In response to the release of producer/director Robert Greenwald's documentary film Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, FOX News Channel aired a segment during the July 12 edition of FOX Report with Shepard Smith in which substitute host Jane Skinner reported that FOX News Channel "denies the claim" made in Outfoxed that the network has a "bias toward Republicans." The following day, FOX News Channel issued a statement and a report asserting that "[s]ome of the 'sources' for this documentary never worked for FOX News Channel" and that two of the former employees featured in the film were, in fact, employed by FOX affiliates.
However, Media Matters for America has documented numerous examples of Republican bias on the network. And notwithstanding FOX's assertion that the affiliate stations (of FOX Television Stations, Inc.) at which the two former employees worked are "separate entities from FOX News Channel," they are indeed owned by The News Corporation Limited -- the chairman and chief executive of which is K. Rupert Murdoch, who is a primary focus of the documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.
From the July 12 edition of FOX News Channel's FOX Report with Shepard Smith:
SKINNER: A new movie financially backed by the political groups MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress claims FOX News Channel is not fair or balanced. The documentary is called Outfoxed, and it features some former FOX workers accusing this network of bias toward Republicans. FNC denies the claim and points out that some of those employees actually worked for local FOX stations and had no connection with the FOX News Channel Network, and it says none of the people who did work here complained about these editorial issues while they were employed here.
Following are just a few examples of FOX News Channel's partisan bias, as documented by Media Matters for America:
Sean Hannity, co-host of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, has repeatedly mischaracterized the records of Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and John Edwards (D-NC); propagated the lie that Sudan offered Osama bin Laden to former President Bill Clinton; and asked on the air, "Can we pray for the reelection of George Bush?"
Bill O'Reilly, host of FOX News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor, has distorted the findings of a 9-11 Commission Staff Statement in order to defend the Bush administration's rationale for invading Iraq; falsely accused Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) of saying that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib was "worse" than the terrorist attacks of September 11; and doctored quotes by progressive financier, philanthropist, and political activist George Soros to suggest Soros wished his own father dead.
Following Kerry's announcement of Edwards as his vice presidential running mate, FOX News Channel selectively reported polling data that was most favorable to Republicans; FOX News Channel host Neil Cavuto suggested that the announcement of Edwards as Kerry's running mate made the stock market take an "Edwards dip"; and FOX News correspondent and substitute host Brian Wilson echoed misleading Republican National Committee talking points by emphasizing the minimal ties that Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, had to Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron.