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Thursday, July 5, 2012
AIM Mad Wash. Post Political Fact-Checker Won't Do Another Person's Job
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Don Irvine spends a July 3 Accuracy in Media post whining that Washington Post political fact-checker Glenn Kessler won't do anything but political fact-checking:

Glenn Kessler, aka The Washington Post Fact Checker, informed readers that even though the Obama campaign had misinterpreted a recent Washington Post story on Bain Capital and outsourcing, he would not award any Pinocchios (his rating system for accuracy) to the Post for the actual story, since it was the interpretation of the Post story, and not the story itself, that was wrong.

[...]

So the lesson is that the Obama campaign is free to twist the information from any future Post article however they like, and though Kessler may comment on it he won’t rate its level of dishonesty. That way he can protect both the paper and his relationships with other Post employees.

Irvine conveniently ignores the fact that fact-checking the newspaper is not Kessler's job -- it's clear that he only fact-checks claims by political candidates.

The Post has an ombudsman that handles what is published by the Post itself, Patrick Pexton. In his June 29 column, Pexton addressed the Post story in question, pointing out that the article was correct in its facts but that some quibbling could be done on interpretation.

Irvine didn't mention Pexton's column in bashing Kessler for not doing something that's not his job.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
AIM: Putting Obama's Words In Proper Context Is 'Spin'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The idea that it's "spin" to accurately report what President Obama says in its proper context is spreading from the Media Research Center to Accuracy in Media.

In a June 22 AIM post -- also, fittingly, posted at the MRC's NewsBusters -- Republican Rep. Lamar Smith complains that the media is telling the truth about Obama's remark that "the private sector is doing fine" by pointing out the fact that he was speaking about job growth in the private sector vs. job losses in the public sector. But Smith -- who leads something called the Media Fairness Caucus in the House -- does not believe in fairness and accuracy when it comes to Obama :

Americans’ economic situations are not “fine.” Shortly after President Obama’s address on the economy, the Federal Reserve issued a new report that found Americans’ average net worth dropped by nearly 40% from 2007 to 2010. It is common sense that this new report would be highlighted by the media in contrast to President Obama’s claim a couple days earlier that the “private sector is doing fine.”

[...]

Americans deserve true objective reports from the media instead of biased reports to protect the President. Americans are concerned about the economy as many are unemployed or underemployed. The liberal national media owe it to the American public to provide objective coverage when discussing this and other issues.

But the media Smith cited were reporting accurately about Obama's remarks. The fact that the truth is inconvenient to Smith's right-wing agenda doesn't change that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 PM EDT
Monday, June 25, 2012
AIM Columnist Ignores Facts in Defending DDT
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Alan Caruba devotes his June 18 Accuracy in Media column to ranting about Rachel Carson and her book "Silent Spring," the 50 anniversary of whose publication is this year. To hear Caruba tell it, Carson helped foment America's "unfounded fears of pesticides" and is just like Hitler:

There are books that have doomed millions to death. “Das Capital” by Karl Marx kicked off the worst economic system of the modern era, claiming the lives of millions of Russians and Chinese, along with others in the process.

Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” mobilized Nazi Germany, led to World War Two in Europe, and was responsible for the deliberate killing of six million Jews and another five million Christians in its concentration camps, not counting the millions more in war dead. The Nazi leaders were ardent environmentalists.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson; a book that is credited with giving rise to the environmental movement in general and, in particular, America’s unfounded fears of pesticides, especially DDT.

Caruba goes on to rail about the DDT ban, claiming that "Malaria, once on the brink of being eliminated, has long since made resurgence since the ban of DDT, although some nations most affected by the disease have received permission to use it. That is Rachel Carson’s true and lethal legacy."

In fact, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes that DDT-resistant mosquitoes -- which carry the malaria virus -- had begun to appear well before the DDT ban due to overuse of the pesticide. Further, FAIR reports, there was never a global ban on DDT, and 10 out of the 17 African nations that currently conduct indoor spraying use DDT.

