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Farewell to a true life hero

by Judi McLeod, Canadafreepress.com

November 17, 2004


Reed Irvine with Editor Judi McLeod (L) and Associate Editor Arthur Weinreb (R).

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A true-life hero passed on yesterday, November 16, 2004.

In physical stature, Accuracy in Media founder Reed Irvine was just a little guy. With a slim figure that busted all over Washington D.C. corridors of power, his lifelong mission was one that always kept the little guy in mind. With stamina to spare, even at age 80, Reed Irvine was still going to the office.

There was something almost childlike about Reed’s unflagging belief and confidence that a wayward mainline media could be held to account. He critiqued their errors and omissions better than any journalism teacher, and kept at it for three long decades.

A Rhodes scholar, who could debate with the best of them, Reed Irvine never felt challenged by the most powerful of journalists, politicians or even presidents.

Imbued by an ever-present sense of humour, this `David of the Mainline Media’, was self-deprecating. In the face of bold lies and even threats, he chuckled, but never went away.

The most inspirational facet of Reed Irvine’s personality was his refusal to ever give up, even with all odds stacked against him.

The first time I met him, I went to Washington with an idea to launch Accuracy in Media, Canada style. Patiently hearing me out, Reed encouraged me to stick to my original dream of starting up my own newspaper, which I did with the 1990 launch of Our Toronto, now Canada Free Press.

Over the years, Reed’s occasional telephone calls about Canadian issues never failed to surprise me. His innate knowledge of Canadian politics, when he was kept so busy holding watch over the American media, was truly impressive.

One of those naïve people who refuse to believe that the years take their toll even on heroes, I was coaxed by colleagues to pay a visit to AIM, three years ago.

We found Reed in robust health and writing letters, purpose of which was to tweak a variety of journalists into taking an interest in one of his latest missions.

Files teetered on his desk. But a question from one of us had him finding the right file within moments.

It was pure Reed Irvine, and we returned to Toronto renewed in spirit.

Although it’s sad to have to alter the vision of this bustle of energy into more quiet memory, his legacy outlives him.

Reed would be so proud to see how his son, Don and gutsy AIM editor, Cliff Kincaid carry on with that memory.

The name Reed Irvine is indelible in the world of journalism.

You can rest in peace, restless hero of the little guy. For it is your legacy that continues to give the free world a chance.