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The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine Paperback – February 21, 2012
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"It's the truth, stupid. That's Brock, Rabin-Havt and Media Matters' message and it's a pretty darn good one."
“Media Matters tells the truth–and then spreads the truth far and wide. They are a leading and effective voice in combating misinformation. This latest book, by founder David Brock, makes clear the threat that incendiary journalism poses to our democracy.”
“This pointed study of modern politics is both a must-read and a cautionary tale."
—Senator John F. Kerry
“Think of any conservative-media scandal of the past few years. . . and it’s a good bet that a Media Matters researcher flagged the offending clip, uploaded it to the group’s website, and got the party started.”
—New York Magazine
“Fox News has created a generation of woefully (and objectively) misinformed ideological sycophants to pursue its radical agenda. It's no accident. Now David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt show that no matter how unethical and dishonest you think Fox News is, the reality is that they're much, much worse.”
—Markos Moulitsas, publisher, Daily Kos
About the Author
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.
David Brock, the founder and CEO of Media Matters, is the author of five books, including The Republican Noise Machine: Right-Wing Media and How It Corrupts Democracy, and his bestselling memoir Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative.
Ari Rabin-Havt is Media Matters's vice president of research and communication.
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This book is thoroughly researched and well cited. The authors presented the facts without much opinion, quite frankly I would have preferred some but I guess I'll have to suffice with my own outrage.
Everyone should read this book.
I read 'The Economist' for news rather than watch TV. I never considered intentional distortion of the news until I watched Jon Stewart showing various Fox broadcasters using the same exact descriptive language in the span of a day. Specifically, all the Fox anchors abandoned the term "Public Option" when discussing what eventually became Obamacare in favor of a new term, namely, "Government Run Healthcare." Again, all Fox anchors made this switch on a single day. Anybody who has watched Stewart's show knows that this happens a lot on Fox. Thinking that there's too much coincidence involved,the only explanation I could think of was that certain terms come down to the anchors right from the top.
Whether one is left or right in their political beliefs, it is disturbing if the language used by news broadcasters is manipulated by someone higher up at a network. This book provides footnoted proof that such shenanigans go on regularly at Fox. Worse, some anchors have raised money on the air for political rallies. Compare this with MSNBC firing Olberman because he donated money to political causes. For anyone who compares MSNBC with Fox, this is a huge difference.
The book provides footnoted documentation of what appears to be a very good case of Fox moving into propaganda rather than the news. Can you imagine some CBS executive in the 1970's telling Walter Cronkite which language to use? "Hey Walter, make sure you say 'government run health care' instead of 'public option' today." Ha Ha.
Some of the reviewers posting about this book sound angry, whether on the left or right. I don't see the need for anger or for love toward this book. It is not edited extremely well but the ideas are important, so I gave it 4 stars. If investigative journalism and accountability of news organizations becomes extinct, I will be scared for our future a lot more than whether Romney or Obama is elected.
I have highly educated friends who believe Fox is under attack by left wingers. They believe that Fox is fair and balanced. I can't stomach such certainty. Now I am armed with this book, which provides footnoted proof that there is serious manipulation and dishonesty in a major news organization.
We all need to fight and argue when we hear that there is dishonesty by a news organization. We need to help discredit intentional inaccuracy because if we don't, we'll some day be electing fascists. Especially in a country where more people have heard of Kim Kardashian than Joe Biden.
"The Fox Effect" describes the rise of former Nixon operative Roger Ailes and how he created the most effective propaganda organization in modern times. Effective mainly because most people really believe the lie that Fox is presenting "news."
The key facts:
1. Fox is presenting right-wing propaganda cleverly disguised as "news."
2. Fox is determined to take down the Obama presidency and sabotage the president's every effort.
The book is an interesting read, but after the first half, it mainly consists of details on how Fox distorted every news story in the last 3 years. And after reading the first half, most people are asking "So what can I do to counteract this?"
What's missing are suggestions about what to do for those people who care that a large segment of American voters are being dangerously misled. History has too many examples of governments gone bad because somebody charmed and misled the voters.
The book presents the problem, but fails to provide any solutions.
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I read the cover and threw the book away.