Caruba also claims that "The coast-to-coast plague of bedbugs that has occurred in the past decade and continues today could have been eliminated if DDT were still in use." In fact, Newsweek reports that, as with mosquitoes, bedbugs had developed resistance to DDT by the time of the DDT ban; besides, "In the 1960s and 1970s, most of the bedbugs that had survived the onslaught of DDT were wiped out by malathion, until it, too, stopped working."

We've previously noted other right-wing writers dubiously coming to the defense of DDT.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:06 AM EDT
Monday, June 18, 2012
AIM's Kincaid Still Repeating False Smear of Panetta
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid just can't stop peddling a lie. He writes in his June 14 Accuracy in Media column:

Congress gave Panetta a pass when he became CIA director and then Secretary of Defense, despite his long record of associations with identified communist Hugh DeLacy, who had connections to the Chinese government. Not surprisingly, the Soros-funded Media Matters came to Panetta’s defense, accusing conservatives of a “smear” for raising the inconvenient facts about his record, including opposition to President Reagan’s anti-communist defense policies. Media Matters has White House connections and specializes in intimidating the media when they dare to question the White House line.

Fortunately, the facts, including some of a personal nature, were included in a column by the courageous Diana West, who commented that the evidence showed that Panetta had “a cordial, long-term relationship in the 1970s and 1980s” with Hugh DeLacy, a Communist Party USA member elected to one term in Congress while pretending to be a Democrat in 1944. Incriminating “Dear Hugh” and “Dear Leon” documents were obtained by researcher Trevor Loudon at the University of Washington.

Unfortunately for Kincaid, as we've previously pointed out when he pushed this smear, that Media Matters piece tells the truth about the "long-term relationship" between Panetta and DeLacy: The correspondence between them is nothing more than that of a congressman and a constituent.

At no point does Kincaid make any effort to refute any of the specific claims made in the Media Matters piece, nor does he challenges its accuracy vis-a-vis the "facts" offered by West. Instead, he goes for a lazy ad hominem attack on the organization (disclosure: I'm a Media Matters employee).

Kincaid, by the way, is bringing up this false smear as part of suggesting that Panettamight be responsible for releasing information about President Obama's counterterrorism efforts, or in Kincaid's words, "betrayal of state secrets." Kincaid goes on to claim that Panetta is among individuals in the Obama administration "who could not pass a basic FBI background check," presumably because of his purported relationship with DeLacy.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EDT
Thursday, June 7, 2012
AIM Dismisses WND, Alex Jones As 'Russian Dupes' For Bilderberg Obsession
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Earlier this week, we detailed how WorldNetDaily had essentially teamed up with conspiracy-monger Alex Jones to lead and promote protests outside the Washington-area hotel where the Bilderberg Group was meeting last weekend. Now Jones and WND are being denounced for their Bilderberger obsession by an unlikely source -- another conspiracy-monger.

In a June 4 Accuracy in Media column headlined "Russian Dupes Behind Bilderberger Protests," Cliff Kincaid dismissed Jones for his regular appearances on "Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT) television"and complaining that "The major news organizations have been driven by the Drudge Report and WorldNetDaily" to cover the protests. Kincaid quotes right-wing radio host Ben Barrack asking whether Jones is a "dupe" or "actively working toward" an Islamist-led New World Order: "Islamists love Alex Jones. He runs interference for them by pushing 9/11 Conspiracy theories while publicly seeing them as a threat not worth dealing with because the NWO is actually using them for its own agenda."

Kincaid also repeated his own previous claim that "Russia Today is eager to publicize Alex Jones and his claims about 9/11, the Bilderbergers, bankers, and various other villains and culprits because they divert attention from the increasingly totalitarian nature of the Russian regime and the military threat that Russia still poses to American interests."

Kincaid, meanwhile, is no stranger to nutty conspiracy theories -- he thinks Frank Marshall Davis is Barack Obamas's father, posits that a U.S. soldier accused of committing a massacre in Afghanistan was "programmed" by the Taliban, and tried to falsely smear Leon Panetta as a Marxist.

