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Tuesday, April 6, 2021
AIM Misleads In Attack Biden Over Texas Energy Issues
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Stephanie H. Freedman got one thing right in a Feb. 24 Accuracy in Media post examining the Texas cold snap and resulting failure of energy sources there: she wasn't trying to blame wind and solar and ignoring that failure to winterize power sources of all kinds was a major contributing factor. But she tried to put the blame on the Biden administration for its initial response:

While there is no denying there is a hybrid policy conversation to address this crisis, there is a very important fact that is missing from the major media analyses. 

On Feb. 12, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott “declared a state of disaster threat of widespread damage due to prolonged freezing temperatures.”

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which is responsible for 90% of Texas’s energy, reported they needed an “increase in energy supplies” to help counter the negative effects of the storm. ERCOT also reported that “numerous energy generation units will be unable to operate at full capacity without violating federal air quality or other permit limitations.”

These issues were listed in a request submitted to the Department of Energy on Feb. 14 regarding discretion for “using their energy generators and relief from exceeding state emissions requirements during emergency conditions”. 

The Department of Energy responded that while it would allow a certain increase in energy output, it would not “provide relief from obligations to purchase energy allowances for emissions that occur during the emergency condition.” They also specified their priority to “minimize adverse environmental impacts, by limiting operation of dispatched energy units.”

The order from the Department of Energy also hiked the price of power credits being sold to the state at a price “no lower than $1,500/MWh,” a significant increase over the $18.20 that Texans typically pay for the same amount of energy.

But neither of those things are true. Both the Department of Energy and ERCOT confirmed to the Associated Press that the claim that DOE enforced emissions limits on power sources was false, and the DOE order actually approved what ERCOT requested. And ERCOT, not DOE, set the minimum $1,500/MWh price to ensure that its request to DOE would be used as a last resort, according to an ERCOT spokesperson. The DOE ultimately defers to the applicants and the market on how prices are determined.

Sp much for accuracy in media at AIM.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 PM EDT
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
AIM Mad The Truth Was Told About Limbaugh
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Ella Carroll-Smith complained in a Feb. 17 Accuracy in Media post:

Rush Limbaugh, one of the most influential voices in the history of conservative talk radio, died Wednesday following a year-long battle with lung cancer. HuffPost immediately jumped at the opportunity to run this headline: “Rush Limbaugh, Bigoted King of Talk Radio, Dies at 70.”

The “obituary”, which reads more like a hateful tirade, goes on to claim that Limbaugh “saturated America’s airwaves with cruelty bigotries, lies and conspiracy theories for over three decades.”[...]

Even now, after his death, the media still can’t help but pile on their hatred of Limbaugh. NBC ran with this as the subhead for his obituary: “The Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree outraged critics with his long history of sexist, homophobic and racist remarks.”

NowThis reported that “[d]uring his decades-long media career, he used his platform to promote racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and conspiracy theories.”

The Washington Post, which famously described ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an “austere religious scholar” upon his death, covered Limbaugh as a man whodeployed comic bombast and relentless bashing of liberals, feminists and environmentalists to become a cultural phenomenon and lead the Republican Party into a politics of anger and obstruction.”  

All of this is but a small sampling of the hateful rhetoric that’s making its way across mainstream news outlets Wednesday.

At no point, however, did  Carroll-Smith dispute the accuracy of any of those "hateful" descriptions of Limbaugh -- perhaps because she can't. He indisuputably was bigoted and promoted racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, and conspiracy theories. Which means that this AIM post is all about being mad that the truth was told about Limbaugh.

Nevertheless, AIM created an action alert over this:

We lost a titan of the conservative movement. But within hours of his passing, radical left-wing “journalists” began to smear Rush Limbaugh.

HuffPost called him the “Bigoted King of Talk Radio.”  Rolling Stone ran the headline, “Rush Limbaugh Did His Best to Ruin America.”

Rush stood up for our beliefs throughout his entire career.

I hope you’ll take just a minute out of your day to stand up for Rush.

