Accuracy in Media

(Editor’s Note: Michelle Malkin and Mark Alexander have been named the recipients of the annual Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award. The awards were given at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at an event sponsored by AIM. Television clips of Reed Irvine being interviewed by journalists such as Ted Koppel and Tim Russert were shown.

Malkin, one of America’s most prominent and respected conservative journalists, is a best-selling author and syndicated columnist with two highly acclaimed websites, MichelleMalkin.com and HotAir.com. She is also a regular contributor on the Fox News Channel. She received the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award for Investigative Journalism for her work on illegal immigration and for her fearless scrutiny of the forces that are promoting open borders and lax enforcement, exemplified in her columns, “Racism Gets a Whitewash,” “Reconquista is Real,” and “La Raza Schools: Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

Alexander is the executive editor and publisher of the Patriot Post, a website launched to “challenge the Left’s virtual media monopoly on public opinion,” and supply information that supports the traditional values on which this country was founded. Alexander received the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award for Grassroots Journalism for his piece, “Pollaganda: Media Polls as Instruments of Propaganda.” 

(What follows are their remarks accepting the awards, and AIM chairman Don Irvine’s comments about the legacy of his father, AIM founder Reed Irvine). 

Michelle Malkin:

Thank you Don, and congratulations Mark. Thanks to all the judges. Thanks to AIM.

Thanks to all of you for coming. It’s such an honor to be here. A joy. Such a pleasure.

Like many of you, I come to CPAC to recharge my batteries and to remind myself what it’s like to stand at a podium and not fear flying objects.

Especially for the young people here, I think it’s a great place to absorb a very important message and that’s that we need to pay homage to those who come before us. And for those of us who are bloggers in the new media, thinking of ourselves as these cutting edge pioneers, I think watching a film like this film of Reed Irvine and recalling all that groups like AIM have done for us, it is very important to remember that we weren’t the first. That Reed Irvine was a blogger before there were blogs. Drudge before there was Drudge.

New media is something of a misnomer because those of us in the new media embrace many of those values and commitment to real honest journalism and a commitment to truth that the old guard folks like AIM have been practicing for decades.

So it is an incredible honor to accept this award and I just have a few thoughts that I would like to share with you.

You know the pieces that Don mentioned that the judges saw fit to honor me all dealt with illegal immigration and a refusal of the mainstream media to simply report the facts.

Over the long course of my career in print journalism, and in the mainstream media, the legacy media, the dinosaur media, I’ve come across this intransigence and this willful blindness and this malpractice with regard to coverage of immigration and national security, again, and again, and again. I thought it would change after 9/11, and it didn’t.

And it fueled me to write my first book, Invasion, which was published after the first anniversary of 9/11 and which highlighted all the loopholes and lapses and incompetence and special interests that collaborated to create conditions that made fertile ground for the 9-11 hijackers. And now nearly, what is it, six years after the 9-11 attacks, we still see that everyday in the Washington Post and the New York Times. Even with simple terminology. We can’t call people who are breaking the law illegal? Have you seen the latest move? It is that state legislatures pass bills mandating nicer terms for people who are breaking the law. Terrific!

And of course this is embraced by the legacy media who give us these sob stories every week in the paper about people who are breaking the law. They’ll attack us for making over- generalizations about the entire population of “undocumented people” while they go and do exactly that. Everybody has a sob story about how they’re just hard working, they’re just here, there’s no harm in looking the other way, and they refuse to acknowledge past history.

Every time we have passed one of these massive amnesty bills there has been one direct, clear result: more lawbreaking. More law-breaking leads to more chaos, more lawlessness, and eventually?I warn  in Invasion, and continue to warn, much to the displeasure of people on all sides?that this will lead to another 9-11 inevitably.