Don't you love a good intra-conspiracy-monger fight?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT
Friday, May 25, 2012
Irony: AIM's Kincaid Complains About 'Inflammatory' Writer
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In his May 23 Accuracy in Media column promoting a claim that "the Obama Administration is rapidly revising federal counter-terrorism training materials in order to eliminate references to Jihad and Islam," Cliff Kincaid complains about "an inflammatory headline about 'Islamophobia' supposedly characterizing the federal government’s response to global Islamic terrorism." He continues:

[Ryan] Mauro told Accuracy in Media that another factor behind the ongoing review, in addition to the inflammatory reporting of Wired blogger Ackerman, is the influence of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress (CAP), which issued a “Fear, Inc.” report attacking critics of radical Islam as bigots involved in “Islamophobia.”

Kincaid is referencing Ackerman's report on FBI instructional materials about Muslims, some of which characterized them as prone to violence or terrorism. Kincaid never actually counters what Ackerman wrote, just dismissed it as "inflammatory."

That's right -- the writer who condones the killing of gays and who apparently thinks Frank Marshall Davis is Barack Obama's father is complaining that some other writer's work is "inflammatory."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Sunday, May 20, 2012
AIM (!) Complains About Disgraced Bloggers Finding Work
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a May 18 blog post, Accuracy in Media chairman Don Irvine complains that U.S. News & World Report hired blogger Elizabeth Flock, who resigned from the Washington Post "after it was revealed that she made extensive use of material from Discovery News without attribution in a post in April." Citing another case of apparent plagiarsm by Flock, Irvine added, "These problems apparently weren’t serious enough to prevent U.S. News from hiring Flock and giving her a high profile assignment."

That's an odd criticism from Irvine, who allowed a disgraced blogger to keep blogging at AIM.

In December 2009, AIM blogger Allie Duzett libelously claimed that then-Obama official Kevin Jennings is a "pedophile," a claim had AIM had to quickly retract and apologize for. Despite exposing her employer to legal action, Duzett was allowed to continue to write more posts for AIM. She even wrote for the Heritage Foundation for a while.

It seems AIM not only tolerated its disgraced blogger, it helped her get another job. So why is Irvine complaining about Elizabeth Flock?


Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 AM EDT
Thursday, May 17, 2012
AIM's Kincaid Insinuates Frank Marshall Davis Is Obama's Father
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The Newsweek cover calling Barack Obama "the first gay president" for endorsing same-sex marriage was all the impetus Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid needed to start hurling sleazy insinuations.

The virulently homophobic Kincaid headlined his May 14 AIM column "How Our “Gay President” Learned About Sex," implying that Obama is gay. Kincaid never actually gets there, though -- his column is mostly a screed about Frank Marshall Davis, "Obama’s communist mentor" who "drank heavily and smoked dope, wrote a pornographic novel in which the author declared, 'under certain circumstances I am bisexual."

Kincaid does insinuate, however, that Davis is Obama's father, claiming that Davis "discussed having sex with a young girl named 'Anne.'" Of course, Kincaid offers no evidence to back this up.

Kincaid is bringing up Davis as a distraction from the revelation that Mitt Romney, as a prep school student, forcibly cut the hair of a fellow student who was presumed to be gay, insisting that this is "a much bigger story than a haircut."

(P.S. The whole silliness about Davis being Obama's father completely undermines the idea that Obama isn't constitutionally eligible to be president.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 55: Fighting Bigotry With Bigots
Topic: Accuracy in Media
How does Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid respond to a black commentator making a reference to a "bow-tied white boy"? By calling in a white supremacist to comment on it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
AIM's Kincaid Cites Racist to Attack Jehmu Greene
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Mychal Massie isn't the only person in the ConWeb to take offense at Jehmu Greene referring to Tucker Carlson as a “bow-tying white boy.” While Massie channels Bull Connor, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid finds his own racist to invoke.

In a May 7 AIM article, Kincaid brings in Jared Taylor of American Renaissance to weigh in on the subject:

“There is an obvious double standard according to which blacks needn’t worry about showing the kind of ‘racial sensitivity’ that is always required of whites,” says Jared Taylor of American Renaissance, an organization that is often criticized by the Left for examining racial issues from the point of view of white self-interest. Taylor’s book, White Identity, argues that whites should not be afraid to exercise the same rights as other racial and groups.

