The director, Robert Greenwald, used a clip from Eric Clapton's song "Layla" for the film's closing credits in a rough edit, and then read in a magazine interview that Clapton had a long-standing hatred of Rupert Murdoch. He approached Clapton for permission to use the song in the film, and he granted its use... for free.
The movie's DVD release preceded its theatrical release. The film was initially distributed via internet DVD sales, but strong viewer demand led to a post-DVD theatrical release.
On 18 July 2004, a network of "house parties" premiered this film on DVD throughout the USA. The screenings were synchronized to begin at 9:20 PM Eastern time, and afterwards, a two-way communications link via computer was used to voice opinions and interview several of the people involved in the documentary's production.
Certain Murdoch-owned newspapers in Australia refused to run ads for theatrical screenings of the film claiming that the ads were "offensive". The newspapers were not satisfied with the ads until they were pared down to the bare title of the film (without the tagline "Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism"), the name of the theatre and the session time(s) with no accompanying artwork.