Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid is doing a fine job of obliterating any pretense that Accuracy in Media actually cares about "fairness, balance and accuracy in news reporting."
An Oct. 3 Kincaid column bashes Fox News employees Geraldo Rivera and Shepard Smith for not being conservative enough during their reporting on Hurricane Katrina. "The first thing that needs to be said is that neither one of them was ever a conservative," Kincaid writes. "Hopefully, their antics in the aftermath of the hurricane, when they railed against the federal government, will finally, once and for all, put a lie to the claim that Fox New is some kind of hotbed for conservative Republicanism."
David Shuster, former Fox News correspondent, might beg to differ:
"At the time I started at Fox, I thought, this is a great news organization to let me be very aggressive with a sitting president of the United States (Bill Clinton)," Shuster said. "I started having issues when others in the organization would take my carefully scripted and nuanced reporting and pull out bits and pieces to support their agenda on their shows.
"With the change of administration in Washington, I wanted to do the same kind of reporting, holding the (Bush) administration accountable, and that was not something that Fox was interested in doing," he said.
"Editorially, I had issues with story selection," Shuster went on. "But the bigger issue was that there wasn't a tradition or track record of honoring journalistic integrity. I found some reporters at Fox would cut corners or steal information from other sources or in some cases, just make things up. Management would either look the other way or just wouldn't care to take a closer look. I had serious issues with that."
Another reason not to take AIM seriously: An Oct. 3 press release claiming that 'the key question to be answered in covering the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is whether President Bush broke his campaign promise to appoint judges in the tradition of conservatives Scalia and Thomas":
"Most experts and observers agree that Miers is not the best qualified person for the position," said Kincaid. "But the record shows that she is not necessarily a conservative and that she financially contributed to the Al Gore for president campaign. This means she is definitely NOT a Scalia or a Thomas."
Why does a "media watchdog group" care about a political issue like the qualifications of a presidential nominee? Because it cares more about conservatism than it does about media watchdogging.
UPDATE: Fixed the spelling of Shuster's name.