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Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media

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Accuracy In Media is an American, non-profit
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 news media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

 watchdog founded in 1969 by economist
Economist
An economist is a professional in the social science discipline of economics. The individual may also study, develop, and apply theories and concepts from economics and write about economic policy...

 Reed Irvine
Reed Irvine
Reed Irvine was an economist who founded the media watchdog organization Accuracy in Media, and remained its head for 35 years....

. AIM describes itself as "a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage." Despite AIM's assertion of political neutrality, it is frequently described by the mainstream media and other media watchdog groups as a conservative organization.

History


At its inception, Accuracy In Media was run primarily by Reed Irvine and then-executive secretary Abraham Kalish. The two sent letters to the editors of many newspapers and magazines they identified as skewed, calling out slanted news stories. If the newspaper rejected the letter, AIM bought space and printed the letter in that newspaper. Beginning in 1975, Accuracy In Media began purchasing stock
Stock
The capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid into or invested in the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors...

 in major media companies, allowing Irvine to attend annual shareholder meetings. He used these opportunities to express AIM's concerns to the various companies' owners. Don Irvine, son of the elder Irvine, currently chairs the organization.

Publications, growth and expansion


In 1972, Accuracy In Media began publishing the AIM Report, a twice-monthly newsletter originally edited by Reed Irvine. Today, Cliff Kincaid and Roger Aronoff, AIM Senior Editor and AIM Executive Secretary and Media Analyst, respectively, handle the publication, as well as daily online updates. The AIM Report often calls on its subscribers to contact newsmakers, reporters and news corporations to end perceived liberal media bias.

Criticism of human-rights reporting in El Salvador


In 1982, New York Times reporter Raymond Bonner
Raymond Bonner
Raymond Bonner has been an investigative reporter and foreign correspondent for The New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. He has also been a staff writer at The New Yorker and contributed to The New York Review of Books...

 broke the story of the El Mozote massacre
El Mozote massacre
The El Mozote Massacre took place in and around the village of El Mozote, in Morazán department, El Salvador, on December 11, 1981, when Salvadoran armed forces trained by the United States military killed at least 200 and up to 1000 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the Salvadoran...

. This report was strongly criticized by AIM and the Reagan White House, and Bonner was pressured into business reporting, later deciding to resign. Although the report was embarrassing to the Reagan administration, who was heavily aiding the right-wing junta at the time, skeletons unearthed a decade later confirmed the original story's veracity.

Vincent Foster conspiracy theory


Accuracy in Media has received a substantial amount of funding from Scaife who paid Christopher W. Ruddy to investigate allegations that President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 was connected to the suicide of Vincent Foster. AIM contends that "Foster was murdered", which is contrary to three independent reports including one by Kenneth Starr
Kenneth Starr
Kenneth Winston "Ken" Starr is an American lawyer and educational administrator who has also been a federal judge. He is best known for his investigation of figures during the Clinton administration....

. AIM faults the media for not picking up on the conspiracy. The organization has even gone to court for documents and recordings linked to the case.

AIM credits much of its reporting on the Foster case to Ruddy. Yet, his work has been called a "hoax" and "discredited" by conservatives like Ann Coulter
Ann Coulter
Ann Hart Coulter is an American lawyer, conservative social and political commentator, author, and syndicated columnist. She frequently appears on television, radio, and as a speaker at public events and private events...

, it was also disputed by the American Spectator, which caused Scaife to end his funding of the Arkansas Project
Arkansas Project
The Arkansas Project was a series of investigations that were initiated with the intent of damaging and ending the presidency of Bill Clinton...

 with the publisher. As CNN explained on February 28, 1997, "The [Starr] report refutes claims by conservative political organizations that Foster was the victim of a murder plot and coverup," but "despite those findings, right-wing political groups have continued to allege that there was more to the death and that the president and First Lady tried to cover it up."

Ruddy operates a conservative news website, NewsMax, that still asserts there is a conspiracy and faults the media.

