Fox News Channel's ratings are high, but its countless viewers are misinformed, according to the message of the movie "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism." It was released this summer by Moveon.org and is scheduled for a screening tonight by the Steamboat Springs Peace and Justice Center.
The documentary features interviews from several disgruntled former employees of Fox News, as well as cameos by media experts such as Walter Cronkite and Chellie Pingree.
They say the Fox News Channel is a conservative company reporting the news from a right-wing perspective. The film also makes a case for why the American TV-viewing public should be up in arms.
"Outfoxed" was not shown in theaters, but, through the group's Web site, has spread for showings in auditoriums, classrooms and living rooms.
On July 19, Moveon.org filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission against Fox News Channel, stating that the channel used "deceptive practices in advertising and marketing of their programming."
"The Commission should institute an enforcement proceeding against Fox News; order Fox News to cease and desist from using the slogan and mark 'Fair and Balanced,'" Moveon.org's complaint stated. "To be sure, Fox News is free, under the First Amendment, to present news, commentary, entertainment and any other content, on its cable network in any way it wishes."
Moveon.org was formed during the Clinton administration's Monica Lewinsky scandal.
"They felt it was time to move on," said Linda Lewis, co-organizer of the Steamboat Springs Peace and Justice Center. "They thought we were wasting time when there were more important issues the country had to face."
In the years since then, Moveon.org has grown into more of an anti-war and watchdog group.
The complaint and the movie explain what the group alleges Fox News' practices: in-house memos laying out political points to make and not to make, the blurred line between commentary and news reporting and the reward/punishment program set in place for reporters who do not toe the company's party line.
The movie will be screened at 7 p.m. today in Bogue Hall, Room 300, at Colorado Mountain College, paired with the video lecture "Media in the Time of War" by Amy Goodman of the radio program "Democracy Now!" A discussion will come after the film.