Use the box on this screen to send one prewritten message that goes to the editors of these publications, as well as the board of directors of their parent company. Or modify our message and send your own.

We should be able to respectfully disagree about politics in America. There’s no reason for them to use hateful rhetoric to smear a dead man.

Again, AIM does not dispute the accuracy of those descriptors of Limbaugh. Again, AIM is mad that the truth was told.

Also, it's rich to hear AIM declaring that "We should be able to respectfully disagree about politics in America" given that a key AIM employee for decades was Cliff Kincaid.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 PM EST
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
AIM Tried To Blame Media For Capitol Riot
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media president Adam Guillette issued a statement after the Capitol riot that labored to blame the media for it:

On Wednesday, I was disgusted by the scenes I saw unfolding on television. I’m sure you felt the same way.

The individuals who broke into the Capitol are ultimately responsible for their own actions. We must continue to believe in personal responsibility.

That said, it is worth acknowledging the flames that our national media fanned all summer.

Mainstream media and social media influencers have normalized violence by redefining riots as “peaceful protests”. Celebrities even paid the bail money of rioters so that they could go out and commit more crimes. But that doesn’t mean you and I should ever stoop to their level.

President Donald Trump began his speech yesterday with a line that stood out to me:

“The media is the biggest problem we have in this country.”

I couldn’t agree more. 

The media should be exposed again, and again, and again. You and I must continue to hold them accountable for their unconscionable attempts to divide our nation.

We should do this not because we “hate” our enemies, but because we love our country.

Ah, but AIM and other right-wingers do hate their enemies, and they very much consider the non-right-wing media to be an "enemy."Their goal is not to improve the "liberal media"; it is to destroy it.

Guilllette is also dishonestly portraying all of the racial justice and police reform protests last summer as violent by falsely claiming the media portrayed violent riots as peaceful; in fact, the vast majority of protests were, in fact, peaceful.

It's also clear that Guillette and AIM will not hold Trump accountable for his role in instigating the riot -- after all, it's more important to them that Trump hates the non-right-wing media as much as they do.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:25 PM EST
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
AIM Morphs Into Project Veritas With Hidden-Camera Stunt
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's president, Adam Guillette, came to the organization from the discredited Project Veritas. So perhaps it was inevitable that he would bring some of his former employer's stunts to AIM.

Before the election, it went after Democratic Iowa Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield. In the video, Guilllette ranted about how Black Lives Matter is a "radical, violent organization," then touted how AIM secretly taped Greenfield's husband stating that his wife supports BLM, as well as Greenfield herself. Guillette did not explain how his secret taping was legal, or why he was so desperate to pull this stunt that he had to go to Iowa to do it.

Guillette proclaimed himself to be "morally outraged when politicians say one thing to one group of people and another thing to another group of people," though we doubt he will ever do this same thing to a Republican politician despitethe fact that many of them are also two-faced. Guillette then promised more of this shady behavior: "Accuracy in Media hidden-camera investigators exposing lying, two-faced politicians. Accuracy in Media will also be exposing exposing lying, two-faced journalists."

So can we also expect AIM to self-destruct with bogus attacks the way Project Veritas has this election season?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EST
Thursday, August 20, 2020
AIM Is Mad The Truth About Herman Cain And Coronavirus Is Told
Topic: Accuracy in Media

We've noted how the Media Research Center threw tantrums when media pointed out the likelihood that Herman Cain picked up the coronavirus that ultimately killed him during a rally for President Trump in Tulsa in June. Now Accuracy in Media publisher Don Irvine is treating this fact as a smear in a Aug. 3 post:

In a headline Sunday, Reuters insinuated that former presidential candidate Herman Cain’s death from COVID-19 was due to his refusal to wear a mask.

Cain, 74, died Thursday after spending most of July in an Atlanta-area hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on June 29, which Reuters noted was just nine days after a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma that Cain attended without a mask.

The Reuters story also pointed out how many Trump supporters — of which Cain was one — are against wearing masks, mentioning his tweet about Trump’s July 4 celebration at Mount Rushmore.

“Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”

Cain was a successful businessman and talk-show host and did not deserve to be smeared by Reuters for exercising his rights as an American to not wear a mask.

It's not a "smear" to report a fact. It's indisputable that Cain largely refused to wear a mask, and you don't have to be a "smear artist" to point out the basics of how viruses spread and how that played into Cain's illness.If you don't wear a mask while attending crowded events like Trump rallies, there's a chance you'll catch something. Unfortunately for Cain, the bug going around this year is coronavirus, which can kill you.

Irvine's post is of the old-school media attack in which reporting inconvenient facts about conservatives equals "liberal bias."


Posted by Terry K. at 7:37 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
AIM's Double Standard On Alleged Presidential Candidate Health Issues
Topic: Accuracy in Media

CNN editor-in-chief Chris Cillizza pushed a story questioning President Donald Trump’s health after Trump delicately walked down a ramp following a speech he gave at West Point.

But Cillizza has criticized health scare stories before – in 2016, when conservatives publicly questioned then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s health in the 2016 campaign cycle.

[...]

Cillizza speculated about Trump’s health because Trump’s “medical past is a total mystery.”

-- Spencer Irvine, June 16 Accuracy in Media post

CNN, which has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, chose to ignore a recent poll that asked likely voters about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s mental capacities.

The Zogby poll, which was released this week, found that a majority of voters believed that Biden is in the early stages of dementia. Fifty-five percent of likely voters said it was more likely that Biden is in the early stages of dementia, with 45% of likely voters believed it was less likely to be true. The majority of Republican voters believed Biden has dementia with 77% expressing that opinion, while 32% of Democratic voters believed it. However, 56% of independent voters believed Biden has early dementia.

[...]

Only right-leaning media outlets such as the Daily Wire and NewsMax reported on the Zogby poll. CNN and the mainstream media were nowhere to be found when it came to this poll’s findings and potential implications for the 2020 presidential election.

Biden’s stuttering and losing his train of thought have been well-documented during this election cycle, but the likes of CNN and the mainstream media dismissed the possibility that Biden may lack the mental capacity to serve as president at his age.

-- Spencer Irvine, June 19 AIM post

(Note to Irvine: Biden's stuttering has been a lifelong affliction and is not a sign of dementia, however much you want it to be.)


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
AIM Chief Fails In Attacking Newspapers As 'Hard Left,' Unworthy of Bailout
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media is attempting to regain what little relevance it had and maybe create some buzz by railing against the idea of treating the media like every other business in America that is eligible for coronavirus relief money. Of course, AIM simply wants the non-conservative media to die any way it can. The latest step in this is a May 22 op-ed by AIM president Adam Guillette pubished by the Washington Examiner.

Since Guillette, like most right-wing media critics, has never worked a day in the media he attacks -- he came to AIM from the discredited right-wing provocateurs at Project Veritas -- he doesn't understand how the media busienss works; he's too caught up in his biases. He began by ranting:

If Lenin said that capitalists “will sell us the rope we use to hang them,” newspapers are saying that conservatives will fund the ink they use to smear them.

Bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress have now signed on for a proposed media bailout. This isn’t a bailout for smaller newspapers and television stations. Those businesses were already eligible for the Payroll Protection Program, and many of them took advantage of it — in a big way. 

The Seattle Times took $9.9 million tax dollars, and the Tampa Bay Times bagged $8.5 million. Two of the most hard-left newspapers in America didn’t even hesitate before grabbing their Trump Bucks.

Needless to say, Guillette offers no evidence that either of those newspapers is "hard left" -- he simply assumes so because they don't have a right-wing bias.

Guillette then attacked the newspaper chain McClatchy for filing for bankruptcy. He continued to whine:

For years, conservatives bemoaned how far left their local newspapers shifted. Little by little, the editorial boards of nearly every local newspaper were taken over by progressives. Then the editorializing started spreading to each article. In response to their complaints, conservatives were always told, “It’s a private company, they can do what they want!” 

But now we’ve learned that alienating a large portion of your marketplace isn’t a winning business strategy. Why, then, should customers be forced to pay for a product they’ve already rejected?

