Thursday, August 23, 2007

FOX News as Administration Propaganda Arm

Condemning the Fox News Channel as a warmonger that's agitating for a U.S. attack on Iran, documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald and independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders announced an "online viral video campaign" Wednesday calling on television news organizations "not to follow Fox down the road to war again."

Greenwald, the director behind "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism" and "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price," has compiled a new three-minute video that mashes clips from Fox's coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and its aftermath with recent coverage of possible U.S. military action against Iran.

The video and an accompanying "open letter" to ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN -- viewable at -- urge news organizations to ask tough questions about administration policy on Iran and say citizens should pressure them to do so.

Three telephone messages to Fox in New York seeking comment were not returned Wednesday. ...

The video has clips of U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, Fox host Bill O'Reilly and others warning of the potential for a U.S. war against Iran, spliced together with graphics that say ''Sound Familiar?'' and ''Other networks followed Fox's lead on Iraq.''

In one clip, CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour says during an interview that CNN was intimidated by the administration "and its foot soldiers at Fox News."

"We felt it important right now to raise awareness and ask the media to please ask the hard questions, before it's too late," said Greenwald. "We've focused on TV because they are the ones who have the greatest, quickest input. But over time, we will be asking and expanding this to all media."

In a conference call announcing the campaign, Greenwald and Sanders, I-Vt., said they don't have answers about what to do about Iran, but said they fear the White House will make a unilateral decision to attack.

"We have got to put pressure on the mass media not to play the same craven role they played in Iraq, when they effectually collapsed and became a megaphone for Bush's policies," Sanders said. "What Robert is saying here is that the leader of that effort is Fox News, which in many ways is simply a propaganda machine for the Republican Party and the Bush administration."

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