About 20 years ago, I had an epiphany.

I was working as a high-ranking editor in a great metropolitan newspaper at the time.

I guess it would be fair to say I was a part of the media elite.

We lived in our own world, our own ivory tower. We rarely met people who disagreed with our basic worldview. We had certain assumptions about the way things worked. We were vaguely aware there were some people in fly-over country who had some misguided, less enlightened views. But we were working on changing those misperceptions through our work.

As I’ve explained before, Ronald Reagan exploded that world for me. When he won the 1980 election by such a landslide, I wanted to understand why. So I began to study the man and his ideas. I read the same books and publications he read to get insight – and maybe even the ammunition I needed to discredit him.

But what I found was it all made sense.

Reagan was right.

In the process of that awakening, I discovered the work of a diligent crusader named Reed Irvine. Reed Irvine, the founder of Accuracy In Media, not only generally shared Reagan’s views, but he was on the attack against my kingdom, my domain, my ivory tower – the world of the media elite.

So, I began reading his work, too – again with the first thought being, “Know your enemy.”

What I found was I agreed with Reed Irvine more than not. His perceptions and understanding of my world were profound. He saw things that I didn’t see nearly as clearly even from the inside.

In the years that followed, I had the pleasure of getting to know this tenacious fighter for truth. He was more than I imagined. Reed Irvine didn’t just criticize the media, he often did the investigative reporting they refused to do – as in the case of Vincent Foster’s mysterious death and the shootdown – yes, I said shootdown – of TWA Flight 800. Reed Irvine saw the inconsistencies and deliberate deception involved in these stories before anyone else – including me.

Reed Irvine became not only an inspiration to me, but a colleague and a respected, honored and trusted friend.

That’s why it is a sad time for me and others who knew Reed Irvine like I did. Reed Irvine died this week. He was a pioneer, a visionary, a steadfast warrior for truth and justice.

What others might not see about Reed Irvine as clearly as I do is this: His important work led directly to the solution to the problems he fought so hard to expose.

Without fully understanding the institutional problem of media bias, how could we ever overcome it?

I like to think I’ve had a role in launching the New Media. Let me say that 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. Without the crusading work of Reed Irvine, I’m not sure we would have had the increased competition we have today as a result of the birth of the New Media.

My background was quite different from Reed Irvine’s. But all I have accomplished in the last seven years – with the creation of WorldNetDaily, WND Books, a daily talk-radio show, a syndicated column – would not have been possible without the important, ground-breaking work done by Reed Irvine.

That’s the truth. I owe him a lot. America owes him a lot.

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