FOX let the dogs out; Ailes asked: "Why does CNN hate America?"

››› ››› MARCIA KUNTZ

Is the attention showered on filmmaker Robert Greenwald's documentary Outfoxed getting to the folks at FOX News Channel? FOX's owner, right-wing international media magnate Rupert Murdoch, has unleashed his attack dogs: In an interview (abstract: free; full text: subscription only) in the July 26 issue of Broadcasting & Cable, FOX News Channel chairman and CEO Roger Ailes referred to Outfoxed supporters MoveOn.org and Common Cause as "clowns" and made bizarre accusations against CNN. In a July 25 editorial, the Murdoch-owned New York Post -- which, like FOX, has a history of lies, distortions, and other forms of misinformation -- decried what it said was the film's use of "unlicensed and unaired" footage -- "shady tactics for which the film's sponsors ... are notorious" -- and urged "good people -- good journalists" to "stand up and deplore this trend."

In the Broadcasting & Cable interview, Ailes, who also complained of Outfoxed's use of footage, inexplicably went after CNN:

Next week, we could take a month's worth of video from CNN International and do a documentary "Why does CNN hate America?" You wouldn't even have to do the hatchet job Outfoxed was. You damn well could run it without editing. CNN International, Al-Jazeera and BBC are the same in how they report-mostly that America is wrong and bad.

Notwithstanding Broadcasting & Cable's assertion that "Ailes has personally resisted fighting back" against attacks on the network, the interview was not the first time Ailes has lashed out at FOX critics. As Media Matters for America noted, on June 2, responding to criticism of FOX News Channel by Los Angeles Times editor John S. Carroll, Ailes took to the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, denouncing Carroll's "elite, arrogant, condescending, self-serving, self-righteous, biased and wrong-headed view of Americans."

Omitting any reference to its affiliation with FOX through owner Murdoch, the New York Post quoted the conservative Media Research Center asserting that the film strews together quotes "out of context" "to make a partisan point." The editorial offered no examples to support MRC's assessment.

On July 23, Outfoxed director Robert Greenwald released a statement refuting criticism of the film by FOX News Channel's chief political correspondent Carl Cameron. The film shows part of an interview in which Cameron told then-candidate George W. Bush how delighted Cameron's wife was with the opportunity to campaign with Bush's sister and talked about Bush's "counter punches" against his opponent, former Vice President Al Gore. Cameron claimed that editing of the film created the impression of bias on Cameron's part. In the July 23 press statement, Greenwald released the transcript of the full four-minute interview "to confirm that the FOX News Network compromised its journalistic integrity by assigning an avowedly pro-Bush correspondent to interview the president."

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