Taylor told AIM that the double-standard that guides media coverage of racial controversies excuses racially-charged comments like those of Jehmu Greene as well as Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC. 

As we pointed out the last time Kincaid did this, the Anti-Defamation League calls American Renaissance a "white supremacist journal" that "promotes pseudoscientific studies that attempt to demonstrate the intellectual and cultural superiority of whites and publishes articles on the supposed decline of American society because of integrationist social policies." Taylor himself has declared that we don't "need more Hispanics" and attacked Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for not "pronouncing her name the way an American would."

Kincaid laughably insisted that "there is no evidence that American Renaissance by any objective standard is a racist organization" and that it merely deals with racial issues just like the Congressional Black Caucus -- a claim he walked back a few days later.

Despite his own embrace of a racist, Kincaid insists that Greene is the racist one here.

Meanwhile, if Kincaid was really concerned about racist remarks on Fox News, wouldn't he have complained by now about Brent Bozell calling Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead"?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
AIM's Irvine Didn't Want His Child to Be Born on Earth Day
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Earth Day coincides with the birth of one of the sons of Accuracy in Media director Don Irvine. And Irvine's not exactly happy about that. He details in an April 22 AIM blog post:

I will never forget Earth Day 1992, not just because it is my son’s birthday, but also because my wife chose that day to give birth. You see, she knew that she would have to have a C-section and her favorite doctor was only available on that day of that week to do the operation. I did try and discourage her from the April 22 date, since I really didn’t want a child born on Earth Day, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. And as I’ve learned, it is better not to argue with a pregnant woman.

Irvine concluded: "Happy Birthday Steven, and please feel free to expand your carbon footprint today."

This sort of Earth Day bashing, of course, is endemic to right-wingers like Irvine.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
AIM's Caruba Pretends He Has Nothing To Do With Heartland Institute
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Alan Caruba peddles his bizarre brand of global warming denialism in his April 6 Accuracy in Media column -- now with an added level of denialism.

As he has before, Caruba rails against the release of documents from the anti-global warming group the Heartland Institute as have been "fraudulently obtained," while describing stolen emails in the so-called "Climategate" non-scandal as merely a "massive data leak." 

Then, after declaring that Heartland "needs your support" because it "has already paid a big price for its efforts and needs donors to replace General Motors’ support," Caruba concludes with an editor's note: "To forestall the likely warmist response to this commentary, Mr. Caruba is not in the employ, nor receiving any funding from The Heartland Institute."

That, quite simply, is a lie. In February, Caruba himself wrote: "Full disclosure: Years ago I received a small stipend from The Heartland Institute to help cover the costs of writing articles regarding the global warming hoax." Caruba seems to be taking refuge in the word "receiving" to mean that he is not currently receiving Heartland money, but the way he worded his statement makes it clear he was trying to imply that he never received Heartland money.

In addition to the money, Caruba is clearly affiliated with the institute in other ways:

If Caruba  cannot be straightforward and honest about his links to the organization he's defending, why trust anything he has to say about global warming?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 AM EDT
Monday, April 9, 2012
AIM Continues Freaking Out Over Non-Conservatives on Fox News
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media, it seems, just can't stand the sight of liberals on Fox News -- in January, Cliff Kincaid ranted about Fox's hiring of "open lesbian" Sally Kohn.

Now, Fox's hiring of Jesse Jackson's daughter, Santita Jackson, has brought a new round of freakouts. In an April 5 blog post, Don Irvine frets that the hiring will "confound conservatives who see no need for the top-rated cable news network to give liberals even more of a voice than they currently have. They already have MSNBC and CNN, along with the rest of the mainstream media." Irvine continues: "Fox runs the risk of alienating its conservative audience to the point that they will look elsewhere for their news, and eventually end Fox’s long run as the top cable news network."

Kincaid expands on the freakout in an April 6 article, claiming that Jackson's hiring is a bid by Fox News to "avoid left-wing attacks on its news operations and commentators," adding, "It is apparent that the left-wing attacks on Fox News, many of them directed through the Soros-funded Media Matters group, have taken their toll." Kincaid went on to attack Jackson's "taste for racial and divisive politics," then follows Irvine in fretting that Fox is losing its right-wing cred: "Is her father next in line for a show on the 'conservative' channel?"

