Outfoxed: A Rhetorical Analysis

1565 words - 6 pages

This was an assignment where I was supposed to do a rhetorical analysis over the documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. We were supposed to discuss the message of the essay and talk about how to improve it.**************************************************Journalism, by definition of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is defined as "the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media." In the movie "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," Robert Greenwald examines Fox News' claims to be a fair and balanced reporting network. After dissecting more closely the network's policies and reporting methods, it is revealed that they are instead completely destroying the purpose of journalism and corrupting it with self-opinionated, right-winged bias.Rupert Murdoch, an ultra-conservative, envisioned in the beginning of Fox News a more conservative observation of the media in contrast to the much more liberal representation that was emanated at the time. The film takes this information and then proceeds to broadcast a systematic series of events that test the validity and substance of Murdoch's journalistic approach.During the Reagan administration, Murdoch demanded the airing of a story in tribute to Reagan. The film portrays this as a problem because Fox News specifically focused on that story over other more important events. The only issue with the way in which they express this information is that they did not indicate what other stories were going on at the time that had a greater value.A very interesting point the film dealt with was its emphasis on very specific parts of internal memos Fox sent to each individual broadcasting station. In the film, they darken the outside information and focus simply on one or two particular lines. The material from these one or two lines involved the stories that were to be covered that day or week. The only issue with this method of persuasion is that it does not in fact show the entire memorandum, but rather a very particular part. By hiding the audience from an entire article and instead revealing only a small portion, the documentary distorts the larger issue with minute details.In its emphasis on fair and balanced reporting, the film challenges this claim through a very animated interviewer named Bill O'Reilly. Throughout his segment with the person he is interviewing, he often prevents them from giving their opinion by telling them to "Shut Up." There is a nice clip from the film that combines all sorts of instances where O'Reilly tells others to shut up. This is a very effective way to demonstrate the repetitive disgruntle that O'Reilly has towards anyone that is not a right-wing conservative. These clips also succeed in showing the irrational behavior of a very powerful correspondent. For in fact, he does not truly represent anything even close to the claim of fair and balanced reporting. By constantly interrupting people he interviews, he does not give anyone else...

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