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Former Al Jazeera Anchor Blasts Al Gore and Current TV

Marash1 [1]Former Al Jazeera English anchor Dave Marash blasted Current TV on Sunday, saying that the network failed in part because it was “bush league,” and accused former Current TV owner Al Gore of crony capitalism over his methods in launching the network.

Marash: Well, first, it looked bush league. Its production values were simply not competitive with the production values of CNN or MSNBC or Fox News or Al Jazeera. Secondly, it didn’t have a unique role. MSNBC was already the leading liberal funhouse mirror to Fox News on the right, so there was no compelling reason for people to tune into Current TV.

Marash is right on this point. It looks like Gore and his partner Joel Hyatt weren’t really interested in building a viable long-term liberal cable network as much as they were in creating a network that would allow them to cash out at a hefty price, which they did.

Kurtz then asked Marash about the sale of Current to Al Jazeera and the reported $70 million that Al Gore will make on the deal.

Marash responded by citing it as an example of “how crony capitalism has completely captured American capitalism,” and said that Gore was able to get Current TV on the air under extremely favorable terms because he was the former vice president and as such might be able to do favors for people who agreed to these contracts.

Nothing like a liberal accusing a fellow liberal of using his influence for personal gain.

Kurtz then turned his attention to Al Jazeera English, and why Marash left the network four years ago after spending just two years there.

Marash said he left because editorial control had switched from Washington, where he was based, to Qatar, and that the network had become more anti-American as a result.

Marash: … In Doha, there is as you might expect, the kind of post-colonial, anti-colonial attitude. And sometimes, Al Jazeera English was willing to report its attitude rather than really report out-of-story. And I, as the leading anchor in Washington, felt that I could not put my name on those kinds of stories. So when they would be launched from London or from Kuala Lumpur or from Doha, they would run, but for the hours that I was anchoring in Washington, those stories would not run because they weren’t, frankly, meet my standards. This creates as you know as editorial conflict

Al Jazeera may try and equate itself to CNN and other news organizations, but even a liberal like Dave Marash knows that it is an anti-American propaganda machine.