Accuracy In Media is a media watchdog group that has been at the forefront of calling out media bias since its founding in 1969 by economist Reed Irvine. Their website contains a massive archive of blatant instances of journalistic bias in favor of the Left.
AIM recently launched a new rating system to analyze and determine the bias factor of a news story.
I spoke with AIM’s Executive Director Gus Portela about the rating system and his thoughts on combating media bias.
Q: You’ve got a new rating system that examines media bias. What does that entail?
GP: We’re taking what we’ve done over the decades and taking it one step further with this new rating system. It has a range that starts with accurate on one side and it goes all the way to fake news. We will take any news clip, whether it is in media or print, whether it is lacking in information or has a slant.
Most people can tell within in the first few minutes what the journalist is trying to say.
If they are saying or writing something wrong, we want to be able to straighten the record and give it a rating.
Our writers will be rolling this out and we want visitors to know what information they can trust and how much they can trust it based on our ratings.
In this era of what President Trump calls “fake news,” we want everyone to have access to information that is reliable.
Q: What is the primary focus and goal?
GP: Our focus is everything. It will be focused on as much of the mainstream media, print, online, or broadcast, as we can. Our goal is to find and report bias wherever we find it.
Q: What would be your response if someone says, “Oh we already have fact-checkers like Snopes and Politifact. Why do we need another website?”
GP: Even those organizations have gotten things wrong in the past. People dispute them all the time. That gives us an opportunity to come in and accurately rate the media.
Q: Where does the mainstream media go wrong? Is it that most of the news they are putting out is actually opinion masquerading as journalism or is it something else?
GP: It’s one hundred percent opinion masquerading as journalism. Today we’re still uncovering bias everywhere.
We see this recently in coverage of the Parkland mass shooting. CNN essentially took on the gun control agenda. They went as far as dropping one of the survivors as guest on one of their shows because he wanted to talk about solutions to the firearms debate that did not necessarily include gun control. After having on other survivors who spoke out about gun control, they could have had him on as a balance. I thought that would’ve been a great idea.
Unfortunately, that went against the narrative that CNN was trying to create with other progressive activists and politicians who were just calling for gun control.
Q: On a similar note, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner happened over this past weekend and the reactions from it were varied. What were your thoughts about the organization’s president's speech, Michelle Wolf’s performance, and what transpired there?
GP: I obviously didn’t go. I was not on the VIP list. (Laughs)
I honestly thought it was over the top. I will give credit to (Press Secretary) Sarah Sanders. She stood there with a smile on her face and took all the hits.
I also have to applaud the president truthfully for getting out of the swamp that night and going to the people who elected him and getting his message out.
I think it provided a great contrast. One on hand, you got the members of the press patting each other on the back, and on the other you had Trump out in the public with the people who don’t have the ability to go to these events. That’s something for people to pay attention to.
Q: Back to your rating system and the work AIM does, is there any final thoughts you have about the media and potential bias?
GP: With the roll out of this new rating system, I think it’s important to know about media bias as a millennial. Myself and my national editor Carrie Sheffield are both millennials and we’ve taken the initiative in rolling out the new system. It’s important to have young people at the top, especially in places like AIM with such rich histories. Millennials need to revitalize the legacy of calling out media bias where it is.