Of course, the newspapers claim their bias isn’t the problem. They blame the internet. Countless business models have been upended by the internet; should we bail out each of them? Should we have bailed out stone tablet makers after the invention of the printing press?

If Guillette is going to complain that newspapers' purported liberal bias are not a "winning business strategy" then he must also admit that explicitly conservative newspapers were never a "winning business strategy." As we've documented, newspapers like the Washington Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and New York Post have always been failures in the market and kept alive only because they were owned by deep-pocketed right-wing owners -- even in the pre-internet years when mainstream newspaper reliably turned profits. Even the publication where Guillette's op-ed appears, the Washington Examiner, is the remnant of a daily newspaper that failed after a new owner, Philip Anschutz, infused it with right-wing bias.

In order to be an effective critic, one must understand what he is criticizing. Guillette clearly doesn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EDT
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
AIM Wants us To Praise Lara Logan For Being 'Honest' (!)
Topic: Accuracy in Media

A link promoted at Accuracy in Media states:

Let's praise an honest journalist

When dishonest journalists spread smears and lies, they should be exposed. But when honest journalists speak out against these things, they should be praised. Please use this action alert to thank Lara Logan for taking a stand against dishonest journalists who focus on advancing their agenda rather than educating the public.

It's not clear from this link what AIM is referring to, but it might be a recent rant at the New York Times criticizing the Trump administration over its response to the coronavirus pandemic, where she said that "This is a moment for all of us reporters to stand up for journalism and stand up for our profession and just admit that on every single page of The New York Times, opinion is infused with facts."

The funny thing, of course, is that Logan is not the "honest journalist" AIM would have you believe she is. She effectively lost her job at CBS' "60 Minutes" for promoting the claims of an alleged witness to the Benghazi attack whose story turned out to be a lie and not disclosing that said bogus witness' book was published by a division of CBS -- a story which, by the way, AIM promoted at the time but has since scrubbed from its website (fortunately, the internet never forgets).

Since her re-emergence last year, Logan has shown herself to be dishonest in another way, by pretending she's not a conservative. After declaring that "I'm not going to pretend to be conservative so I can be the darling of the conservative media," she did exactly that, first joining the conservative-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group and then, earlier this year, starting a Fox News show laughably titled "Lara Logan Has No Agenda" despite the fact that Fox Nation is known for nothing but having a decidedly conservative agenda (that and the sexual harassment), and that Logan had a very specific agenda in attacking the New York Times.

So we're going to pass on signing this little petition.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:37 PM EDT
Thursday, May 21, 2020
AIM Can't Figure Out Conservative Media Is Biased On Tara Reade
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Spencer Irvine wrote in a May 5 Accuracy in Media post:

Data journalism site FiveThirtyEight discovered that the mainstream media covered Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden less than conservative media.

The website’s findings confirmed Accuracy in Media’s reporting that the mainstream media ignored Reade’s allegations longer than it should have.

[...]

Fox News “has devoted the most attention to Reade so far” and intensified its Reade-related coverage. It has mentioned Reade 371 times, compared to CNN’s 35 clips that mentioned Reade. FiveThirtyEight said that MSNBC “barely mentioned her” until last week. But FiveThirtyEight pointed out that conservative online outlets “accounted for most early coverage” of Reade’s allegations from websites such as The Blaze, Daily Caller, and Breitbart.

FiveThirtyEight’s media analysis on Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden confirmed that media bias played a significant role in dictating media coverage. The mainstream media was slow to respond to the allegations and ignored them longer than it should have, while the conservative media covered the story early and often.

Note how Irvine assumes that the conservative media's coverage of the Reade story is his default, cheering how they covered it "early and often" and criticizing the "mainstream media" for waiting "longer than it should have." But he's ignoring the fact that the conservative media have a motivation for covering Reade "early and often": it's biased.

Irvine seems not to have considered that the conservative media pushed the Reade story "early and often" because they believe the story will hurt Biden and help President Trump. If Irvine thinks the "mainstream media" held off "longer than it should have" because it's purported biased for Biden, then the opposite must be true.

