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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  March 17, 2012 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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inspiration yet to 72 1/2 of a website? >> an addition to being an author i am also a publisher we have the highest percentage of "new york times" best-seller to get all of our books at our website >> host: here at the conservative political action conference. . .
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they will talk about their new book, "the fox effect" how roger ailes turned a network into a propaganda machine. before we get started, just a few rules of the road. if you have a cell phone on, now would be an excellent time to turn it to buzz or silence and we also ask two things. one come at the end of the event david and ari will be signing books and we ask that you start the line here and move this way to the signing table. if you could fold a few chairs and place them to the side of the room that will make everybody's life much better.
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and we also ask during the question and answer session if you would please go to the microphones right here. that is because we record and c-span is also here and it would be helpful if everyone could hear your questions. please if you don't mind as a courtesy to our guests state your name at the beginning of the question. those of you who are regulars at politics and prose know we are independent bookstore and think of ourselves more of a bookstore. we believe deeply in building community. tonight's event is one of 475 author events each year along with courses and classes and other programs and book groups and we also by the way are about to launch literary trip. if you're new to the store for a c-span viewer who is more interested in the store and their events and their programs, you can get our e-mail once a week, which you can get by signing a better information
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desk or going to our web site which is webb many people don't realize you can order books from us on line and you can also order e-books and download them from our web site, so please feel free to use any and all of those services. we thank you for being here on this almost spring night and for supporting our mission to provide a forum for civic discourse of the important issues of the day. what better time than a presidential election year to examine the political influence of one of the most powerful television networks and the media age, "fox news" and how that network is shaping, some might say ms. shaping, the american political landscape. and what better authors than than david brock the founder and chairman of media matters and ari, who share many years of research on the subject. i meant to say that ari is the vice president of media matters. for those of you don't know david rock, this is his fifth
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book must simply closing -- locus in on the rise of right-wing media. david is very unusual in a personal perspective and experience as he brings his work. if any of you read, as i did, his memoir published in 2002 called blinded by the right, you will know that he inglis nearly merely for decades a star and a creature of the very propaganda machine that he later chose to expose. indeed blinded by the right was one of the first, first-hand accounts of the far right wing orchestrated well funded and developed efforts to bring down the presidency of bill clinton. arias a veteran of democratic politics i harry reid al gore and john kerry. he has also worked extensively with an organization such as aclu and planned parenthood and he currently teaches at gw grab at school of political management. now they have turned their
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attention to "fox news" and more specifically the man who runs it, roger ailes. from his roots as a non-news television producer to a a nixon meteor adviser who according to one colleague operated at two. >> , tack and destroy, this tour chip of a network who has been accused of forgoing journalistic standards to become an unapologetic mouthpiece and political arm of the republican party of the republican right, ailes is the protagonist of the story. his unrivaled authority at "fox news" and the free reign that news corp. chairman rupert murdoch grants him as well as the network's reliance on the inflammatory language and unsubstantiated information among the subjects that david and ari explore in his well researched and extensively footnoted both. before he and, and in case you were wondering, going after "fox news" does have some personal cost. while fox is long thought to
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discredit media matters the network has most recently launched a campaign encouraging filing complaints against media matters and large political tat attacks on the authors inviting a psychiatrist to assess david's mental health. the doctor's conclusion? david brock is a very dangerous man. [laughter] i will say no more except i really encourage you all to read the book and i hope you will buy it and have plenty of copies up front. please join me in welcoming david brock and ari rabin-havt. [applause] >> thank you for that great introduction. welcome everyone. glad you're all here tonight to hear about her new book. before we get into the book i thought i would say two words about media matters for those of you who are not familiar with it and we would like you to be familiar with it.
