August 25, 2004

Crazy Like “Outfoxed”

I finally watched the anti-Fox News documentary “Outfoxed” last night, and I pretty much agree with the conventional wisdom. The film essentially proves its point in the first ten minutes that Fox News has a conservative bias, but then overplays its hand, throwing in about 40 minutes of superfluous talking-head testimony. And worst of all, the production values are junior-high AV-club caliber- the music and graphics are laughable, and I think half of the actual Fox News footage was just grabbed off someone’s VCR.

The film is at its strongest when using the actual footage to show certain patterns of behavior by Fox, even if such patterns are obvious to anyone who’s ever watched the network for more than a half-hour (then again, many liberals have never seen it at all). But the commentators go too far numerous times, including more than one who throws out the dubious “media-consolidation-equals-the-old-Soviet-system” argument, and “Outfoxed” is the third film I’ve seen in the last two weeks (after “Manchurian Candidate” and “Harvard Man”) to feature an intrusive, out-of-nowhere cameo by Al Franken. This time Al tells the O’Reilly/Jeremy Glick story, using numerous jokes that I was hearing for the second or third or fourth time.

I’ve long posited that leftists will always accept bad art provided they agree with its politics; that explains Tony Kushner’s career, and Michael Moore’s. As well as the appeal of “Outfoxed,” in which –like “Fahrenheit 9/11”- most who have seen it are happy it’s out there, even though they realize that nothing in it ever convince anyone who was previously undecided, and even though the film looks as though it was directed by a tenth-grader.

Posted by Stephen Silver at August 25, 2004 02:07 AM
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