Thursday, January 12, 2017

#1774: Don Irvine

Accuracy in Media (AIM) is a wingnut conspiracy organization – ostensibly a “media watchdog” set up to combat “liberal media bias” – founded by Bircher Reed Irvine. It is currently run by Reed’s son Don Irvine, though Cliff Kincaid may be its most publicly recognized representative. In honor of Don’s father, AIM has created an annual “Reed Irvine Award”, given to people who promote conspiracy theories and in general lack of accountability in media; there is a list of some previous winners here. In addition to wingnut conspiracy theorists and global warming denialists, the list of winners also include anti-vaccine activist Sharyl Attkisson.

AIM was for a long time (still is, we think) a main proponent of the Vince Foster conspiracy theory and served in that regard as a mouthpiece for the ravings of Richard Mellon Scaife (a funder of AIM; sourcewatch entry on AIM here). More recently they (of course) turned primarily to pushing birtherism, of course. More generally, AIM has for a long time pushed various conspiracy theories concerning the imminent (or already existing in the shadows) socialist world government led by the UN and a North American Union (here is an example). Apparently the UN is also behind the “manufactured crisis” that is is AIDS in Africa. Oh, and George Soros is involved in various nebulously defined ways.

Here is a flowchart they designed to illustrate the radicalism and nefariousness of CASA de Maryland; it’s the kind of deranged monster that screams “poe” but apparently it is not. And here is a summary of their (James Simpson) report on voter fraud.

But no wingnut watchdog organization is complete without pseudoscience, and AIM has long promoted Intelligent Design creationism, even citing the Discovery Institute as, somehow, a scientific authority. And they have, of course, been pushing anti-environmentalist conspiracy theories and various other forms of wingnut denialism, including global warming denialism, DDT myths and anti-Rachel Carson campaigns. It is probably little surprise that AIM is virulently anti-gay, and equally unsurprising that their anti-gay bigotry comes laced with insane conspiracy theories, including homosexual recruitment conspiracies.

In 1985, Reed Irvine also founded Accuracy in Academia to fight the perceived bias of “liberal academia” and political correctness. Mostly they seem to work to “inform” students about such grave issues as creeping Sharia in classrooms, since apparently many college professors are secretly jihadists, and the War on Christmas.

There’s a good AIM resource here.

Diagnosis: Yeah, it’s like the John Birch society. But apparently quite a few people take this kind of deranged lunacy seriously. Dangerous.

Hat-tip: Rationalwiki.

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