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i found the urbanization in 2004, to monitor, analyze and correct conservative information in the media. we are basically trying to solve problems. one was the rise of explicitly right-wing media over the past 25 years. we all know what that is, like the washington times, most of talk radio in the "fox news" channel. those media institutions were operating with total impunity and little accountability. before media matters came along to shine a light on what was going on with their institution. that was half the problem. the other half the problem was the mainstream media and the fact that it was and still seems to be under concerted attack from the organized right. to avoid the label of liberal media bias, the press all too often bends over backwards to
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accommodate conservative demands, and we will see that in our bed pages and we also see that as kind of a rigged cable debate and various other places in the media so we were also trying to address that and when we started, it really wasn't an organization that had built a professional way for people other than the right wing to have their concerns addressed directly in the media, and so part of what we encourage folks to do is to engage with action tools attached to the research that we publish. the research is across a range of issues from choice to lgbt issues to climate change. we have got a staff working 24/7 in offices near capitol hill and they are documenting every day and pushing back against various forms of what we consider to be conservative misinformation and we would like for you to engage
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in that with us and check out her web site at media so with that, one of the things we do at media matters is we walk so that you don't have to. in watching fox, over the last few years we have noticed something. the original model of fox seems to be putting conservative talk radio on tv into something they call me dangerous and i would say that they are dangerous, and is something more dangerous, into a partisan political operation, a hard-core partisan operation under the false flag of journalism and the phony phrase of center and balance. it has many elements that we explore in the book and they are elements that one doesn't normally see in the media, even in conservative media and that ranges from the raising of money for republican candidates causes, and we all know that fox
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is a powerful deliverer of the republican message and they are also involved in mobilization. they are actively involved in so many things in april 2009 as we document in this book. with that i want to turn this over to ari to talk a little bit more about why we got into this book and how we work on it and what they -- was like. >> this book i want to say, david and i are the authors of the cover book and we put and media matters for america and the reason we did that was because -- is this mic on? the reason we did that was because this work was based on our research, on our amazing research staff who had done, who watch fox and analyze it and correct information and who dug into it. their work is so fundamental to our book that all of them are authors of this so this is really a group effort. the core of the book, what makes up the real kind of evidence
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serious e-mails leaked to us from inside "fox news" that show the network manipulating coverage and i wanted to reach its opening of the book which kind of sets the tone for not what you see on air but how the management of "fox news" behaves so i will just read that right now. on august 22009 on board the sick star luxury liner somewhere in the middle of the mediterranean sea "fox news" editor bill simon rose to address the hillsdale college a conservative institution located just over 100 miles west of detroit. he had been paid between $11,000 -- per couple for an all-star lineup of conservative journalists as they traveled. simon was the featured speaker. he began with joking remark speculating conservative political consultant mary matalin who was onboard the ship simply on vacation vacation might've mischievously arrange to have her husband liberal james cargo along to save his
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ideological soul and then simon made a startling admission and here's what he said. you know last year candidate barack obama sat on the sidewalk in toledo ohio and told joe the plumber that he quote wanted to spread the wealth around. this summit to admit i went on tv on "fox news" and public engagement but i guess was rather mischievous speculation about whether barack obama obama really advocated socialism, a premise that i privately found far-fetched. at the time simon made these mischievous speculations, it was his job, was his job to oversee reporting of abuse on where the country's naval -- cable networks. is here on a luxury cruise an ocean away from the united states he was candidly nonchalantly admitting to conspicuously misrepresenting the ideology of the presidential candidate. e-mails we obtained at the time written by simon and in a fox
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producer showed the calculated spear against obama was not an on-air slip the part of recorded a campaign of deception not only as simon appeared on the network and made these charges against barack obama but also journalist to who work for and encouraging them of racial connections to marxism and we have the e-mails in the book if you're interested in reading them so i'm not going to bother reading them now. less than 90 minutes later simon was on "fox news" engaging in mischievous speculation claiming barack obama was quote drawn to marxist as he was drawn to liberals and drawn to social associate member to the next morning simon appeared on the morning show to reiterate his far-fetched theory about obama's marxism. memos from the show's producers revealed the entire third segment was built around the e-mail and you can see those e-mails in the book. as simon spoke the graphics appearing on the lower section of this -- screen obama's
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radical past. obama's chosen friends marxist professors. that same day simon published a piece claiming quote obama lassar socialism but obama himself is trick is trying to socialism and marxism as a college student. there was a peculiar amount of attention for something he really didn't believe particularly since this information involved was not particularly newsworthy. the contemporary political relevance obama candidates in his early years have discredited "dreams of my father" published in 1995 had been thoroughly covered by the press including by simon himself and of book published a year earlier. it was out of context on fair and balanced -- but the point is whether you are liberal or conservative no matter what your ideology if if you are journalists who are fundamental job is to seek out the truth and here you have somebody who is in charge of journalism at at that "fox news"
