The Fox Effect

How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine
Brock, David & Ari Rabin-Havt. The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine. Anchor: Random. 2012. c.336p. illus. ISBN 9780307279583. pap. $15. COMM
This exposé of Fox News comes out just in time for the 2012 presidential election campaign. Both high-level officers of the progressive watchdog group Media Matters, Brock (founder and CEO) and Rabin-Havt (vice president, research and communication) trace Roger Ailes's career from his work as a political media consultant to President Nixon to his shaping of Fox News into a conservative political force. His influence and the slant of the network are clearly demonstrated with a detailed analysis of the content of news programs, along with transcripts of leaked memoranda from network executives. For example, in Brock and Rabin-Havt's examination of Fox's coverage of the Tea Party movement, it becomes evident that the network played a major role in the party's creation. The authors' message is that objectivity can no longer be assumed to be a value held by news media organizations, and consumers should be on the alert for slanted coverage.
VERDICT Liberals and media scholars already suspicious of Fox will appreciate this exposure of conservative bias. Fans of Fox will dismiss it as propaganda. General readers may be overwhelmed by the detail.
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