by Scoobie Davis
Stoked, Baby!!! Media Hacker 1, Roger Ailes 0. Fox News Gets Scoobied
Talk about synchronicity. Everything fell into place last night. On Thursday, I was talking to a friend and I told her about how dope it would be to disrupt a live Fox News broadcast. Well, it didn't take long for me to actually do it. Yesterday, I disrupted a live broadcast for the Los Angeles Fox News affiliate, Fox11. It was as if God came down from high and presented me with the Cosmic Foot of Karma to apply to Roger Ailes' ample butt.
First things first: let's discuss ethics and karma.
The Ethics and Karma of Disrupting a Live Fox News Broadcast
Fox News (also click here, here, here, and here) is an entity owned by Rupert Murdoch and run by Roger Ailes. Murdoch and Ailes are a disgrace to journalism. These are hollow, soulless men who don't care one iota about journalistic integrity. The idea that they want anything even faintly reminiscent of a fair and balanced exchange of ideas on their network is laughable. Mantras like "We Report, You Decide" and "Fair and Balanced" don't reflect any serious attempt by Ailes or his crew to provide fairness or balance on their network. The Fox News Channel is a complete and utter assault on American journalism.
Let me elaborate about Ailes. Ailes has no journalistic education. He was a producer for The Mike Douglas Show when he caught the eye of Richard Nixon who made him a media advisor. Later, Ailes worked with Lee Atwater as a Republican attack dog and flack; Ailes' own friends said that he had two settings: attack and destroy.
During the Clinton presidency, Ailes was part of the eight-year ratfucking campaign against Bill and Hillary Clinton; as executive producer of Rush Limbaugh's television show and as head of MSNBC and Fox News, Ailes engaged in hatemongering and the spreading of the worst kinds of rumors against the Clintons (click here and here for just two examples). Ailes' words and activities exemplify what the late historian Richard Hofstadter called the paranoid style in American politics.
During the 1990's, I didn't have any power to respond to Ailes--all I could do was to sit and stew. Those days are over. Now I have a voice and I'll be damned if I stand around and let pass an opportunity to stick it to Ailes and his pseudo-journalistic outfit. It is the duty of those who care about journalistic integrity to expose, confront, and jam the Fox News propaganda machine when given the opportunity. As a media hacker concerned with journalistic integrity, I would have been derelict in my duties had I not disrupted the broadcast when I had a chance to do it. I owe it to the readers of this blog to confront operatives posing as journalists.
I realize that Fox News affiliate stations tend to be better than the main Fox News Channel. I have watched the Los Angeles affiliate and they are probably no different that the network affiliates. Still, the Fox News affiliates repeat the fraudulent "fair and balanced" mantra and they are part of the larger machine controlled by Ailes and Murdoch. Ailes and Murdoch think the American people are idiots; they laugh when they have their lackeys recite cant such as "We report; you decide." Disruption of the Fox News Channel and their propaganda is fully justified--at both the national and the affiliate level.
One final note, after I disrupted the on-location broadcast, the angry reporter told me I was rude (several times). Certainly a case could be made that I was rude. When Ailes and Limbaugh called 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton the White House dog on national TV, that was really rude. When Ailes has his toadies present their operation as an objective news outlet to the American people, that's really rude. When Fox News operatives pass off right-wing mindrot as reporting, that's rude. Ailes and Murdoch represent an assault on American journalism; that's rude.
It was about 10:30 PM and I was hanging around the Sunset Strip--as usual--up to no good and checking out the scene. I had planned to see the midnight screening of Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation at the Laemmle Sunset 5. I approached the House of Blues on Sunset and saw that Journey was performing. I noticed a news van was parked nearby and the satellite antenna was up so I knew it would be a live broadcast about the Journey show. I saw a cameraman making preparations and I noticed that attached to the microphone was a Fox News 11 logo. I was stoked. This would be a perfect opportunity to disrupt a Fox News broadcast. I had to think of a short and provocative thing to say. I thought about mentioning falafel but decided against it. As 11:00 PM approached, I hid behind a tree near the Fox News van. At a couple minutes after eleven, I noticed the reporter talking to the studio anchors. That's when I made my move. I moved directly to the reporter's right and the following conversation occurred (I had a mini-recorder to record the conversation):
[As the reporter spoke to the studio anchors] SCOOBIE: "Fair and balanced my ass, you media whore!"
FOX NEWS REPORTER [moving away a couple feet]: "Excuse me, sir--"
SCOOBIE: "Roger Ailes is a disgrace to journalism!"
It was about then that the Fox news 11 reporter had the cameraman cut. The reporter and cameraman were furious. They yelled at me and told me I disrupted the broadcast. I was ecstatic but calm and told them, "That's the way it's going to be" and began to berate Ailes and Murdoch. I then took off. It was one small victory against the Ailes and Murdoch propaganda apparatus.