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is getting nonchalantly that he went on air and said the information to his audience that he did not believe was true and i think that forms the core story of fox and with that i will give it back to david. >> as i mentioned at the beginning one of the things we do at media matters we develop an expertise in defusing right-wing propaganda. the second thing we do is we mount campaigns against the worst offenders in the media, those who are really responsible for the worse kind of hate speech that we hear in our discourse and that is included in partnership with color of change, sixfold boycott against glenn beck, a similar effort against dr. laura and most recently he may have read about pat buchanan of "the new york times" today. we engage in those campaigns and the question is why? we spent some time in the book looking at glenn beck and here is the concern we have a glenn beck. what he was doing on that show
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were actual, conspiring incidence of violence and so politics aside, he was really uniquely dangerous. there were several incidents that we write about in the book. one of them, where he, on air, hands a poisoned chalice of wine to nancy pelosi and later her house was attacked in san francisco and the mother of these -- got all the ideas from "fox news." there was a death threat on senator patty murray after her vote for health care. that fellow was abrogated, convicted and in an effort to reduce his sentence, one of his relatives rode wrote to the court and recounted and we quote this in the book, and rather
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chilling detail of how he got sucked in by glenn beck's rhetoric and how he was essentially became inculcated into glenn beck's conspiratorial world. and then the third incident was a fellow named myron williams who attacked and tried to assassinate members, staff members of the foundation in san francisco. that resulted in, he didn't ever get to the tides foundation. there was a shootout with california police. in jailhouse interviews that he later did, he shows specific shows a glenn beck that inspired him to have this hate toward the tides foundation and described himself as a student of glenn beck. so this was a serious problem and the question we address in
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the short passage that i'm going to read it as you know, how much was the sanctions by his bosses at "fox news"? i also recognize that gets early that incendiary text of the potential to backfire when used by political campaigns. if you come out and say the guy is a -- the world turns you off as he told "the washington post" in 1972. than his work link to a polaroid not seeking -- was under no such description. from the paranoid rants about the threats of communism to comparisons between mainstream political leaders and not these, that gave voice to some of the deepest fears about the obama presidency. in october 2009, obama adviser david axelrod was interviewed during the first draft of a history conference hosted by "the atlantic" magazine. the polarization that was disrupting political discourse
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drawing attention to a conversation he had once with a quote significant figure on the right data revealed to be roger ailes who tried to explain to him why conservatives were suspicious of the president. ailes told axelrod he believed obama wanted to form a national police force based on 212th clip from a speech where the president proposed a civilian force that would complement the military and providing humanitarian aid around the world. axelrod quoted via ailes telling him you can understand where that has people very nervous. glad that rack roger ailes very to fox's audience claiming president obama's proposal is creating a humanitarian force about building some kind of drug offices. later in the program that went a step where there to claim come this is what hitler did with the event. he had his own people, yet the brownshirts and then he has us.
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the kinship between roger ailes and glenn beck would become more evident in the spring of 2010 when the host by jewish funds for justice president and ceo simon greer. greer had whitten in a "washington post" op-ed, we have all tended house of worship. greer continued, from where i stand it is not a house of worship at all. when churches and synagogues and mosques and other houses of worship across this this country advocate for social justice, advocate for the common good, advocate for america, they and we walk in and god's path. that claimed on his radio program that greer pond last's comment about putting humankind in the comedy for his were quote exactly the talk that led to the death camps in germany adding that a should know that. a statement like that would have been grounds for immediate
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termination but not at fox. glenn beck and other conservative pundits such as ann coulter of shifted the boundaries of political attacks on opponents. what would have been a major scandal four years for years earlier was now brought to the courts. in response to beck's -- a group of mainstream rabbis of jewish figures led by the president of the jewish council for public affairs, wrote rupert murdoch a private letter. it said, mr. beck has for quite some time in both the holocaust and nazism, nazi fascism on air on a variety of subjects. he has compared public officials to not to party figures and characterize legitimate policy decisions into murderous nazi policy. we appeal to you to consider the impact of mr. beck's words in our community for for the global understanding of the holocaust and for the standing of the business you have built and
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nurtured. you're providing him with a platform to reach billions. we believe he has been using that platform with respect and friendship and the opportunity to discuss these concerns with you. we are confident that you like this happened fully consider the power of mr. beck's words in and hurt and damage they are causing and will wish to work with us to rectify the situation in a responsible and productive manner. it was a simple request for discourse. nowhere did the rabbis ask murdoch to alter the political positions or relating seven network. instead they merely asked them to respect the horror that was the holocaust. the letter was forwarded to roger ailes who made fox's vision clear. quote i do not agree with your characterization of mr. beck or a program. the specific language you point out i review the program and mr. beck is talking about dictators who use social justice language to accomplish political
