Reed Irvine, the founder and chairman emeritus of Accuracy in Media and a tireless warrior in the battle to keep the press honest, died yesterday.
Irvine, considered a giant in the media-watchdog arena, founded AIM in 1969 and has been diligently working to combat distortion and bias in the media ever since.
WorldNetDaily founder and Editor Joseph Farah praised Irvine’s vision and tenacity.
“Without the extraordinary work of Reed Irvine dating back 35 years, even people like me – media insiders – would never have grasped the extent of institutional problems within the industry,” Farah said. “He has been a crusader whose work ultimately inspired more competition in the press and the birth of the New Media.”
A former Federal Reserve official, Irvine held degree from the University of Utah, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and from Oxford, where he was a Fulbright scholar. Before suffering a stroke earlier this year, Irvine was active as publisher of the AIM Report, wrote a syndicated column and did a daily radio commentary, Media Monitor, with AIM editor Cliff Kincaid. In 1985, Irvine founded Accuracy In Academia.
Irvine’s list of media appearances included “Crossfire,” “MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour,” “Nightline,” “Nightwatch,” “Good Morning America,” “Viewpoint” and “Larry King Live.”
One of Irvine’s projects was the “Can Dan” campaign he launched against CBS’ Dan Rather some 16 years ago. This year, the quest to get Rather off the air picked up steam when the longtime network newsman used bogus documents as a basis for a story questioning President Bush’s National Guard service. In September, AIM sponsored a rally in front of the CBS News offices in Washington, D.C., calling for the network to fire Rather.
Don Irvine, Reed’s son, now serves as chairman of AIM.
A volunteer for AIM, Charles Rozier, was asked in 2002 why he donated his time to the organization. He said simply, “The mainstream media are biased and Reed Irvine conscientiously searches for the truth.”
Judi McLeod, founding editor of Canada Free Press, wrote a tribute to Irvine’s “Can Dan” campaign recently, saying some 35 years ago he kick-started what eventually led to September’s rally.
“That’s when a never-say-die Reed Irvine began what were to become his ongoing efforts to hold the media accountable for dishonest, fraudulent reporting.
“While in 2004 his spryness may have been set back by a debilitating stroke, the spirit of Reed Irvine lives on. No one has done more to keep the media honest than the plucky Reed … who in everyday life, was always ahead of his time.
“Irvine leaves a legacy that is unique, and is one that paved the way to Internet bloggers being better at the job of news reporting than many of those celebrated by a powerful mainline media.
“In 2004, Irvine’s son, Don, and editor Cliff Kincaid carry on the Reed Irvine tradition, promising it will never die.
“Thank you, Reed, for a legacy that continues to give the free world a chance.”