Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.

The headline is the title of a recently released book by Media Matters, written by David Brock (also MM founder) and Ari Rabin-Havt. FOX is not amused. Their responses are a good indication of much of the news “analysis” they provide.

It’s important to understand who Media Matters is, something that FOX apparently doesn’t. From the About page of Media Matters:

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

What it isn’t, and doesn’t claim to be, is a news organization.

Now, about “The Fox Effect,” via AlterNet, in analysis by Mark Howard:

Fox News Shamelessly Smears Group That Exposed Network’s Sordid History

A new book from Media Matters … released (last) week … chronicles the history of Fox News, explaining how a small group of wealthy, politically connected partisans conspired to build a pseudo-news network with the intent of advancing the right-wing agenda of the Republican Party.

FOX responds in the kind of way they know best: change the subject, ignore the facts, use personal attacks. Write your own story, and repeat it again and again as “fact.” You know, like the Tea Party is all grassroots, and Occupiers are a Democratic front.

From the AlterNet post:

(The book) begins by looking back at the early career of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and his role as a media consultant for Republican politicians, including former president Richard Nixon. …

He guided the media-challenged Nixon through a treacherous new era of news and political PR, and his experiences formed the basis for what would become his life’s grand achievement: a “˜news’ network devoted to a political party, its candidates, and its platform. …

The authors include “Six Steps” FOX uses to “create national controversies:”

STEP 1: Conservative activists introduce the lie.
STEP 2: Fox News devotes massive coverage to the story.
STEP 3: Fox attacks other outlets for ignoring the controversy.
STEP 4: Mainstream outlets begin reporting on the story.
STEP 5: Media critics, pundits praise Fox News’s coverage.
STEP 6: The story falls apart once the damage has been done.

The FOX response to Media Matters and the book began

… last year with a sustained campaign to do tangible harm by tacking an article to the top of the Fox Nation Web site with a headline that read “˜Want to File an IRS Complaint Against Media Matters? Click Here.’ … The week before The Fox Effect was published, Fox News broadcast no fewer than a dozen derogatory segments … on its most popular programs … . The attacks never contained any substantive argument or example of error on the part of Media Matters.

They included going after one of the authors, David Brock.

The basis for the Fox News broadcasts was a series of articles by the Daily Caller (TDC), the conservative Web site of Tucker Carlson, who just happens to also be on the Fox News payroll. The gist of the story … is that Media Matters is manipulating news organizations, coordinating messaging with the White House, and struggling to cope with the “˜volatile and erratic behavior’ of Brock, whom TDC alleges is mentally ill. TDC never reveals where it got its psychiatric credentials … . Likewise, it never reveals where it got any of the other information for the allegations it makes against Media Matters, as every source is anonymous.

The attacks included these screen graphics accompanying three “reports”:

MEDIA MATTERS’ MONEY: David Brock is an admitted drug user
THE MONEY BEHIND THE MACHINE: David Brock committed to a quiet room
A LIBERAL INFLUENCE: Brock spent time in a mental ward

A couple of weeks ago, Darren Hutchinson posted Daily Caller Hit Piece on Media Matters Misses, and notes (hypothetically) that even if their allegations about Brock are true

… Carlson and Coglianese fail to do one important thing. They do not … even attempt to rebut any of the reporting that Media Matters has made regarding inaccurate or misleading comments in conservative media.

FOX, and like-minded “” or not minding much at all, actually “” news organizations are fond of the damn the facts, attack the messenger tactics. Another example of similar tactics is something I mention occasionally because, I’ll admit, it’s just so silly: “analysis” of children’s television shows and movies which claims they are filled with liberal manipulation of “our innocent children.” (Also my excuse for using the graphic at the top of this post). Over the decades FOX, and others, have attacked Disney Land (because of “Gay Days”), TeleTubbies, SpongeBob, The Muppets and Happy Feet, among others. Lou Dobbs recently added to the list.

Jon Bershad, at Mediaite:

… Dobbs trashed the upcoming kids movies The Lorax and The Secret World Of Arrietty, accusing them of being liberal indoctrination that echoes the messages of Occupy Wall Street and President Obama. Dobbs didn’t appear to care that The Lorax is based on a book from 1971 and Arrietty is based on one from 1952 … .

Dobbs played clips from the movies and then drew the parallels.

“˜So, where have we all heard this before? Occupy Wall Street forever trying to pit the makers against the takers and President Obama repeating that everyone should pay their fair share in dozens of speeches since his State of the Union address last month.’

And some people think Occupy isn’t having an effect.

None of this is to say, of course, that non-FOX media doesn’t have its own problems with spin and hype. It’s sort of like the “mainstream media” equivalent of the “lesser of two evils” framing. But FOX does set a so low to the bottom bar, and have so many millions daily limbo-ing under it, that you have to be scarily impressed.

(Cartoon graphic via OWS Press)