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goals. of course social justice means different things to different audiences however it is a situation leading to fascism socialism and communism as well. the letter was an acknowledgment that words were his son back was speaking for the network or released as president. like that grudge or ailes is not afraid to use nazi imagery to form political points against opponents. in the wake of "national public radio"'s firing of npr juan williams for comments he made on the o'reilly factor about his fears of flying of men wearing muslim garb he described the radio network in the following way. quote they are of course nazis. they're the kind of nazi attitude. they are the the left-wing of nazism. i think we also in the book chart fox's political attacks on barack obama and on the administration and they started on day one. as we have a section of a kind of the honeymoon period and i
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want to read passage from that section that describes how let's call it foxhunting. barack obama was an eye grated in the worst economic downturn since the great depression had a similar mandate for change. many in the media alluded to roosevelt -- suggesting the beginning of the obama presidency might ring about a similar. period of reform are the least a complementary honeymoon period that is usually following an election but obama's first 100 days would be for. rush limbaugh made a lens with a declared fit for inaccuracy -- obama's inauguration, hope he fails. glenn beck in his second -- i want to believe, i want to trust, want to hope for change beck said that i am really -- on day two shots ahead of the richest on burkas on the up on the administration comedies not going to succeed hannity proclaim socialism has failed. and a three "fox news"
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contributor and conservative radio host laura ingram informed "fox news" viewers that under the obama administration for a country is less it. on day four of that flight to his audience telling them that quote obama has declared an end to the war on terror. "fox news" coverage of the above administrations be -- first weekend. former arkansas governor mike huckabee asked, is this to to a change america voted for? you can break all your campaign promises. of the examples above for a small example of the dozens of attacks leveled against present present a bomb in his first week of office. the rhetoric would heat up steadily. on day eight, beck asked fox, do you want socialism or not invited 11 he concluded the country was on the march toward socialism. not bad than sean hannity declare the obama presidency represents the end of capitalism. on the 17th day of the president's term summer wondering if the honeymoon was already over. on "fox news," never began. on the first months of the obama
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presidency progress the difference in coverage continued to emerge. fox became a breeding ground for republican talking points. this link was so tight that fox begin airing press releases verbatim presenting them in original reporting with no citation. for example and they pretend, host jones god said quote take a look at this -- how it was born and how it grew and grew and grew. as part of of the presentation god cited seven news reports using on-screen graphics. e-2 the articles he said as well as the on-screen text came darkly from a republican senate republicans mitigation center press release. this was not enough, if this is not enough evidence to prove that scott had written his from gop sources. one indicated "the wall street journal" report could reach 775 billion over two years was published in december 19, 2000. this was an obvious error. december 19, 2009th would not arrive for nine months.
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this error was contained to the gop release scott had taken his report from. you know we see this repeatedly and we cite throughout the book, political campaign and roger ailes knows how to run political campaigns. he ran many including the first president bush's. they have three elements. one of the things we cite throughout the book is how fox contains all three. this was an example of message. in the book you will see how fox raised tens of millions of dollars for the republican candidate and as was stated in the intro fox also was the mobilizing force between the -- behind a tea party adding -- and you can read the script in the book but this -- 20 to 25 seconds of tea parties we party sweeping the nation. here is what they stand for in the last five seconds waswas, and you can watch it on fox. 25 seconds after the tea party
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and five seconds of here's "fox news." we see this throughout the document. >> final passage here is our reflection on kind of at the broadest level what the fox effect is. how many people here have friends or colleagues or relatives who are faithful "fox news" readers or listeners, i'm sorry. so you all know what we are talking about i think in the end of the book. essentially fox has created an alternate universe for these people, for their viewers that completely counterfactual. what is the ultimate effect of that? the ultimate effect of that is a divided country and a country that often and seems ungovernable with absolutely no consensus and therefore no progress on issues that are
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urgent by the country so that on the broadest level is what we describe as the effect, the line effect of "fox news." roger ailes granted an unprecedented freedom but in rupert murdoch is utilizing his production talent has built "fox news" into a cable news goliath dominating large and dedicated to the networks brand. boxes love by the conservative base and feared by both hardees. ailes could've used his production genius to build a constructive force. instead he is but one that is fundamentally damaging our media landscape, leaving a legacy of cynicism and destruction. joe mcguinness, the author of several books, including the classic the selling of the president and the road, the 2011 book on sarah palin, has been a friend of ailes for 44 years and still believes that quote from richard nixon to rupert murdoch i think anyone he has ever
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worked for has harmed this country in some way. i also think "fox news" is -- ailes has ushered in the era of politics. sensationalistic and assigned to confirm the preexisting opinions of a large audience. if the world where news organization encouraging people to believe that barack obama attended a much ross i even though he did not come it encourages viewers to believe the earth is not warming in spite of the fact that virtually every scientist says it is. it is an organization that consciously reports that the democrats health bill and death penalty despite the fact that it does not. in each of these cases fox broadcast moderately life and others like that became gospel for a segment of the population. wants his role was reverse -- observed the talk radio or small circulation in publication.