There's simply no reason for Irvine to assume that the conservative media is the standard of political coverage when it actually is as biased as he likes to think the "mainstream media" is.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2020 8:54 PM EDT
Monday, May 11, 2020
AIM President Goes On Anti-City Tirade
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media president Adam Guillette hadn't really shown the kind of next-level craziness demonstrated by his AIM forbears like Cliff Kincaid (though, frankly, that make AIM pretty boring), even though he came to AIM from the disreputable Project Veritas. Guillette finally popped his crazy cherry, as it were, in an April 29 column in which he ranted that coronavirus proves that cities suck:

Progressive ideas and global pandemics go together like a strain of COVID-19 and a mucous membrane.

The media tries to look the other way, but one progressive policy after another has been found to be a major cause of the spread of the coronavirus.

For decades, left-wing city planning experts have told us that sprawl is a bad thing. It’d be better for society, they insisted, if we all lived in high-density cities. Then the virus hit. Which area suffered more? Manhattan, New York, or Manhattan, Kansas?

One of the main reasons dense cities have suffered so much is their reliance on public transportation.

[...]

Another progressive idea that has fallen apart amid the pandemic is the obsession with banning single-use plastic bags and embracing reusable bags at the grocery store. Reusable bags are the hipsters of COVID-19; they were carrying disease before it was cool. Study after study shows that E. coli, salmonella, and coliform bacteria are frequently spread by these virtue-signaling totes.

Now some cities that previously banned safe, single-use bags have actually reversed course and banned the reusable bags. Many stores that once encouraged reuse now forbid it.

[...]

The notion that central planning experts know how to run cities is a symptom of the most dangerous disease spread by urban liberals — narcissism. Their so-called “progressive” proposals actually embrace century-old technology — densely-packed cities, trains, burlap sacks, and trolleys. This is a large part of what got New York City into this mess.

Conservatives and libertarians are mocked for glamorizing 1776, but is it any better to glamorize life in 1876?

Congratulations, Adam. You might just be fringe enough to have a career at AIM after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:20 PM EDT
Thursday, April 23, 2020
AIM Roots for The Media To Die To ... Save It?
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media has pretty much fallen off the radar of the ConWeb, mostly by making itself irrelevant. AIM got rid of the main reason it became irrelevant -- Cliff Kincaid -- a few years back (though it has never publicly explained why its biggest-profile employee behind founder Reed Irvine departed the organization), but since then it's been adrift, with Reed's grandson Spencer Irvine getting drafted into pumping out (decidedly lame) content and hiring a guy from the malicioius and credibility-challenged Project Veritas to try and create some buzz.

Right now, AIM is trying out that old, sad staple, the online petition. A couple weeks ago, it posted an item asking readers to "Take a stand against the media bailout!" The tepid argument:

Last week, a coalition of media companies wrote to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader McConnell asking for a bailout. 

These industry groups are so upset that we’re not supporting the mainstream media that they’d like to use the power of government to take our cash by force. 

Saving the media would destroy the media.

Americans could never trust journalists to accurately cover the elected officials who voted against their funding. 

Journalism is essential in a free society, but many of today’s journalists do a poor job of educating the public. They focus on lies and smears rather than facts and details.

Unpopular news outlets should be allowed to fail so that they might be replaced by better news outlets. There’s no reason to prop up media companies that Americans do not support.

I oppose any media bailout.

"Saving the media would destroy the media"? That's some twisted logic right there.It reeks of the "we had to destroy the village to save it" attitude that became notorious during the Vietnam War.

Meanwhile, the concept that "Unpopular news outlets should be allowed to fail so that they might be replaced by better news outlets" has never been followed by the conservative media, which has used deep-pocketed conservative financiers (Sun Myung Moon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdoch, et al) to prop up conservative newspapers that would have never survived had the owners let the market decide, even when the newspaper industry was doing well. We doubt that AIM was arguing for market forces to work their magic then.

