You would think that a group that honors the likes of right-wingnuts Michelle Malkin, Tucker Carlson, and Andrew Breitbart might set off alarm bells in the heads of CBS executives when Accuracy in Media (AIM) bestowed its Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Investigative Journalism Award to Sharyl Attkisson. Apparently, the bells either never sounded or they went unheeded because, not only did CBS have no issue accepting an award from a largely anti-gay, factually-challenged, fringe media group, it accepted the award at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I’d like to say that the saving grace was that Attkisson was in good company, but that’s not possible.
The other recipient of this year’s AIM award (Grassroots Journalism) is Dana Loesch, a regular CNN contributor and Editor-in-Chief of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism. Now, in case you don’t recognize the name, Loesch was positively enthralled by the Marines who urinated on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. In spite of the fact that the Marine Corps called the incident “egregious, disgusting behavior,” Loesch had this to say:
“Can someone explain to me if there’s supposed to be a scandal that someone pees on the corpse of a Taliban fighter? Someone who, as part of an organization, murdered over 3,000 Americans? I’d drop trou and do it too. That’s me though. I want a million cool points for these guys. Is that harsh to say? Come on people, this is a war. What do people think this is?”
However, before we get into issues with the recipients, let’s talk about Accuracy in Media itself. The tag line on its web site reads ‘For fairness, balance and accuracy in news reporting.’ (Sounds rather Fox-like, doesn’t it?) Quite frankly, this is a bunch of bullshit. The reality is that AIM is virulently anti-gay and is not quiet about it. There’s nothing fair and balanced about that. For example, AIM was a strong proponent of Uganda’s anti-gay legislation which would seek to punish homosexuality with lengthy prison terms and, in some cases, even death. In an AIM article Cliff Kincaid wrote, “Accuracy in Media’s review of coverage of the so-called “Kill the Gays” bill in Uganda finds that it has been completely one-sided, inaccurate, and distorted beyond belief. Contrary to press accounts, the legislation is not designed to kill homosexuals but discourage and punish homosexual practices which spread disease and death. Christians in Uganda are trying to build a culture of life and avoid the sexual perversions which have devastated families in the U.S.”
In a May 2010 AIM article about the repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, Kincaid wrote, “As a result of the repeal of DADT, thousands of straight and healthy soldiers will probably leave in disgust and dismay, while tens of thousands more will choose never to sign up. Our military will end up in shambles, the war against Islamic fascism would be jeopardized, and a draft would be required to fill the ranks with soldiers reporting to the male homosexuals already there and in command positions. They will demand sexual favors to rise in the ranks, creating even more problems down the road. It is a recipe for national suicide.”
Accuracy In Media has also promoted the beliefs of Scott Lively. Lively co-authored The Pink Swastika and promotes the erroneous belief that the Nazi party was controlled by homosexuals.
And the issues with AIM do not end with its extreme homophobia. It simply loves conspiracy theories, having supported the twisted notions that there’s no evidence that Barack Obama was baptized and that global warming is a fraud. It also advanced the theory that Vincent Foster, deputy White House counsel to the Clinton administration, might not have committed suicide.
This is not a media outlet that should be giving out ‘investigative journalism’ awards. It is anything but fair, balanced and truthful. It would even be hard to call its bloggers ‘pundits.’ Hacks is probably a better word. However, it appears that Attkisson is also factually-challenged.
Says science writer Seth Mnookin, “For years, CBS News’s Sharyl Attkisson has been one of the least responsible mainstream journalists covering vaccines and autism. Again and again, she’s parroted anti-vaccine rhetoric long past the point that it’s been decisively disproved.”
In awarding Attkisson, AIM specifically cited her investigative journalism on ‘green’ energy. Unfortunately, her reporting is loaded with inaccuracies. In her report Attkisson notes 11 green energy companies that are having trouble or going bankrupt after receiving federal assistance. However, the facts are actually quite different. Only 7 companies could be identified, and several had never received federal assistance. Both Bill O’Reilly (surprise!) and CBSNews.com parroted Attkisson’s report, spreading false information.
So, given the dubious nature of all three parties here, perhaps there’s a certain symmetry to AIM giving awards to Loesch and Attkisson. However, CBS has not only legitimized what is clearly a fringe media outlet with absolutely no credibility, it continues to legitimize a so-called ‘investigative journalist’ who is apparently factually inept.
Writer’s Note: More information on the topic of AIM, Attkisson and inaccuracies can be seen at Media Matters for America.[http://mediamatters.org/research/201202070004 ]