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now the highest-rated cable news network in american broadcast them. most problematic, once these take hold, no amount of fact-checking by media matters or web sites political facts are facts will ever convince the segment of the population that it is predisposed to believe them. there is simply nothing on the left, no mainstream left of center media organization however broadly design the category so willingly and extensively from journalism's fundamental mission to report back to his fairly and objectively as possible. no outright bayh except for the distortions like the death panel on the right. roger ailes has been at the forefront of a political culture that seeks to divide our country. on the nixon and bush campaign, he worked to fragment america along racial lines. now at foxy is continue that effort in addition to dividing us by party and ideology. balkanizing our nation taking it practically impossible for her
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leaders to work together. there could be no compromise on the health care bill because republicans feared backlash on fox. there could be no working together to solve the climate crisis because fox convince its audience that global warming -- they fear the reaction of their "fox news" audience and with that i think that is kind of our conclusions and i think we would be happy to take some questions from you all and engage you in conversation. [applause] >> we have about 20 minutes for questions. >> i imagine we will have quite a line. if you can ask questions in and then ari and david will answer.
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>> hi david. i am adam from the washington freebie can. i was curious if you support and stand by the rhetoric used by your senior staff for mj rosenberg who has accused american jewish and supporting members of congress as being israel -- >> i'm going to take this. here is what i think. you know, israel is an issue that has a deep and heartfelt meaning to me as an issue i have thought a lot about over the years. it is one that has had an impact on my family, sorry. it's had an impact on my family, had an impact on my ancestors. what disappoints me about this whole debate is you know, the topic of israel and the disputes in the middle east and iran are the most serious thing our country is dealing with today.
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we are asking big questions. we are asking, should we go to war in iraq and our debate is being driven down to a number of tweets from a staffer at an organization that -- i have this policy in general in my life so i'm not going to do that here. just going to say i consider myself a zionist. i consider myself in support of the state of israel. if you talk to to and a staffer at media matters on foreign-policy they will tell you the same thing so i'm not going to get into a debate. when we have, when we are debating the most serious issues of war and peace i'm not going to engage about tweets. when we take iran to make it about twitter i think that is a huge problem. >> one question, one question.
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>> thanks guys very much for being here today. it was enlightening. when you talk about "fox news" being the republican mouthpiece and a mouthpiece for republican senatorial committees and their press releases, i was wondering if there is even a smidgen, perhaps a shred of hypocrisy because top media matter officials admitted have been meeting with the white house at quartet in your messages the white house. ben johnson. >> i don't know, you know, i know where you get that information from but yeah. we don't coordinate our message with the white house. have we been to meetings? every progressive group in the world, just like every perp -- conservative group has. >> don't think that -- >> one question. you can get back in line. >> we have some examples in the
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book of cases where what is presented as fox facts on the air art directly from republican press releases, from republican official documents and republican web sites all the way down to the typographical errors. >> i will does -- be polite and say thank you. >> my name my name is gates louis. and monitoring "fox news" how do you differentiate between guys who are clearly commentators like dole rightly or sean hannity and people who are considered straight news like greg bear? >> i am going to say, i think fox draws that distinction and i think it's in a string one. bill will say our opinions have opinions in our news people are fair and balanced and of course sean hannity -- bill simon who is throughout the book breaks down that and you
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have the head of their news division and the sea throughout the book in memos dictating political coverage again and again, and they think that is where you get into, that is where you get into that wall breaking down. >> i think that is right, that it is going to the news department and we have seen the result of that and document on the book. and i think we are not monitoring them for their opinions. people are entitled to their opinions. researchers are not looking for things we don't agree with. we are looking for things that are right or wrong and these opinion posts are certainly entitled to their opinion but we don't believe they are entitled to their own facts, so just as we fact check the news reports we will also fact check the o'reilly factor, sean hannity. in some ways it's left to staff
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but you can correction on hannity on day one and that night you will hear the same line again so they are a bit more brazenly thing then perhaps some others. >> thank you. >> what effect do you think fox has had on the gop primaries and how do you think that it ephedra that role will a fault once a republican nominee is identified? >> we have slightly different answers on that. >> i think look, i think fox do know, you have several stages of gop primaries. his preferred candidate was chris christie didn't enter the race. that was gabriel sherman, a new yorker. i think from the air, fox you know, fox has been holding up this idea that they have a course correction. roger l. said we have had an
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imbalance in the telfair we have been in the republican primary. well, there are two elements of that. one come in the book we cole and sec deposition that ailes gave where he was being asked about a statement he made to the president responded i never said anything to the press i'm actually going to hear so we should take that as the first up and dealing with roger ailes. the second piece of it is you know he says there is this course correction in the evidence is this republican primary. well, my answer has been let's wait until the general and let's see how fair they are toward the president. >> i agree with all that but let me just add that i think that you know, one of the things we document in the book and we have a major piece of research on our web site today, something we call the fox primary and the look at the platform and the hours that are dedicated to the various candidates. people will remember that at one
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point last year, they have a think up to five potential republican candidates on their payroll and someone like a rick santorum if you are asking about the impact on the primary, when he was in the political wilderness, the only thing he had really the kept him in the public eye was this "fox news" contract. so i think one of the effect that they have had on the primary is to take candidates that would be considered extreme and mainstream them for that republican audience, so you have the peaks and valleys of the michele bachmann's in the herman cain for the new enriches. it is difficult to note the cause and effect that they were all getting lots of coverage on fox that correlated with the -- and there is an irony to this, because obviously the republican party's is in a bit of a chaos right now.
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the conclusion from that might be this is the most brilliant political strategy. >> thank you, guys. >> i am joseph wolf. i wonder if he could talk a little bit about sort of how you would distinguish what fox is doing on the right from what "msnbc" is doing increasingly on the left? >> we can both take a shot at that but i will go first. "msnbc" has this lean forward slogan and they obviously, in their primetime lineup, are taking a more progressive approach to issues and some of their hosts are doing that. i think from everything we can tell and we watched the network closely, there is no politics in the "msnbc" news site of the operation so i think that is one distinction. we have already shown that there
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ideologue is bipartisan orders to go out from "fox news" telling them how to distort the news. we don't see that, so that is one thing i would say. the second thing i would say is that i have seen the hosts in the primetime "msnbc" lineup who are openly progressive. everybody makes mistakes. i've seen them correct themselves. it is a cold day in hell when you see that on the "fox news" channel, so i think there is an intentionality to misinformation we are seeing on fox that is purposeful as opposed to somebody you know you are going to occasionally make mistakes so i think it is really apples and oranges and i don't find that is
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the mirror image of fox at all. >> i think that pretty much answers. >> i am sarah hoffman. you are talking about having media matters, one of the biggest issues is that addressing misinformation from the conservative media and there have been some articles coming out recently and i didn't know if you offered any sort of a response or have you tried to address some of the articles written about it from the daily color? >> i generally make a policy not to respond but i am not going to respond to an article that is filled up with just garbage. that is my answer. there's no point in getting to a match back and forthwith a daily color and that is why we chose not to respond. >> the timing of these attacks, this explains it right here, everybody.
