Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tell CBS News: Don't Legitimize Discredited Fringe Groups

Media Matters for America
Friend --

We find ourselves in the odd position of needing to convince CBS News not to legitimize a viciously anti-gay, widely discredited, birther organization.

Accuracy In Media (AIM) recently announced that it will be giving its annual award to Sharyl Attkisson, a CBS News journalist, at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference. Now don't let the name fool you, Accuracy In Media is not remotely concerned with accuracy and is actually a fringe group. AIM's record includes:

  • In the wake of a string of gay teen suicides, AIM attacked anti-bullying efforts, arguing that it was straight kids who were actually the victims of gay bullies citing "lesbian gangs assaulting innocent girls;" AIM was also a staunch defender of Uganda's 'Kill The Gays' legislation.
  • AIM is a birther organization that, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, feeds the right-wing lie that President Obama was not born in the United States.
  • AIM also peddles climate science misinformation, claiming that global warming is a "fraud" and even challenging the scientific fact that carbon dioxide is a "planet-heating pollutant."

Now to be clear, we're not making hay merely because AIM named a CBS News journalist as a recipient of this award. After all, CBS can't control what another organization does, let alone a fringe group. We didn't expect CBS News to treat AIM or this award seriously, let alone attend CPAC to accept it.

Click Here To Tell CBS News not to legitimize discredited fringe groups.

But yesterday, other news outlets began wondering about this award and asked CBS about it. CBS glossed over AIM's despicable record and simply stated that its "journalists are regularly honored by a broad spectrum of organizations..." Adding insult to injury, it was subsequently confirmed that Attkisson will accept the award "in person" and deliver an 8-10 minute speech at the extreme right-wing CPAC gathering.

Of note and concern, CBS' Attkisson will be the first reporter from a mainstream network to receive the award. Attkisson's co-recipient this year is a Breitbart blogger and past recipients include Andrew Breitbart and Michelle Malkin.

By showing up to accept the award, CBS News lends credence to an otherwise discredited fringe organization and helps pave the way for wider acceptance of AIM when just the opposite should be the case.

We're asking CBS for a simple thing: to reconsider its decision to treat a fringe right-wing group seriously by accepting this award in person.

CPAC starts later this week, so we'll need to act fast. Sign the letter and find additional ways that you can get active here:


Angelo Carusone
Twitter: @StopBeck
Campaign Director
Media Matters for America 

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