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The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine (2012)

by David Brock

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894247,702 (3.82)3
Reveals how FoxNews has evolved into an aggressive partisan advocate for the Republican party, citing the roles of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch in promoting agendas that contrast with traditional standards of fairness and objectivity.

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Showing 4 of 4
"Fox BAD!" is the most basic gist of the book. Co-written by David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters, the book is essentially a publication of what MM puts out. While personally I would side with MM than Fox, the book just wasn't very well-written and I didn't care for the bias. I suppose I should have known that this book would be biased considering that the Media Matters logo appears on the cover, but I was thoroughly bored by the text.

The book follows a series of events and breaks down where the authors see bias. This runs from the election to the rise of the Tea Party to the MA special election of Scott Brown vs. Martha Coakley. Although interesting as an idea, again I was thoroughly bored by most of what the authors wrote. It read a little too much as propaganda and I suppose I was just too cynical to enjoy it.

It's worth reading for anyone interested in politics, regardless of the political affiliation. And while this book looks at things from a Democratic/liberal/lefty point of view, conservative/Republican/right people still might find it of interest to see how MM breaks down and attacks what they see as problems with Fox's reporting.

Good if you're interested in politics, but I'd strongly recommend you just borrow it from the library or buy it on sale/clearance if you must. ( )
  HoldMyBook | Feb 11, 2018 |
I have to disclose that I have been crying for Fox News, or as I often refer to them, "MockNews", to drop the "Fair and Balanced" tag for a long time or at least do what Vince McMahon did and embrace the lie as entertainment, so I read this book with an admitted bias. I'm glad there is Media Matters to watch these guys and call their BS. Oh, I do think they (Media Matters) can be a bit zealous at times...and nitpicking, but one has to admire the people who crawl into the cesspool that is Fox News every day and hopefully retain a bit of optimism.

That said, Brock puts together a cogent and well cited indictment of Roger Ailes and his political machine masquerading as a "news" organization. Fans of Fox won't see the unedited clips, or the critical analyses in the links for what they are, but that's to be expected of the sheeple. Media Matters does catch the other outlets, but Fox is like the proverbial fish in a barrel. The book presents the observations clearly, and with little inflammatory editorializing. At least, I saw little. But then, I probably wouldn't. Anti-sheeple.

The people who need to read this book won't. And the people who really need to read it wouldn't understand. More's the pity. Be afraid. Be very afraid of Ailes and crew. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
There's not much in general terms I didn't know about Fox's antics with Ailes at the head, but this book documents page after page of unethical and immoral practices that should be illegal in a civilised society, a civilised society being a world where reporting news and reporting truth are one and the same. The more I read of it the angrier I got - I don't know how this organisation continues to exist, but it does, and at the top.

I've given this book a 4/5 rating only because at points the writing wasn't as smooth as I thought it should be. There are times it stumbled slightly (only slightly), and the introduction and epilogue could have been better written. That said, it's a minor criticism, but absent that I thought the book was over the top worth the read, I finished it in less than a day, only stopping to sleep for a few hours and go to a meeting.

This book should be required reading for anyone who has any desire to vote - the alternative is a society in which a majority of voters have been lied to, misinformed and deceived, all in an effort to manipulate public opinions for the benefit of a very small minority of people in the country. Oh wait, that describes not only the US but many or most or all other "democracies" in the "free world."

Read this book, we'll all continue to suffer the consequences if you don't. ( )
  SpasticSarcastic | Apr 1, 2013 |
Based on the research of the news watchdog organization Media Matters for America, David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt show how Roger Ailes, its president, changed Fox News 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. ( )
2 vote pricklybear | Feb 17, 2012 |
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Reveals how FoxNews has evolved into an aggressive partisan advocate for the Republican party, citing the roles of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch in promoting agendas that contrast with traditional standards of fairness and objectivity.

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