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>> victor miller. i would just like to know, you mentioned distortion and lies. what has been the role of any of the fcc in all of this? >> i mean look, fox is a cable network which means "fox news" i should say, is a cable network which means the role that the fcc is fairly limited in its regulation. i'm also going to say and this is a personal point of view now. i really believe in the first amendment first amendment and what the first amendment says is that government should not interfere in free speech so i think it's our jobs as activists and progressives and media watchers to fight for a better media. i don't want the government stepping in and saying don't do this and don't do that and don't do this and on a personal level, that i don't like. i think we as a people should stand up and make your point now
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and when we see something in media that is not right and recent events have shown that we and i'm not counting people here but we as it community and progressive movement have a tremendous amount of power to influence the media and i think that is where we should look and not look to the government for remedies. if the government is saying don't do that, a different government can tell us not to say something and then that gets into dangerous territory that i don't think any of us wanted that is a personal opinion. >> there was a media recording that media matters hires private investigators to follow fox and i was wondering if there is any truth to that? >> look in the book. all of our work on "fox news" focuses on their work. there is nothing in this book
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that focuses on the personal lives of "fox news." we don't focus on people's personal lives. i could not care if a "fox news" person was cheating on their wife. that does not matter. what matters about "fox news" is that they get it wrong. what matters about bill simon is he sends e-mails to "fox news" d.c. staff telling them this is how you should print the health care debate. send e-mail to the d.c. staff saying this is, you should call the president a socialist. we done in gauge and, we don't dig into people's personal lives. >> my name is oscar. just i want to speculate with you, we could agree that fox is a successful network. >> yes, i mean look i think in the book we say, we credit -- do
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you have to give ailes credit for being one of the best television producers of this age, television news producers. he has success after success with the mike douglas show and fox. we don't doubt their financial success. we are talking about ethical and journalistic failure. >> my question is, pretty much if you look at any aspect of history, the nazi party, it was enshrined in it populace that was, that kind of agreed to by and large this type of mindset. i am trying to say, would it be possible that fox and mr. ailes are producing for people who, whether we at re-or not, the mindset is the population
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because they are the ones repeating it in by and large continue to support it. maybe there is something to be had from that perspective because if it continues to be, for people who are here, many people here do what fox does and they are able to think in terms of -- i'm just saying what would you say about the fact that it is successful by the fact that is supported by many people in the population who tend to agree with this kind of mindset? >> do you want me to take this? i think look, you've a network that is undoubtedly financially successful. the question is journalists ethical failures. i think when you look at fox, the question is, when we look at fox, this audience is
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undoubtedly the most conservative in the country. i might get the numbers slightly wrong here. he looked at the 2004 breakdown between fox viewers and the rest of the country and fox viewers had -- voted for george bush over john kerry like 80 points, it was the largest single -- you to be a gun toting, churchgoing person but if you watched "fox news" you are more likely to vote for george bush. i think, we say in the book, if you watch "fox news" and you're a hard-core "fox news" watcher, it would be tough to change her mind. if they walk outside people are going to look up and say -- a large percentage of fox views -- "fox news" viewers believed their own taxes have gone up. the truth is they could correct
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that by looking at their own tax return. so i mean, so it's not about convincing a large segment because that segment watches "fox news" are wrong. is showing that the lies and distortion on fox don't spread to other segments of the population. >> and to pick up on that, that was going to me my point. there's no question that there is an audience that wants to believe and that is the core of the fox audience but one of the things that is really important in terms of, it's wrong to think that fox is only speaking to the choir. is speaking to the fire but it can also have a spillover effect. there was a time in september of 2009 where the ombudsman from "the new york times" and "washington post" were writing, we need to pay more attention to what is going on on "fox news" so we can have that effect.