The one thing that I share with AIM in particular is a commitment to telling the truth, no matter how it discomforts people, and no matter whom it discomforts. And with this particular issue, I tell the truth about how I feel about the White House’s mishandling of this issue, and we are headed down that road again. And I think it behooves all of us, whether you’re a grassroots activist, whether you are a citizen journalist, to tell the truth about failed experiments with amnesty. To be honest about the negative impact, not just on national security, but on our economy, and yes on national sovereignty, and our national character. You will inevitably be accused of being a bigot, and a xenophobe, and an immigrant basher, and I say: Look at me. Look at me. I owe my success and my life and my family’s happiness to the compassion and generosity of this country. It’s not that I hate immigrants. I love this country. I love law-abiding immigrants who also appreciate the rule of law, who appreciate what’s given to them here.

Our refusal to demand that people who come here assimilate and that they follow the law is a recipe for disaster. We see it happening. I don’t want to see that happen.

I’ll continue to blog and write about those issues.

And just to go back a bit. It’s not just about illegal immigration. It’s about our entire system for allowing people to come into this country. The overlooked part of this debate is of course, who we let in legally, and whether or not we should have any standards about who we let in. It’s not just about illegal immigration from Mexico, it’s about visas handed out like Pez candy to Saudi Arabian students who want to come here and study aviation and engineering.

So hard truths are necessary, and the so-called new media is allowing us to do that and deliver our message in a way that was never possible before.

I just got back from Iraq with my HotAir.com colleague Brian Preston, and it really gave us a deeper appreciation of our role. We can’t all go overseas and put on the body armor and fight for a living. And I hate, hate, hate this argument from the Left, and the media, and among the leading unhinged Democrats that you can’t talk about the war unless you actually wear a uniform. Well, some of us wear different uniforms. We wear the uniform of grassroots activists or citizen journalists, and we have as much right as anybody else, including all these un-hinged anti-war loons who will be descending on Washing-ton, DC on March 17th to call for the surrender of our troops in Iraq. We have as much right as they to give our opinion, to support the troops vocally in what they are doing, and to combat not just Al-Jazeera abroad, but Al-Reuters, and the Associated-with-terrorists Press. And the propagandists at CBS news, and CNN, who by the way, of course if you all follow blogs you know this, but I just think it is worth pointing out, put their sniper insurgent video, remember that, of the Al-Qaeda insurgents aiming at our troops, put it on their premium video service. You know on-demand video, where they have categories for these videos, and the category they put it under was family. What does that tell you? Which side are they on? I think it’s fairly clear. Can we question their patriotism? Hell yeah!

And I think more than ever, appreciating how the insurgency sees the media, our western media, as tools for their war against us is so crucially important. More important than ever.

We are fighting a different kind of battle than the battles that Reed and AIM have fought in the past. But, at bottom, it’s about putting journalism and truth above partisanship and also seeing ourselves as Americans on the battlefield here at home.

So I thank all of you.

Thank you for this award and I think you for renewing, as I said, my energy to keep doing what I’m doing.

Thank you all very, very much.

Mark Alexander:

Thanks Don, and thank you to the selection committee.

I am just glad that I am not standing up here next to Michelle as that might look like a “Beauty and the Beast” episode.

I bring you greetings from the Great State of Tennessee, the home-state of Academy Award winner Albert “Carbon Neutral” Gore, and I need not remind you, 11 electoral votes for President George W. Bush?twice.

For the record, Gore did not lose in 2000 because of “dangling chads” in Florida, he lost because of resolute balloting in Tennessee.

As for Gore’s most recent incarnation, I am not sure how private jets, limos and heated pool houses are “carbon neutral,” but I digress.

I am an analyst and writer, not a speaker, but bear with me because I do want to say a few things about AIM.

Don, about 25 years ago, when Ronald Reagan was restoring the nation’s sense of our great heritage and bright future, I came across a print newsletter that got my attention because its logo looked something like a target?a bulls-eye.

Now, I had been shooting since I was three-years-old, and anything with a target on it rouses my curiosity. So I thumbed through that newsletter, and discovered a small group of tireless Patriots under the leadership of a fellow named Reed Irvine. Seems they were intent on challenging the Left-media’s rhetoric, which masquerades as objective journalism.