That hostility is telling -- it shows that AIM is not interested in balance, which Fox is trying to achieve by adding liberal commentators, but cares only about shutting down liberal viewpoints.

AIM, by the way, had this same kneejerk reaction in 2006 when Fox hired Kimberly Guilfoyle as a commentator, attacking her as "a noted supporter of the homosexual rights movement" and "an active member in the San Francisco affiliate of the National Women’s Political Caucus, a pro-abortion feminist group." Of course, Guilfoyle has more than proven herself as one of the many, many conservatives on Fox that is need of being "fair and balanced" by an actual liberal commentator.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
AIM's Kincaid Suggests Sgt. Bales Was 'Programmed' By The Taliban
Topic: Accuracy in Media

CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson received an award last month from the right-wing group Accuracy in Media, which is best known for peddling wild conspiracy theories. Christopher Isham, CBS vice president and Washington bureau chief, accepted the award in person on her behalf. Attkisson and Isham accepted AIM's award despite news experts warning that Attkisson's credibility would be harmed by doing so.

Since then, AIM has returned to doing what it does best: promoting conspiracy theories. And AIM's Cliff Kincaid has a doozy in his March 26 "special report": He asserts it "has to be seriously considered" that Army Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians, may have been a sort of Manchurian candidate who was working with the Taliban. Kincaid writes that the "rampage had the earmarks of somebody programmed or manipulated to kill."

More from Kincaid:

What can be safely assumed at this point is that the anti-American narrative that the U.S. was backing Bales with a squad of soldiers in a deliberate conspiracy to massacre civilians is almost certainly a conspiracy theory that is part of a global attempt to convince the world of the opposite of what really happened.

Which means that another theory -- that Bales engaged in the killings, with the help of the Taliban, in order to accelerate an American withdrawal -- has to be seriously considered.

There is no direct evidence at this stage for the theory of Bales as an enemy agent or dupe. But Bales' attorney says he has seen "no forensic evidence" and there have been "no confessions" to support the Army's case. The fact is that so little is known about the killings that both sides of the story -- the one told by the U.S. Army and the one told by anti-American foreign propagandists -- have to be questioned.

[...]

If the enemy recruited Bales and then helped him carry out the massacre, so it could be blamed on the U.S., then we gain an additional important insight into the brutal nature of those who want the U.S. to leave so they can take over. Staging a massacre and blaming it on the Americans is something that makes sense, if we examine what is already known about the killings.

Consider that the enemy has infiltrated and recruited among members of the Afghan Army. Is it so far-fetched to believe that an American soldier was recruited as well? Perhaps he was not converted to Islam. But he may have had his outlook on the war completely twisted by the propaganda telling him that he is a member of an occupying force that has to leave the country.

Kincaid goes on to state that "a cover-up may be underway, intended to obscure the nature of the apparent brainwashing that Bales underwent at some point in his military career."

Are Attkisson, Isham, and CBS still proud to have received that award from AIM?

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)


Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
Thursday, March 22, 2012
AIM Fearmongers About Obama Executive Order
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Alan Caruba joins in the fearmongering over an executive order by President Obama in his March 19 Accuracy in Media column:

The President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, has generated so much fear that the most common theme of posted comments and private communications is that he will refuse to relinquish power if defeated in November or that, under some pretext, he will declare a state of martial law.

[...]

The new EO evokes fear because it is occurring in peacetime and, more specifically, when the United States remains the strongest military power on Earth. There is no indication that an attack by any other nation is anticipated, so the implementation of the EO raises concerns that its purpose is not what it says.

In effect, the EO allows the federal government, directed by the President, to commandeer and control all aspects of the economy and the lives of all Americans. It centralizes control to an astonishing and frightening degree.

[...]

The obvious question is why should the President of the United States, in the run-up to a national election, feel that this is the time to issue such an EO?

As we noted, even the normally paranoid WorldNetDaily has pointed out that this executive order is nothing but an update of earlier executive orders delineating emergency powers dating back to Dwight Eisenhower, done to refect changes in government agency structure.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EDT

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