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The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  245 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Based on the meticulous research of the news watchdog organization Media Matters for America, David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt show how Fox News, under its president Roger Ailes, changed from a right-leaning news network into a partisan advocate for the Republican Party.

The Fox Effect follows the career of Ailes from his early work as a television producer and media consult
Paperback, 329 pages
Published February 21st 2012 by Anchor Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jennifer Jacobs
I just finished reading this book and only one word comes out to my mind: comprehensive!
Written by David Brock and mediamatters,this book is packed with interesting political information!A fact check version of Zeitgeist if you will,Brock lays out lies of Fox News and even more,blunt shameless manipulation,distortion of facts and selective 'news' backed up by numerous notes and references.
This book is packed with evidence based research yet not one page in it is boring!
This book gives a very bri
May 27, 2012 Marvin rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is one of those books that preaches to my personal choir. The fact that Fox News is far from "Fair and Balanced" should not surprise any intelligent person. A few years ago, Robert Greenwald's excellent documentary Outfoxed covered much of this material. Yet this book by the people at Media Matters goes a step further. They show how by 2009, Fox News developed from a "news" provider with biased reporting and questionable standards to a unabashed supporter and organizer for the Republican Pa ...more
Jim Razinha
Mar 05, 2012 Jim Razinha rated it it was amazing
I have to disclose that I have been crying for Fox News, or as I often refer to them, "MockNews", to drop the "Fair and Balanced" tag for a long time or at least do what Vince McMahon did and embrace the lie as entertainment, so I read this book with an admitted bias. I'm glad there is Media Matters to watch these guys and call their BS. Oh, I do think they (Media Matters) can be a bit zealous at times...and nitpicking, but one has to admire the people who crawl into the cesspool that is Fox New ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is most likely to inspire a number of "hated it" as well as a number of "loved it" responses, since it discusses one of our most sensitive topics, e.g., partisan politics. The Country seems to be as polarized as it's ever been, and ideologues from the left and the right are sure to weigh in on this book.

The left and the right seem to battle like prosecutor and defense counsel in the criminal trials. And like trial lawyers who only present one side of an argument, and will offer theori
Feb 29, 2012 Jason rated it it was amazing
I have not read this book yet. But neither has the person who slapped a one-star review upon it. So let's just go ahead and re-set the ratings. It's got a knee-jerk one-star rating and a knee-jerk five star rating. Now, what does it actually deserve?
"Fox BAD!" is the most basic gist of the book. Co-written by David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt and Media Matters, the book is essentially a publication of what MM puts out. While personally I would side with MM than Fox, the book just wasn't very well-written and I didn't care for the bias. I suppose I should have known that this book would be biased considering that the Media Matters logo appears on the cover, but I was thoroughly bored by the text.

The book follows a series of events and breaks down
Lisa Mitchell
Mar 10, 2012 Lisa Mitchell rated it really liked it
This book is my first review on GoodReads and I hope I’m going about this properly.

The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine was a read that was unsettling and saddening for me. To see, and in a way, relive…the evolution of propaganda news and its cycles chronicled (and sourced) the way this book does was close to overwhelming. It made me question the overall affect of what this type of discourse is doing to America’s society and democracy as a whole. When the sy
Bob Anderson
Aug 24, 2015 Bob Anderson rated it it was amazing
So Media Matters for America (a non-profit that analyzes and corrects conservative media misinformation) gets criticized a lot for harping on Fox News. The same organization also claims to be disappointed that they have to spend so much of their time and effort correcting the record of the most widely viewed and respected of conservative media outlets, simply because of the volume and consequence of what Fox puts out. This is their book length analysis of how Fox News has achieved its current st ...more
Marcella Wigg
Nov 15, 2015 Marcella Wigg rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I think I read this book a bit too late for it to feel all that immediate, as four years have elapsed between the present depicted here and the present I inhabit. I wish I had read this earlier, as the events of 2008-2010 would have felt far more immediate in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential race than they do now.

Nevertheless, the focus of this book remains relevant: Fox News, far from its "fair and balanced" slogan, has long been a journalistically unreliable mouthpiece of the Rep
Jan 10, 2015 Vadim rated it did not like it
Вопреки названию книга не столько объясняет, как именно телеканал Fox преуспел в "пропаганде", сколько обосновывает, что Fox занимается "пропагандой", являясь даже не партийным телеканалом республиканцев, а активным игроком, центром влияния в Республиканской партии.

Книга почти целиком состоит из критики сообщений Fox, которые, по мнению авторов книги, а зачастую видимо и действительно не являются правдивыми. Эти детали вряд ли интересы интересны российскому читателю, в отличие от общей картины:
Lance Eaton
Mar 10, 2012 Lance Eaton rated it it was amazing
Though Fox viewers are not likely to read this...they are in desperate need of doing so...they are so poorly misinformed of their "fair and balanced" station. And that's not to say all media doesn't have severe limitations...but Fox just goes beyond the pale...
Larry Rolfes
Jul 16, 2014 Larry Rolfes rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for anyone who depends on Fox as their news source. It points out, using many specific examples, why Fox New is less a news organization than a propaganda machine.
Mar 10, 2015 Leigh rated it really liked it
A well-researched and fact checked book, unlike any story ever appearing on Fox "News". Personally, I found the transformation of the channel from a mouthpiece of the Republican Party to controlling and driving the party itself quite interesting, as well as the fears of many Republicans that they need to do the bidding of Fox, not GOP leader. I also never realized that in terms of climate change and global warming, CEO Rupert Murdoch despises the reporting of his own channel. This reflects his A ...more
Todd Martin
Mar 26, 2012 Todd Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: culture-politics
Anyone who has the slightest ability to think rationally recognizes that Fox News acts as the sleazy propaganda arm of the republican politburo and studies have shown that it's viewers are among the least informed of the American citizenry. In The Fox Effect, authors David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt document the many ways Fox lies, distorts, and manipulates the news to serve their conservative ideology and in fact, reveal the lie that it's primary purpose is as a 'news' organization.

Mar 25, 2012 Sally rated it it was amazing
It's hard not to use the cliche adjective "frightening" to describe the revelations in The Fox Effect. For example, Fox "News" head (and former legendary Republican operative) Roger Ailes can send a memo saying, for example, to start stigmatizing the Affordable Health Care Act as "government-run health care", and almost immediately, all Fox "News" personnel, including those who insist they are legitimate journalists and deserve to be taken seriously, change their language to conform to Roger Ail ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Todd rated it really liked it
Shelves: media-propaganda
There's not much in general terms I didn't know about Fox's antics with Ailes at the head, but this book documents page after page of unethical and immoral practices that should be illegal in a civilised society, a civilised society being a world where reporting news and reporting truth are one and the same. The more I read of it the angrier I got - I don't know how this organisation continues to exist, but it does, and at the top.

I've given this book a 4/5 rating only because at points the writ
Benny Costello
Nov 21, 2013 Benny Costello rated it really liked it
The Fox Effect, written by David Brock, was a very interesting and thought-provoking book. As a book that isn't afraid to call upon every ounce of foul play and suspicious activity in modern media, this book has undoubtedly changed the way I will look at the media.

From start to finish, The Fox Effect details countless examples of how mass-media outlets, specifically the Fox News Network and its president, Roger Ailes, have twisted the truth and distorted the people's view of what is actually hap
Savannah Williams
May 23, 2012 Savannah Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-smart-reads
As some one who has seen the Fox effect on people, this book was pretty amazing. This is my first review but hopefully it helps.

The authors put forward the argument that the network Roger Ailes built is one that isn't living up to their "fair and balanced" approach to the news. Brock and Rabin-Havt argue that the network doesn't specialize in the news but pander in the sensational and scare tactics instead of being objective when it comes to presenting the news. Each chapter presents multiple in
Mar 22, 2012 Kathleen rated it liked it
I am so the target audience for this book, but so far I'm not particularly loving its inartful writing. From the introduction on the blast of vitriol is like drinking from a firehose.

Thoughts upon completion: the folks at Media Matters must have stomachs of iron. There are a lot of citations, a lot of direct Fox News personalities' quotes (juxtaposed against the actual facts), lots of leaked Fox memos, etc. They compiled a lot of information
Apr 01, 2012 Connie rated it really liked it
This is a very concise summary of the huge influence ( negative and harmful) that FOX has had and continues to have on America, politics, government, and the economy.

Although I had always known that Roger Ailes was the single force behind FOX's ascendancy, I had no idea how many decades he has had his evil little fat fingers stirring up the political pot on many levels both national and state. and I was really not too terribly surprised to learn that he had been involved in behind-the-scenes pol
Jan 07, 2013 James rated it really liked it
Roger Ailes missed his calling to work for Joseph Goebbels. Perhaps he is the "Boy from Brazil," but instead of being cloned from Hitler's cells, he was cloned using Goebbels DNA. Usually I would say, as soon as you invoke the Nazis in your argument, you've lost your case, but apart from the Nazis or the best agents of disinformation working for the KGB, Faux news stands alone its ability to both manufacture a false story, repeat it non-stop though its barking dogs and then try to legislate base ...more
NancyL Luckey
Apr 15, 2014 NancyL Luckey rated it really liked it
Well, this book is preaching to the choir when I read it. Didn't finish it but not because it wasn't good, but it made me too depressed to know how FOX twists the truth and calls it news (And knows it isn't the truth!)
James Hollomon
Feb 03, 2013 James Hollomon rated it it was amazing
Careful. Reading this might make your blood boil. But it will give you the ammunition needed to dismiss the oft-repeated fallacy that all news organizations are exactly alike. Anyone who believes that has to assert that during the Cold War, Pravda was just as honest in its reporting as the BBC.

There is such a thing as Propaganda. What the mainstream media in the US provide is not propaganda. What Fox News does is political propaganda and little else.
Jim Johnson
This was tough to read; at times. Some portions were boring and redundant. In other passages, the author sounded like a whiny baby. However, his point was well taken: Fox News has very little to do with the news and more to do with their Republican propaganda. Overall, the book was okay but I could only recommend it if you're interested in reading a wide array of examples of Fox News' biased "reporting".
Jul 19, 2012 Anne rated it liked it
I hate to admit that I did not know to what extent FOX is propaganda, half-truths, out-of-context quotes, misquotes, or just plain lies. I've always found the sound of Sean Hannity's voice I understand even more. The book is informative, yet I think could have been organized differently. Seems to jump around quite a bit. Definitely worth reading.
Aug 22, 2012 Bharat rated it really liked it
David Brock, the former conservative turned liberal media watchdog himself, systematically debunks the myth that fox news is a legitimate news organization. Providing numerous specific examples with meticulous research and credibility, Brock and MediaMatters does journalism a great service by exposing the sheer farce that is Fox News. Highly recommended read.
Bruce Benson
Sep 13, 2014 Bruce Benson rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
I want to say unbelievable, but actually it is no surprise. What this books brings to the table are the specifics, the stuff we need to remember when joisting in conversations with those that believe the rhetoric on the rght.
Feb 29, 2012 Jim marked it as to-read
Recommended by Credo. I bought the Kindle version after reading the sample. The findings are very well documented, and I think it has a lot to say.

I also think the best curative for bad information is better information.
Barbara Lovejoy
May 16, 2012 Barbara Lovejoy rated it really liked it
Interesting book! Both sides of the political aisle do their share of propaganda making it difficult to navigate through it all to get to the truth.
Apr 04, 2012 Valencia is currently reading it
Can't put it down, everything makes more sense after reading this informative book. I would recommend this for Every Journalism student
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David Brock is a journalist currently living in Washington, DC. He started out in professional journalism with a piece in "The Wall Street Journal", that caught the attention of John Podhoretz, who was assigned with starting a magazine for the conservative daily newspaper, "The Washington Times".

He worked as a news reporter for
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