- About the Book
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 consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Consequently, when he was hired in 1996 as the president of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship conservative cable news network, Ailes had little journalism experience, but brought to the job the mindset of a political operative. As Brock and Rabin-Havt demonstrate through numerous examples, Ailes used his extraordinary power and influence to spread a partisan political agenda that is at odds with long-established, widely held standards of fairness and objectivity in news reporting. Featuring transcripts of leaked audio and memos from Fox News reporters and executives, The Fox Effect is a damning indictment of how the network’s news coverage and commentators have biased reporting, drummed up marginal stories, and even consciously manipulated established facts in their efforts to attack the Obama administration.
What Brock and Rabin-Havt fail to provide is a context. The Democrats did not suffer losses in the 2010 elections primarily because of nasty commentary on Fox; rather, they dithered on health care reform and were repeatedly outmaneuvered by Republican legislators. Nor do the authors explain what would constitute legitimate criticism of Obama... Brock and Rabin-Havt also concentrate so closely on the farrago of conspiratorial nonsense spouted by the likes of Beck that they exaggerate its practical significance.... For all the authors' apprehension about the network's influence, this close study of the Fox universe demonstrates not its reach but the limits of conservative jihadism, something Brock should be more familiar with than anyone else.
—New York Times
—New York Times