It’s illegal copyright infringement facilitated by The New York Times and billionaire liberal George Soros. Or so says Fox News Channel in counterattacking new documentary Outfoxed, which slams the cable network for the slant of its programming and blames its financial success for the "Foxification" of other news outlets.
The documentary, produced by Robert Greenwald, is based on clips from Fox News’ own air and satellite feeds interspersed with interviews with ex-Fox News journalists charging that Fox News tilts its coverage to support the Bush administration and slamming liberal politicians.
For its part, the Times ran a Sunday magazine story on the movie on condition that it not contact Fox until 72 hours before the story was to print, which Fox said did not give it ample time to respond.
Greenwald’s biggest score is a handful of memos attributed to top Fox News executive John Moody talking about ways to cover certain topics, like problems in the war on Iraq and the 9/11 investigation.
"Let's refer to the U.S. marines we see in the foreground as `sharpshooters’ not snipers, which carries a negative connotation," says one memo Greenwald attributes to Moody.
Greenwald got funding for the project from MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress, both anti-Bush groups that have received substantial contributions from Soros, a currency trader and outspoken critic of the Bush administration.
He did not seek permission for use of the Fox News footage or even seek comment from the network.
"They have 24 hours a day to give their side," Greenwald said.
The movie premieres Tuesday night in New York, but its distribution is so far limited to showings at MoveOn.org "house parties" and DVD.