Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Bully Ragging

Fox News Channel seems to be very thin-skinned about its image. Witness the hilarious battle last summer against Al Franken where they tried to sue him for borrowing the “fair and balanced” slogan for his book. The judge laughed them out of the courtroom. Now it’s Outfoxed, the documentary by Robert Greenwald about life behind the scenes at FNC that has them all worked up.

At yesterday’s standing-room-only press conference for “Outfoxed” in New York, an FNC statement was released suggesting the flick was part of a vast left-wing conspiracy. Besides dismissing as incompetents former FNC employees who used “Outfoxed” to blow the whistle on the news channel’s openly biased ways, the Murdoch company took aim not so much with the movie’s director, but at the New York Times and liberal philanthropist George Soros as the central demons in the unfolding drama. Soros, because the Center for American Progress, which Soros supports financially, backed “Outfoxed,” and the Times because FNC insists the paper didn’t give the network enough time to respond to an article it published in its Sunday magazine about “Outfoxed.” FNC complained to the Washington Post that it ‘only’ had 24 hours to respond. But the Times writer insists FNC had three days, and says he has the emails to prove it. (FNC claims the Times was “taking orders” from Soros on the whole matter of when to contact Fox.) The issue appears to be a red herring anyway, because as the Los Angeles Times notes today, it gave FNC an entire week to respond of its “Outfoxed” story and the network never bothered to reply. []

That’s the typical behavior of a bully – happy to dish it out, but can’t take it.