Like any good right-wing, pro-Trump group, AIM simply wants to destroy the media it doesn't like and doesn't actually care about the consequences. Railing against a media bailout with a meaningless online petition is more about appealing to what little right-wing base it has rather than any reasoned considerations.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:37 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 23, 2020 5:38 PM EDT
Monday, March 30, 2020
AIM President Puts Fake News In Rant Against Fake News
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It's never a good look when your rant against "fake news" contains fake news. But Accuracy in Media (ironic!) president Adam Guillette pulled off that feat in his March 17 column:

The mainstream media is desperate to turn the coronavirus scare into President Donald Trump’s Hurricane Katrina. What does that mean? It means they’re motivated to overhype this story simply so they can pile as much pressure as possible onto the president.

As just one example, CNN is calling the outbreak a “pandemic”.  Neither the World Health Organization nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined COVID-19 as a pandemic, but why should facts stand in the way of a media narrative?

In fact, WHO declared coronavirus a pandemic on March 11 -- six days before Guillette's column was posted. It's not clear that the CDC even issues such a declaration.

Guillette went on to defend President Trump against criticism of his reaction to the coronavirus outbreak, declaring that "Trump is the head bureaucrat, not the head of medicine. Would you expect him to be toiling away in the West Wing in desperate search of a cure?"

For all of his ranting over "fake news," Guillette didn't actually cite any examples; even if he had, it's a certainty that Fox News' downplaying of the threat wouldn't have been mentioned. Still, he was eager to try and politicize the situation: "If we’re lucky, fake news will kill demand for nationalized health care. These bureaucratic bozos can’t get testing kits into the hands of doctors; they can’t manage a supply chain of face masks and Lysol. Would you really trust them if your loved one had cancer?"


Posted by Terry K. at 7:53 PM EDT
Monday, March 23, 2020
AIM Pretends PragerU Is Merely An 'Education Non-Profit'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Like the Media Research Center, Accuracy in Media tried to apply spin to the federal appeals court that upheld YouTube's right to monitor its private property against the "censorship" charges from right-wing content mill PragerU. Being the current iteration of AIM, though, it came with a focus on its new obsession, the obsucre online-only media outlet NowThis News.

In a Feb. 28 post, Spencer Irvine complained that NowThis accurately identified PragerU -- which he benignly described as "creat[ing] videos on topics across politics, philosophy, and economics and hav[ing] various guest speakers narrate the videos from a right-leaning political or cultural perspectiv" -- eas a right-wing content mill:

NowThis News claimed that YouTube “has been fertile ground for PragerU’s founders and funders to reach young people without traditional gatekeepers like parents and schools.” The website’s word choice insinuated that PragerU was circumventing young people’s parents and school staff, which was an odd choice of words. There should not be problems with companies directly communicating their messages to their consumers or clients, which is what PragerU is doing.

Also, NowThis News called PragerU a “right-wing media machine” instead of using the organization’s official definition as an education non-profit. The phrase that NowThis News used was misleading because it presented an opinionated phrase as factual and correct.

In fact, as we noted, PragerU admitted that it does target students around school and parental authority. Also, conservatives have plenty of problems with "companies directly communicating their messages to their consumers or clients" when those consumers are students and the message is considered "liberal."

Further, Irvine accepted PragerU's claims of YouTube "censorship" at face value when there is in fact no actual censorship going on. YouTube merely assigned some videos as restricted, which are in fact only restricted when the user has turned on restricted mode.

Finally, PragerU may be the "education non-profit" Irvine claims it is, but it doesn't meant that it is also a right-wing media machine -- you know, not unlike AIM itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
Monday, March 2, 2020
AIM Lamely Defends Limbaugh After Receiving Presidential Medal
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It appears that both Brian McNicoll and Carrie Sheffield have departed Accuracy in Media, which at this point leaves just Spencer Irvine to crank out the bulk of AIM's content, and his main qualification for the job is that he's the son of publisher Don Irvine and grandson of AIM founder Reed Irvine.

