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It's the FOX NEWS ALERT Hour

Reported by Melanie - August 12, 2004 -

One segment in the film Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, is devoted to a discussion about Fox's over use of its "Fox News Alert." Originally intended to signal that important breaking news would follow, Fox now uses it for everything from important breaking news, to telling us that Amber Frey is on the stand in that California courtroom, as they did yesterday. Today (August 12, 2004) on Dayside w/Linda Vester, Fox was true to form, using it five times in one hour.

1:07 p.m. ET, FOX NEWS ALERT and to Bret Baier at the Pentagon about the fighting in Najaf.

1:09 p.m. ET, FOX NEWS ALERT and to California for a report on a decision by the California Supreme Court saying San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom overstepped his authority in issuing marriage licenses to gays and lesbians there, and that marriages performed earlier this year were null and void.

Approximately 1:18 p.m. ET, FOX NEWS ALERT and to Fox producer Tadek Markowski on the phone from Najaf about fighting there.

1:32 p.m. ET, FOX NEWS ALERT and repeated information about 380,000 people being evacuated from Tampa, Florida due to hurricane Charley and a report from the National Hurricane Center.

1:58 p.m. ET, FOX NEWS ALERT with new video from Najaf showing fighting there.

COMMENT: Does Fox do this so viewers will think exciting things are coming at every turn? Do they do it to make the overall viewing experience more stimulating? Do they do it so their viewers think they're right of top of all things news? I think they do it to keep people watching. Whatever the reason, they're desensitizing their viewers such that when there truly is breaking news, they might not pay attention.