Reed’s pioneering effort to challenge the “Fourth Estate’s” loss of journalistic integrity was an inspiration for the launch of The Patriot Post online 15 years later.

Throughout history, the burden of keeping the flame of liberty bright has fallen on the shoulders of a few men and women. As Founding Patriot Samuel Adams once noted, “It does not take a majority to prevail …but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

When we launched The Patriot Post in 1995, part of our mission was to detach the Left-media’s stranglehold on public opinion. We are continuing the charge Reed Irvine institutionalized.

Like many of the organizations represented here at CPAC, our primary mission is advocating for individual liberty, the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. But some of my essays do take aim at the media.

Allow me to quote from a recent column entitled, “Memo to the American Media from Sheikh Muhammad al-Zawahiri”:

“At a recent national security briefing, the most senior presenter, a Vice Admiral, discussed the topic ‘Media as Terrain’?how our adversaries use the media as a battleground. He used this declassified quote to make his point: ‘I say to you that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.'”

That quote is from an intercepted and authenticated communiqu? between Osama bin Laden’s chief lieutenant, Sheikh Muhammad al-Zawahiri, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, before Zarqawi’s termination last June.

Again, Zawahiri writes: “More than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.”

The fact is, much of what is reported in the American media today reflects not only the propaganda machines of the Left, but also that of our Jihadi adversaries. Too often the content from those machines is indistinguishable, and Reed Irvine AIMed to set the record straight.

Like the AIM newsletter, the Patriot Post had humble beginnings? it was launched from my home library 10 years ago. Today, almost 600 weekly editions later, we have 25 editors and feature contributors across the nation, and e-mail editions to hundreds of thousands of grassroots activist subscribers each week.

I was asked earlier this afternoon, “When does a grassroots publication grow into a mainstream publication?” Best I can answer, when the publisher has to trade his fatigues for a black suit more than once a month. Don, this fulfills my March allocation for “business attire,” lest we cross that threshold.

Back in 1978, after then-Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee’s editorial bias had been challenged by Reed Irvine, Bradlee characterized Reed as a “miserable, carping retromingent vigilante.” (To be perfectly honest, I had to look up “retromingent,” as it had been a few years since I was in a zoology class.)

If my fellow warrior, Reed, was with us today, I would simply say that I hope we have risen to that standard!

Thank you.

Don Irvine:

Good evening. My name is Don Irvine and I am the Chairman of Accuracy in Media. I hope you enjoyed those TV clips of my father as much as I did. They brought back some fond memories of my father’s very public battle with the liberal media. At an age when most people are thinking about retirement my father chose instead to embark on a second career while still working full time for the Federal Reserve. The year was 1969 and the Vietnam War was raging and the media were playing a major role in shaping public opinion and turning people against the war. Sound familiar? 

He spent the next 35 years doggedly pursuing the truth and doing battle with the liberal media goliaths, and wounding, if not slaying, a few along the way, when Good Morning America, 60 Minutes and the NBC Evening News were forced to issue on-the-air corrections for inaccurate stories they had aired.

He was a modest man who didn’t seek the limelight for himself nor did he care very much if he received credit for his work as long as it resulted in the truth being told. He was courageous, honest, a man of great integrity who loved his country and wanted to make it a better place for his children and grandchildren.

My father was a thorn in the side of the liberal media, and I always admired how he would not only take media’s attacks on him in stride but would dish it out even more effectively.

Although America’s first media watchdog is no longer with us, we at Accuracy in Media and hundreds of other concerned citizens, like our award recipients, are continuing the vital work that he began.

Tonight we are honoring two journalists, Mark Alexander and Michelle Malkin, who are in many ways much like my father. They share his commitment to truth and to this nation, his steadfast courage in the face of opposition, and his relentless determination to expose the media’s lies.

What You Can Do

Please send a generous financial contribution so that we can continue the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media awards program in the future. You can view our special report on the Lewis Libby case. And send General Peter Pace the final postcard supporting his First Amendment rights.




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