Accuracy in Media

“Al-Jazeera has sharing agreements with CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox, Japan’s NHK, and Germany’s ZDF, all of which regularly use Al-Jazeera’s footage and reports.” That’s what Hugh Miles reports in Foreign Policy magazine. Miles, the author of a fascinating but sympathetic book about Al-Jazeera, makes this point in the context of insisting that “Journalists around the world treat Al-Jazeera with the same respect they treat news from any other major international news network.”

I don’t accept his point about Al-Jazeera commanding respect, but one has to grant that the channel provides news that is used-and paid for-by other media. That is because that while the channel does provide some real news, it mostly serves as a vehicle of propaganda of the terrorist enemy. That has become the definition of “news” and this is why the U.S.-and Israel-lose the information war.

Those four U.S.-based networks-CNN, ABC, NBC, and Fox News-should immediately stop paying for Al-Jazeera’s terrorist propaganda.

CNN was the first U.S.-based network to sign a “resource-sharing agreement” with Al-Jazeera. This relationship was on display when CNN aired part of an interview that Al-Jazeera’s then-Kabul-based reporter Taysir Alouni had conducted with Osama bin Laden. This was described at the time as the only television interview bin Laden had granted since before 9/11.

Alouni, later convicted of being an agent of al Qaeda, gave bin Laden a platform, saying, “Do you have a message for the viewers of Al-Jazeera? You know Al-Jazeera is now translated into so many languages and transmitted around the world.”

Indeed, Al-Jazeera and the Telesur channel of Venezuelan lunatic ruler Hugo Chavez also have an agreement “to share content and co-operate in gathering news,” as reported by Al-Jazeera itself.

In fairness, the story noted that Rep. Connie Mack had criticized the venture, saying, “When Hugo Chavez launched Telesur?to spread his anti-freedom rhetoric throughout Latin America I raised numerous concerns that he was creating a TV network patterned after Al-Jazeera. Today, Hugo Chavez has gone even further. It wasn’t enough for him to spread his socialist propaganda throughout Latin America. Now he’s in cahoots with the original terrorist TV.”

In a release, Mack went further, saying the alliance “has the effect of creating a global television network for terrorists and other enemies of freedom.”

If Congress wants to do something about that, it should have the federal government designate the channel as a terrorist entity, thus making its expansion in U.S. media markets through Al-Jazeera International a practical impossibility.

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