Published on December 10th, 2017 | by Leah Fabel0
Interview with Cliff Kincaid: Accuracy in Media’s founder Reed Irvine began the process of publicly questioning the media’s image of being objective and nonpartisan.
September 3, 2010
Do you consider yourself to be of a specific faith?
I was born and baptized into the Lutheran Church but became a Catholic when I met my wife, Lisa, and we were married in the Catholic Church. We appreciate its stand in favor of a culture of life. We have raised our three sons as Catholics. But I am concerned about the bishops lobbying for the liberal agenda, including socialized medicine, benefits for illegal aliens, and abolition of the death penalty. With more than 50 million dead through abortion, I believe the church should more vigorously promote the God-given right to life for innocent unborn human beings.
I also appreciate those church leaders who oppose sexual immorality and insist on protection of the sacred institution of the family, including marriage between one man and one woman.
If you were in charge of training the next generation of reporters, what advice would you impart first and foremost? What norms would you like to see shattered?
The basic questions of journalism have been transformed from "who, what, when, where, why and how?" to "so what?" — meaning that reporters are now deciding the significance of the news and what should be reported. As a result, I have suggested, only somewhat jokingly, that we need an affirmative action program for conservatives in the media to balance out the liberals. So I encourage conservative students to pursue journalism. Many colleges have conservative alternative newspapers to the official campus liberal paper. This is the kind of "diversity" we must encourage.
However, I am concerned that there are too many "conservatives" in the media these days who have no understanding of conservatism. The term "gay conservative" is obnoxious and an oxymoron. Conservatism without biblical values is not conservatism. I suggest Whittaker Chambers’ book "Witness," which is important for understanding the nature of Marxism and the need for moral and spiritual values.
Philippians 2:12, "…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
What do you believe are the underlying problems within journalism that have led to news outlets’ biases?
Journalism has been politically corrupted. My college textbook was "Interpretative Reporting," by Curtis MacDougall, a Progressive Party activist. His popular textbook, standard in journalism classes and schools for decades, advocated a form of advocacy journalism. I later obtained MacDougall’s 300-page FBI file demonstrating his faith in Marxism.
Isn’t fighting for accuracy in the media something of a losing battle amid the profusion of social media and the ease with which anyone can share his or her view? What inspires you to keep up the effort?
Progress is being made. Accuracy in Media’s founder Reed Irvine began the process of publicly questioning the media’s image of being objective and nonpartisan. The success of AIM was a significant factor in the media revolution that continues to unfold. However, the proliferation of new media has increased the pressure on the news consumer. I believe the government should let the new media develop.
There is an urgent need for independent journalism and media criticism. It is shocking that a group of religious leaders recently urged the media to stop covering questions about President Obama’s religious affiliation. When religion is used for public and secular purposes, it must be subjected to heightened scrutiny.
At your core, what is one of your defining beliefs?
I believe in individual freedom, personal responsibility and a strong national defense. My parents, who were married more than 50 years, believed in American values and passed them down to me. I was a philosophy major for more than two years before I graduated in journalism and communications. My favorite philosopher in college was Soren Kierkegaard, an existentialist who took a leap of faith into Christianity, as opposed to Jean-Paul Sartre, an existentialist who took a disastrous leap of faith into Marxism. Kierkegaard wrote "Fear and Trembling," about the demands of religious faith. It is a constant struggle.