Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media today announced its strong opposition to Buckeye Cable System’s decision to carry Al-Jazeera English, a subsidiary of the Al-Jazeera Arabic network.  AIM has been in the forefront of a national effort to educate the American public about the threat Al-Jazeera’s new English-language spin-off poses to national security.  AIM editor Cliff Kincaid has issued the following statement in response to Buckeye Cable System chairman Allan Block’s decision to carry the new channel:

Showing callous disregard for the lives of American citizens during a time of war, Allan J. Block, owner of Block Communications, has decided to air the pro-terrorist Al-Jazeera English channel. Block Communications owns Buckeye Cable System in Toledo, Ohio, and Erie County Cablevision in Sandusky, Ohio.

Toledo includes a significant Arab-Muslim population, and Al-Jazeera has been shown to play a role in radicalizing members of this group.  In effect, Al-Jazeera has emerged as a “root cause” of anti-American terrorism.

Could Block’s decision spark more terrorism on American soil? A terrorist plot involving planned attacks on U.S. forces was already uncovered in Toledo. As reported by the Toledo Blade, one of Block’s newspapers, on March 21:

“A Chicago man accused of conspiring to ‘kill, kidnap, or maim’ U.S. troops and others in Iraq, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Toledo this afternoon. Khaleel Ahmed, 26, pleaded not guilty to the charge before Judge James Carr. He is one of four men — including two from the Toledo area — who were indicted in February in connection with the government’s probe into a Toledo-based plot to kill or injure U.S. troops overseas.”

You can register your disapproval of the decision to air Al-Jazeera by calling Mr. Block’s office at 419-724-6035. Call Monday if the office is closed. Ask Mr. Block if he would have aired Tokyo Rose during World War II.   Please ask Mr. Block why he is willing to distribute a television channel that has encouraged Islamic terrorists to come to Iraq to kill Americans.

All of this is documented in the AIM DVD on “Terror Television.” Accuracy in Media has documented the channel’s services on behalf of various terrorist groups, including al Qaeda, the Islamic Army of Iraq, and Hamas. Its first managing director was accused of being an agent of the Saddam Hussein regime; one Al-Jazeera employee is in prison in Spain, convicted of being an al Qaeda agent; and another is at the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.

But Block told the Voice of America,” in a story headlined, “Al Jazeera TV Gets Toe-hold in Toledo,” that because the channel is based on Qatar, an alleged U.S. ally and home to a U.S. military base, that makes everything okay.

You can get the facts about Al-Jazeera at the AIM web site http://www.stopaljazeera.org/

According to the story carried by Voice of America, Block says the royal family in Qatar gave his company “a sweetheart long-term deal” to air the foreign government-funded propaganda channel and that it’s “a good business decision.” AIM has learned that Block Communications is actually paying oil-rich Qatar for the right to air the channel.

The recent PBS show, “War of Ideas,” confirmed that Al-Jazeera English is under the editorial control of the Arabic Al-Jazeera, the same channel that serves as the voice of al Qaeda and had served as a propaganda arm of the Saddam Hussein regime. Al-Jazeera Arabic’s editorial control over Al-Jazeera English was confirmed in our special report, “The Al-Jazeera Hall of Shame.”

Mr. Block should also know that: 

– The Weekly Standard has called the channel “propaganda for America’s Enemies.”

– The Al-Jazeera website ran a story about a movie depicting the assassination of President Bush with the headline, “Death Becomes Bush,” as if Al-Jazeera wanted Bush dead.

– A March 14 article in the New York Sun by Steven Stalinsky documented Al-Jazeera’s “dirty little secret” — its relationship with the radical Muslim Brotherhood, the pro-terrorist organization that gave rise to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

– A February 22, 2007, piece by Youssef Ibrahim, a former New York Times reporter, referred to Al-Jazeera as the “jihadist” network “which specializes in vilifying America — 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

– The new government of Iraq has declared that, “The Al-Jazeera channel continues in its overtly hostile attitude towards the Iraqi people and continues to contribute to the spread of death and destruction by adopting a line that is frankly hostile to the Iraqi people and government.”

An opinion poll conducted for Accuracy in Media found that a majority of Americans opposes the channel coming into their homes through U.S. cable and satellite systems. The poll also found that, by 2-1, Americans think the U.S. Government should oppose giving the new channel access to the U.S. media market.  But Allan J. Block is ignoring the views of the American people.

In addition to the Toledo Blade, Block Communications owns the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper. You can find information about all of its media properties at http://www.blockcommunications.com/.

Accuracy in Media (AIM), founded by Reed Irvine in 1969, is America’s oldest media watchdog organization.  For more information, please visit www.aim.org 

To schedule an interview with AIM editor Cliff Kincaid, contact

Carisa Bergen at (202) 364-4401 ext. 110 or (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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