Out there on the Left with Uncle Walter and the FBI?

Accuracy in Media (AIM), a Right wing advocacy group that has been flacking for various far-Right causes for decades, found fault with Media Monitors Network (MMN) earlier today (March 21, 2005).

Cliff Kincaid, editor of AIM’s Accuracy in Media Report, is perturbed by an article about the anthrax terror attacks of 2001 published on the Media Monitors Network web site. The article that caught Kincaid’s attention and caused him to get his knickers in a twist is John Janney’s "Mis-Defining Terrorism." [1]

In "Mis-Defining Terrorism," published in January by MMN and in several other popular on-line venues. Janney’s biggest mistake seems to have been that he inadvertently referred to the chief neoconservative architect of the war in and disastrous occupation of Iraq, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, as Deputy Secretary of State. Oops! Janney stubbed his toe. But a slip-up like that hardly qualifies as a failure of journalistic integrity.

In his article, "Media Watchdogs Need Watchdogs,"[2] Kincaid attempts to smear Media Monitors Network as "a far left website." Citing as his authority an article archived on "the Court TV crime library web site", Kincaid proposes that supposed similarities in phrasing used by 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta and phrasing used in the anthrax terror campaign letters have great significance that has been overlooked by the FBI’s investigators. Ultimately, Kincaid decides that Janney, "posing as a monitor of the media and the government, is taking the FBI point of view", with regard to the anthrax attacks. So, just how far to the Left is Media Monitors Network? Well, according to Accuracy in Media’s Kincaid, Media Monitors Network is way out there on the Left, way, way out there, out there with that other widely known Leftist organization, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On that basis, according to Kincaid, Media Monitors Network needs monitoring itself. Really. I’m not making this up.

Such absurdity raises questions about AIM’s precise location on the political continuum, that is, if you credit the increasingly curious notion of a linear political continuum. Anyway, just where is Kincaid coming from? Well, AIM seems to be at least as far to the Right as Kincaid complains MMN and Janney are to the Left. A glance at AIM’s national advisory board reveals that AIM cherishes the advice and support of Right-wing icons Midge Decter, a founding member of the notorious Project for the New American Century, and National Rifle Association president Charlton "when they pry it from my cold, dead hand" Heston, among others. Decter and Heston have lent their names to numerous far-Right organizations’ advisory boards, including one called U.S. English, Inc., which promotes legislation designed to ensure that all those pesky foreigners who flock to our shores will learn to speak English or else. Other Right-wing-nut neoconservative big shots on the U.S. English board include Decter’s loony husband, Norman Podhoretz, and David Horowitz. According to El Hispano, Walter Cronkite was also on that same board but resigned in 1998 when the group’s then-chairman, John Tanton, wrote repugnant statements against Hispanics and Catholics. Go Uncle Walt! It’s never too late (or too soon) to bail out of racist notion.

I don’t know about other contributors to Media Monitors Network, but given the rather strange choice, I have to say I’d stand with Uncle Walt and the FBI before I’d stand with AIM and the lunatic fringe of the neoconservative, neo-Fascist far-Right. If that makes me a raving Leftist worthy of monitoring by AIM, I think I can live with that.


[1]. http://usa.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/12771/

[2]. http://www.aim.org/media_monitor/2763_0_2_0_C/