America's Survival: Is Accuracy In Media damaging the cause it purports to represent?
It is customary for RT’s most enthusiastic critics to at least feign a veneer of objectivity. Even when foaming at the mouth to land a blow, they’ll dress it up as concern for something or other. Then there’s Cliff Kincaid. Kincaid doesn’t bother with such niceties.
Kincaid is a regular guest on mainstream media, boasting appearances on the likes of Fox, CBS and CNN. Indeed, he's a former guest co-host of the latter's Crossfire. Kincaid is also a director at Accuracy in Media, an influential press watchdog, which when you break it down, essentially specializes in smears posing as serious analysis.
In the intro to his YouTube channel, Kincaid praises both Ronald Reagan and broadcaster, writer and former military officer Oliver North, claiming that he worked for North. He prays that someone similar to Reagan returns to the White House. In case anyone needs a refresher, the Reagan era was, among other things, the era of ‘star wars’, the arms race, the illegal invasion of Grenada, the Contras and the Mujahidin.
As for Kincaid's other hero, North, all isn't rosy there either. Back in 1987, he admitted lying to congress during televised hearings of a joint congressional committee that was formed to investigate Iran–Contra. The following year he was charged for this and other actions. In 1989, he was sentenced to a three-year suspended prison term, two years probation, $150,000 in fines, and 1,200 hours of community service.
One of Reagan’s most famous quotes was when he called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.” Kincaid uses the same term to describe modern Russia. Evidently all irony is lost on him, considering that the term “empire” could be far more accurately applied to a country that has its military personnel in more than 100 other nations. Even Stratfor, sometimes referred to as shadow CIA, supports that belief. Indeed, former President George W Bush’s chief political strategist, Karl Rove, said as much in 2004. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”
Accuracy in bias?
AIM remains Cliff's principal focus. Founded in 1969, AiM, has exposed genuine conflicts of interests and wrongdoing. On the other hand, with its die-hard hawkish stance, AiM has bullied some people out of employment. A famous example was back in 1982, when Raymond Bonner of the New York Times told of the El Mozote Massacre, where the US-backed Salvadoran army killed more than 800 innocent civilians in one day. AiM harried the newspaper, claiming the story was inaccurate, until Bonner was forced out. Ten years later, the story was proven to be true. Bonner was re-hired by the Times.
Kincaid’s attacks on RT and Russia are in the same style. They are heavy on staples of America’s right wing, particularly name-calling, fear mongering and spying conspiracies.
When he’s not vilifying opponents on AiM, Kincaid runs a YouTube channel called “USA survival.” Cliff is pictured with three young people, two of whom are, like himself, armed with rifles, on its front page. Posed in what looks like an urban park, it's unclear what exact message this is supposed to convey.
On the channel, Kincaid hosts some startling recent videos. In one, he calls former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the “leader of the free world.” Another speaks of a possible Russian nuclear strike on the US. In older pieces, he alleges that Pope Francis is a Marxist targeting‘America’s Freedoms’ and calls for Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera to be banned.
These YouTube efforts are accompanied by a website - “America’s Survival Inc.” and a strange anti-taxation lobby group, Stop Global Taxes. It's unclear how Kincaid proposes that America survives without exchequer revenue. In its "about" section, America’s Survival states: “ASI specializes in exposing the United Nations, international organizations and extremist movements. We are currently working to re-establish committees or subcommittees to investigate internal security problems.”
In August, Kincaid assailed RT America anchor, Thom Hartmann, because of the latter’s support for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He calls Sanders’ “Bolshevik Bernie.” How does he know that Sanders is a “red?” It’s because Sanders supported a sister city project between Burlington, Vermont and the Russian city of Yaroslavl and once visited Cuba. Essentially, Kincaid is smearing Sanders for trying to build bridges between the US and a former rival.
Just like the Japanese solider, Hiroo Onoda, who was unaware WW2 had ended until 30 years later, Kincaid seems unaware that Regan has died and Oliver North resigned. He’s stuck in the past. A past where Saturday Night Fever is the hit movie, John Travolta is a matinee idol and everybody wants to drive a Cadillac Seville. Just like in the late 1970's when Kincaid joined AiM.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.