox VASTLY outnumber liberal or moderate commentators. And the liberal commentators that do appear on Fox are generally not well-known, or are not true liberals but rather moderates who agree with their conservative commentators, or, as it's pointed out in the case of "Hannity and Colmes," are poster boys for the "nerdy liberal" sterotype: Hannity is dynamic, energetic, attractive, and loud; Colmes is not so attractive, nerdy, wears glasses, speaks softly, and is rather boring.

    Fox anchors, commentators, and hosts have certain techniques they use to subtly insert their own political views into a story. Saying, "Some people say..." followed by a criticism is common.

    And sometimes they're not so subtle. A clip is shown of a "Fox and Friends" host joking, "John Kerry has Kim Jong Il on his side, Barbra Streisand... what could go wrong?" Co-host Brian Kilmeade replies, "Yes, North Korea loves John Kerry."

    Notes are given every day by Fox News chief John Moody on how the news of the day is to be handled. In one, he refers to "the so-called 9/11 commission," with instructions not to "turn this into Watergate." Another says a Kerry speech at Georgtown University is "likely to move onto the topic of Iraq," so Moody wants to show only the beginning of the speech and then "see if other news at that time is more compelling." At another point it's revealed that the edict came down (it's not said from who) to stop saying "suicide bombings" on the air and refer to them as "homicide bombings."

    I could go on and on, but you have an idea of the content of the film.

    Now on to technical matters:

    It gets off to an abrupt and somewhat slow start. It took about 15 minutes to hook me. The structure, narration, and graphics are somewhat amateurish. I admire all the hard work they put into it, but it's not a particularly slick job.

    But I'm glad I saw it. I think everyone should, even if you already feel you won't agree with it. I'm a die-hard Democrat, but it does make me wonder: Does the same thing go on at the other networks, but with a liberal slant?
     
  14. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    Here is a DVD review of Outfoxed from The Digital Review.

    Includes screenshots as well of the video quality and extras.
     
  15. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I watched this last night, and i found it very persuasive - not that I needed any persuading to think that Fox wasn't a true news channel (in journalism circles - to which I am privy- Fox is generally considered a joke, and has been for many years). But the movie presents its case well.

    Perhaps the best segment of the movie is one that focuses on Jeremy Glick, son of a transit worker who died at the World Trade Center, and Bill O'Reilly. It's really astonishing to see how O'Reilly berates this kid on his show, and then proceeds to distort and flat-out lie on subsequent shows about what the kid was saying. It's really a good example of how the news channel operates.

    Also alarming is the study (presented in the movie) that shows that more people who get their news from Fox have a distorted view of the news, by a much larger percentage than those who get their news from other sources.

    I'm sure Fox partisans will claim the movie isn't fair, the same way people say that other current documentary isn't, but you know going in that this is going to be presenting the opinion that Fox isn't a balanced news station. This documentary is a voice fighting back against what it sees as Fox's propaganda for one political point of view. As such, it is adding to our national debate, and that's a very good thing. The marketplace of ideas only thrives when there is more speech, not less.

    I recommend this movie to anyone interested in news or politics, and certainly to anyone who has ever claimed that the media is unfair in one way or another. One of the things it does very well is show you have true news gets distorted by the big media companies.
     
  16. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    Yeah, that part pissed me off the most. I can't believe O'Reilly had the gall to treat Glick with such utter disrespect. [​IMG]

    Did anyone watch the the making of featurette? Very interesting stuff, like how they used DVD recorders to record the channel 24 hours a day, and the folks who volunteered to watch it for weeks and weeks. They are brave souls, indeed. [​IMG]
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    OK, this thread has now been revamped. The following are the Guidelines for its continuation.

    What can be discussed here:
    • Questions about the availability of the DVD (or showings of the film)
    • Comments on the DVD's technical quality
    • Discussions of the film's subject matter, but only if you've actually seen it
    Here's what cannot be discussed here--everything else, including:
    • Politics in general
    • The subject matter of the film if you have NOT seen it
    • The general issue of "media bias" except insofar as such issue arises from the film and ONLY if you've seen the film
    • Fahrenheit 9/11; go to the Movies forum and join the Official Discussion Thread (which has its own set of guideliens)
    • The interpretation or applicability of the HTF Rules and/or these guidelines; such questions, as always, are to be raised privately
    Now everyone please listen carefully: We're serious. Much of the discussion deleted from this thread clearly violated the HTF Rules and the directions of several moderators. There will be no further warnings. Those who can't or won't stick to the rules and these guidelines will be removed.

    M.
     
  18. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Saw this over the weekend (got it for my mother). Hard to find in stores-- I got mine in L.A. at Virgin Megastore and I know they have it at Amazon (I think Laser Blazer will carry it too). Great stuff. Very informative and persuasive. It succeeds on the same level "Fahrenheit 9/11" does, by actually showing clips and dialogue by the likes of Sean Hannity. Fair and balanced indeed.
     
  19. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    According to the official website, Outfoxed is finally getting a theatrical release this Friday in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    http://www.outfoxed.org/theatres.php
     
  20. Tim_Stack

    Tim_Stack Second Unit

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    It can be rented from Netflix if you're interested. I have it on my list and it says it'll be available Aug 15th.

    Can't wait to see it.
     

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