Fox News Channel


In November 2005, AIM columnist Cliff Kincaid criticized Fox News for broadcasting a program "The Heat is On," which reported that global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 represents a serious problem (the program was broadcast with a disclaimer). Kincaid argued the piece was one-sided and stated that this "scandal" amounted to a "hostile takeover of Fox News"

On October 20, 2006, Accuracy in Media released a list of 27 questions to pose at the Fox News Executive meeting that was attended by AIM editor Cliff Kincaid.

Of these 27 questions, 8 dwell on Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch
Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KSG is an Australian-American business magnate. He is the founder and Chairman and CEO of , the world's second-largest media conglomerate....

's relationship with the Clintons and how that may have affected Fox News coverage. Moreover, AIM wrote "News Corporation hired the Glover Park Group, a public relations firm run by friends of Bill and Hillary Clinton, to block changes in the TV ratings system," and asks, "Was this part of News Corporation's move to the left?"

In May 2007, Accuracy in Media raised questions about a conflict of interest in Fox News' co-sponsorship of the May 15 Republican Presidential Candidates debate, pointing out that News Corporation
News Corporation
News Corporation or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster...

, the parent company of Fox News, is as a client of presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

.

Documentary


AIM famously denounced journalist Helen Marmor, who in 1983 produced a documentary for NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 concerning the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

. AIM contended that "it ignored the repressive religious policies of the Soviet state."

United Nations


AIM has been critical of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and its coverage by the media. In February 2005, AIM alleged that United Nations correspondents, including Ian Williams, a correspondent for The Nation
The Nation
The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States. The periodical, devoted to politics and culture, is self-described as "the flagship of the left." Founded on July 6, 1865, It is published by The Nation Company, L.P., at 33 Irving Place, New York City.The Nation...

had accepted money from the UN while covering it for their publications. AIM also asserted that the United Nations Correspondents Association may have violated immigration laws by employing the wife of Williams. Williams and The Nation denied wrongdoing. The charges were reiterated by FrontPage Magazine and the allegation concerning Williams receiving UN cash was picked up by Brit Hume
Brit Hume
Brit Hume is an American television journalist and political commentator.For twenty years he was a correspondent for the American Broadcasting Company, including Chief White House Correspondent. He then spent ten years as the Washington, D.C. managing editor of the Fox News Channel and the anchor...

 and the Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

.

Funding


Only three donors of the remainder are given by name: the Allied Educational Foundation, Shelby Cullom Davis
Shelby Cullom Davis
Shelby Cullom Davis was an American investment banker, philanthropist, and former United States Ambassador to Switzerland hailing from the state of New York...

, and billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife
Richard Mellon Scaife
Richard Mellon Scaife is an American newspaper publisher and billionaire. Scaife owns and publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. With $1.2 billion, Scaife, a principal heir to the Mellon banking, oil, and aluminum fortune, is No...

. Scaife gave $2 million to Accuracy in Media since 1977 -1997.

External links

  • Accuracy in Media by SourceWatch
    SourceWatch
    SourceWatch is an internet wiki site that is a collaborative project of the liberal Center for Media and Democracy...

  • Accuracy in Media, Inc. by MediaTransparency
    MediaTransparency
    MediaTransparency was a left leaning political project begun in 1999 which monitors the financial ties of conservative think tanks to conservative foundations in the United States. Its database tracks over 50,000 grants awarded since 1985, which total more than $3.2 billion USD. It was run by...

  • Profile of Cliff Kincaid by Media Matters for America
    Media Matters for America
    Media Matters for America is a politically progressive media watchdog group which says it is "dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media." Set up as a 501 non-profit organization, MMfA was founded in 2004 by journalist and...

     December 9, 2005
  • Meet the Myth-Makers: Right-Wing Media Groups Provide Ammo for "Liberal Media" Claims by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
    Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting
    Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting is a progressive media criticism organization based in New York City, founded in 1986.FAIR describes itself on its website as "the national media watch group" and defines its mission as working to "invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity...