For the May meeting, (Wednesday, May 15, 7:00 pm at the Ferndale Library, 220 E. Nine Mile Road in Ferndale, MI) we’ll be showing the 2004 documentary, “Outfoxed.” The meeting is free and open to anyone. You need not be a resident of Ferndale to attend.

“Outfoxed” examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, have been running a “race to the bottom” in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public’s right to know.

The film explores Murdoch’s burgeoning kingdom and the impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person.

Media experts, including Jeff Cohen (FAIR) Bob McChesney (Free Press), Chellie Pingree (Common Cause), Jeff Chester (Center for Digital Democracy) and David Brock (Media Matters) provide context and guidance for the story of Fox News and its effect on society.

This documentary also reveals the secrets of Former Fox news producers, reporters, bookers and writers who expose what it’s like to work for Fox News.  These former Fox employees talk about how they were forced to push a “right-wing” point of view or risk their jobs. Some have even chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect their current livelihoods. As one employee said “There’s no sense of integrity as far as having a line that can’t be crossed.”

While this movie was made some time ago, we think it is surprising how little has changed since then – except, of course, for continuing decline in importance of network news. The political imperatives of how news is presented by networks, CNN and ABC and CBS and NBC as well as Fox, is actually very similar. All still promote their version of patriotism, gossip about the insider version of Washington politics, and conventional wisdom about the economy as seen by Wall Street traders. Every news program strives to end with a little uplifting message of optimism.

The whole formula is wearing thin. More and more people are just not paying attention; finding something better to do during the nightly news broadcasts. And yet, the programmers – who are trying to program us – have nothing more to offer. Certainly, they are not offering anything as uncontrolled as honest journalism.

Art Myatt