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one of our missions at media matters is when there is a false story percolating on fox to get the word out to the rest of the press, what the facts are to try to contain that. but that is the real thing and people also know, what i call call the watercooler effect. somebody lets say where you work, who is in advocate of "fox news" and brings to the water cooler the next day the latest "fox news" lie and takes others with him. >> first of all congratulations for being here this evening and obviously by the question you have been asked you are very close to "fox news." thank you very much for that. the question and you alluded to it at the end, with the other major networks, why has it been that they have fallen in line and they repeat the same lies often, and i know you work hard
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to try to correct that, but why? we are talking about networks is edward r. murrow and people of that stature. >> there was a symposium at harvard back in 2004. we had for network anchors on stage and these were the big anchors. this was not "fox news." this was a major network and they were asked this question. and what they acknowledged was what i referred to earlier, this their organization, the main one now called the media research center that is in the business of tagging everything they don't like in the news as liberal bias in these anchors were asked, what is the effect of this concerted right-wing criticism banging on them all the time? they said it was causing them to self censor. was causing -- in the newsroom and a cause them not only to as thick tough questions leading up to the war in iraq. in political terms, it caused
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them to take up the republican national committee talking points on al gore and splashed on the front page of the paper and not investigate george w. bush. so it is not the only answer but i think a big answer to your question is that the conservative has spent tens of millions of dollars going back to 1969 with an organization called actor in the media that really was a front for nixon's vietnam policies and attacked him for covering the war. and and a fur sense there have been that -- that accounts for some of these timidity that you see in the mainstream press and the hope, and this is where folks come in terms of engaging with us, we hope to be providing a balance of that sort the end of the day we do have stronger journalism and a stronger democracy. >> we have time for one more
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question. >> hihigh, there has been a recurring theme since the republicans took over the house that fox has been continually lying about planned parenthood and i was wondering if you talk a little bit about why fox seems to continually target planned parenthood and how you know more of the demo credit media can respond to those big lies especially with jon kyl in a statement, saying he doesn't have the facts. >> there is an analysis in the book that relates here developed by media matters. it relates to nearly every campaign that fox has waged against the progressive organization and six steps that they go through. step one, conservative activists so let's take acorn and the james o'keefe videotape and andrew breitbart campaign.
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step two, fox devotes massive coverage to the lies max on the 24 hours after that first a.c.o.r.n. tape was released, fox just sent another dozen segments on it. step three, fox attacks other outlets for ignoring the controversy and they begin their coverage saying we are the only ones covering this. everybody all should be. step war and horrendous as work becomes problematic, mainstream outlets began reporting on the story and that is where you kind of see it having an effect. step five, media pundits praise "fox news" saying they were first-tier and then of course that sex, the story falls apart. the damage is done and nobody covers it. this has been a repeated pattern and it happened with a.c.o.r.n., happened with the van jones situation and happen with planned parenthood where they devote massive coverage to fox and then the goal is to pound it into the mainstream press will
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it -- macworld have an effect. the thing we can do is make sure the press is covering these things ackerley. if we can work with media matters instead of a wall to prevent lies, and this is what it's about, if there is truth or should be covered to prevent lies from jumping from the conservative media into the mainstream media, that is where we can correct a lot of this from happening and other organizations. >> to wrap up, thank you server buddy for coming. we are going to continue to shine the light on "fox news". there are some incredible stories in the book about how they have done away with various lies but they are also hopeful stories in the book about how we have been able to see in stopping lies in their tracks. even though their content may not reflected the fact that roger ailes is out there saying oh we are going to have a course change shows that the concerted spotlight on fox that we put on
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them in the last few years has had an effect and so we can continue to put pressure on this network to actually live up to what it advertises. thanks everybody for coming. >> thanks for coming. [applause] >> for more information about david brock and media matters for america, visit media >> we had a lot of discussions about the vetting. i wasn't happy with the product and you know in the movie, obviously you have a process that is 10 weeks long that is distilled down into two hours, so out of necessity, some of the timelines are rearranged, but it's the true story of what happened. on the question of the vetting, we got to the end of the process and senator mccain had determined who he wanted to
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pick. we had the realization that we can't win with any of the candidates and this is displayed in the movie. this extraordinarily difficult set of elections that we were going to be outspent by $200 million president bush approval rating was in the 30s. barack obama was speaking to crowds of hundreds of thousands in europe. there was a fervor for his candidacy on the part of the press and we were trying to figure out how to win. i am the person he said we should take a look at sarah palin you know from alaska. >> are you proud of that moment? >> you know, that moment freezes and slows down in my brain. [laughter] we spent a couple of days on the jersey shore and i remember everything, remember every aspect of the moment.
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i can smell the smell of long beach island, the salt air, you know, the -- back in front of the house and they pick up the phone and called rick davis and i said we should take a look at sarah palin. the vetting that was done, i said to rick that it's very important that rick would be in charge of the vetting process, that she be fully and completely fêted like all of the other candidates and had we would tend lawyers or 20 lawyers and a couple of days ago we did with three lawyers over a couple of weeks for all the other candidates and there were four parts to that. the first part, and you can do a documentary on this -- have i do want to make the part about this at what we are talking about b


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