So we get lame pieces like Spencer's Feb. 6 item attempting to bash ABC for its coverage of Rush Limbaugh's receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Trump. Irvine complained that ABC "exclusively focused on Limbaugh’s critics" and "failed to find and quote a single source in defense of Limbaugh’s past comments and political views."Of course, given that Irvine himself failed to offer a defense of Limbaugh, it may very well be that there is no good defense of him. Irvine further complained:

The news outlet cited multiple critics on social media without sourcing these critics or their arguments, which alleged that “Limbaugh has made numerous derogatory comments about minority groups as well as offensive comments about AIDS and the LGBTQ community, suicide and many other sensitive topics and marginalized communities.”

It also listed multiple reasons to discredit Limbaugh and his award, such as Limbaugh’s comments that abortion activist Sandra Fluke was a “slut” for her abortion views. ABC News acknowledged Limbaugh apologized for insulting Fluke.

ABC News’s article highlighting Limbaugh’s critics lacked fair treatment and neutrality and neglected to present the opinions and views of his radio show listeners.

Irvine didn't mention the fact that Limbaugh's so-called apology to Fluke was half-hearted at best, apologizing only for "word choices" and defending himself by insisting that he was merely "illustrat[ing] the absurd with absurdity."

The next day, Irvine bashed NowThis News, AIM's odd new target, for doing much the same thing, grumbling that "NowThis News said Limbaugh is 'a right-wing radio host known for having sexist and racist views'and said that Limbaugh is 'unapologetic for his racist and sexist views.' It listed several examples, such as calling abortion advocate Sandra Fluke a 'slut.' The website failed to tell its readers that Limbaugh has since apologized for insulting Fluke. Again, He complained that NowThis "did not offer any other defense or counter-argument to its claims that Limbaugh was a racist and a sexist" but, again, Irvine failed to offer one himself.

Irvine concluded by huffing: "Journalists should back up their claims with evidence or quotes from both sides of the political aisle or issue, but in this case, NowThis News failed to offer a fair defense of Limbaugh’s words or his legacy. Instead, its audience read a biased article that portrayed Limbaugh in a negative light." Irvine seems to have forgotten he works for AIM, which has a legacy of unfair, biased, and outright false attacks against those it deemed its political enemies, particularly Barack Obama and the LGBT community.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 PM EST
Monday, February 17, 2020
AIM Joins The ConWeb's Dershowitz Defense Game
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The Media Research Center and Newsmax weren't the only ConWeb outlets playing defense for Trump-loving lawyer Alan Dershowitz. Accuracy in Media made its own attempt in the genre with a Jan. 20 post by Spencer Irvine that continues AIM's newfound obsession with obscure media outlet NowThis News:

Alan Dershowitz, who taught law classes at Harvard University, has defended O.J. Simpson, Jeffery Epstein and Harvey Weinstein. NowThis News’s coverage pointed out that Dershowitz represented terrible people, such as Weinstein and Epstein. The website also said that Weinstein is currently facing charges of sexual misconduct and other sex crimes, while Epstein was a convicted sex offender.

NowThis News also wrote that Starr, who was the independent counsel during the Clinton impeachment investigation, also represented Epstein in legal proceedings. But the website failed to acknowledge that lawyers defend the innocent and guilty alike, as the criminal justice system operates on the premise that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It was not a crime for Dershowitz or Starr to defend people that lacked character and morals.

Irvine continued:

The website also accused Bondi, the former Florida Attorney General, of giving Trump a pass. It said that she was the attorney general “who dropped an investigation into Trump’s fraudulent university scam after receiving campaign contributions (a $25,000 donation) from the Trump Foundation.” NowThis News did not provide a source for that allegation, which is ironic because this was an article about legal proceedings and lawyers.

Irvine is playing dumb here: The story about the Trump Foundation's donation to a group supporting Bondi's campaign appeared in numerous places, including the New York Times. It's a well enough known story that NowThis didn't really need to source it. And Irvine certainly isn't going to mention that the Trump Foundation paid a fine to the IRS over the donation, since the foundation's tax status forbade it from making political donations. Nor will he tell you that the appearance of a quid pro quo is unmistakable.

Suggesting that an accurate story isn't accurate would seem to run counter to AIM's name and mission.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2020 9:48 PM EST

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