Based on the meticulous research of the news watchdog organization Media Matters for America, David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt show how Fox News, under its president Roger Ailes, changed from a right-leaning news network into a partisan advocate for the Republican Party.
The Fox Effect follows the career of Ailes from his early work as a television producer and media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. Consequently, when he was hired in 1996 as the president of Rupert Murdoch's flagship conservative cable news network, Ailes had little journalism experience, but brought to the job the mindset of a political operative. As Brock and Rabin-Havt demonstrate through numerous examples, Ailes used his extraordinary power and influence to spread a partisan political agenda that is at odds with long-established, widely held standards of fairness and objectivity in news reporting.
Featuring transcripts of leaked audio and memos from Fox News reporters and executives, The Fox Effect is a damning indictment of how the network's news coverage and commentators have biased reporting, drummed up marginal stories, and even consciously manipulated established facts in their efforts to attack the Obama administration.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 21, 2012
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Fox Effect by Media Matters for America
Not Necessarily the News
It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats.
They're a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.
--a former Fox employee
On August 2, 2009, on board the "Six-Star Luxury Liner" Crystal Serenity, somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Fox News's Washington, D.C., managing editor, Bill Sammon, rose to address supporters of Hillsdale College, a conservative institution located just over one hundred miles west of Detroit. His audience had paid between $11,800 and $37,600 per couple to listen to an all-star lineup of conservative journalists and scholars as they traveled from Venice to Athens, via Istanbul. Sammon was the featured speaker. He began with some joking remarks, speculating that conservative political consultant Mary Matalin, who was on board the ship simply on vacation, might have "mischievously arranged" to have her husband, liberal James Carville, along to "save his ideological soul." Then Sammon made a startling admission:
You know, speaking of mischief, last year, candidate Barack
Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it
slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to, quote, "spread the
wealth around." At that time, I have to admit that I went on
TV, on Fox News, and publicly engaged in what I guess was
some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack
Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I
found rather far-fetched.(1)
At the time Sammon made these "mischievous speculations," he was Fox News's Washington deputy managing editor, and it was his job to oversee the reporting of the news on one of our country's major cable networks. Yet here, in front of a friendly audience, on a luxury cruise an ocean away from the United States, he was candidly, nonchalantly admitting to consciously misrepresenting the ideology of a presidential candidate to Fox's audience days before an election.
E-mails we obtained from that time, written by Sammon and a Fox producer, show that this calculated smear against Obama was not an on-air slip but part of a coordinated campaign of deception. Not only had Sammon personally appeared on the network to make these charges against Barack Obama, but he had also sent an e-mail to journalists who worked for him, encouraging them to cover the Democratic candidate's "racial obsessions" and supposed connections to Marxism.
From: Sammon, Bill
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 1:02 PM
To: 069 -Politics; 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com)
Subject: fyi: Obama's references to socialism, liberalism,
Marxism and Marxists in his autobiography, "Dreams from
My Father." Plus a couple of his many self-described "racial
obsessions" . . .
� "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends
carefully. The more politically active black students. The
foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors
and structural feminists." (Obama writing about his time
at Occidental College in "Dreams.")
� After his sophomore year, Obama transferred to Columbia
University. He lived on Manhattan's Upper East Side, ven-
turing to the East Village for "the socialist conferences
I sometimes attended at Cooper Union," he recalled,
adding: "Much of what I absorbed from the sixties was filtered
through my mother, who to the end of her life would
proudly proclaim herself an unreconstructed liberal."
� After graduating from Columbia in 1983, Obama spent a
year working for a consulting fi rm and then went to work
for "a Ralph Nader offshoot" in Harlem. "In search of some
inspiration, I went to hear Kwame Toure, formerly Stokely
Carmichael of SNCC and Black Panther fame, speak at
Columbia. At the entrance to the auditorium, two women,
one black, one Asian, were selling Marxist literature."
During this period, according to Obama, he began a serious
� "There was a woman in New York that I loved. She was
white," Obama wrote in "Dreams." "We saw each other
for almost a year. On the weekends, mostly. Sometimes in
her apartment, sometimes in mine. You know how you can
fall into your own private world? Just two people, hidden
and warm. Your own language. Your own customs." But
Obama said their relationship was doomed by the racial
difference. "I pushed her away," he recalled. "The emotion
between the races could never be pure; even love was
tarnished by the desire to fi nd in the other some element
that was missing from ourselves. Whether we sought out
our demons or salvation, the other race would always
remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart."
� In June 1985, Obama was interviewed in New York by Marty
Kaufman, a community organizer from Chicago. Obama recalled:
"There was something about him that made me
wary. A little too sure of himself, maybe. And white."(2)
Less than ninety minutes later, Sammon was on Fox engaging in "mischievous speculation" claiming Barack Obama "was drawn to Marxists, and he was drawn to liberals, and he was drawn to socialists by his own admission as a young man."(3)
The next morning, Sammon appeared on the network's morning show, Fox & Friends, to reiterate his "far-fetched" theory about Obama's Marxism and racial obsessions. Memos from the show's producers reveal that the entire third segment was built around his e-mail.