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Sunday, January 06, 2013

Al Gore's Al Jazeera Accused of Bias

In former, sane, times, doing something like this would have finished Gore's credibility forever. Needless to say, sanity has long since jumped out the window.
Barry Rubin

The Daily Caller reports that Al-Jazeera seen as using Al Gore to bolster network’s legitimacy in United States.

Now that Al Gore has sold his failed "Current TV" for $100 million, allowing Qatari-owned Al Jazeera access into US homes -- just what are we in for?

Well for one thing, there is the issue of bias coming from the state-owned Muslim station:



Here is an interview with the former Al Jazeera reporter, accusing them of bias:

Suliman: 'Al Jazeera Plays the Piper, But Qatar Calls the Tune'
The long-time Berlin correspondent for Al Jazeera, Aktham Suliman, recently resigned from his post. The journalist tells DW that the Qatari government is exercising undue influence on Al Jazeera's reporting.

DW: You've criticized Al Jazeera as lacking in professionalism, and you've quit your post as the broadcaster's Berlin correspondent. Is Al Jazeera following a specific agenda?

Aktham Suliman: I have to say that professionalism is now lacking at Al Jazeera. When I started in 2002, I didn't have that impression - quite the contrary. Of course there were fundamental, long-term problems, but in the last two years Al Jazeera has really let itself go in terms of professionalism.

It's possible that it does have an agenda, but of course no one makes it clear. The thing is that, if you're professional, you can deal with an agenda. If the employees, the editors or the owners had one and tried to impose it, professionalism would ensure that this didn't happen at the cost of high quality journalistic product.

But that's precisely what didn't happen when efforts were obviously being made to impose on Al Jazeera the agenda of the state of Qatar. The problem is that the organization lacks internal structures that would immunize it against what was presumably an attempt by the owner or by the editors to interfere politically in things that should have been handled in a journalistic manner.
Read the whole thing

Besides the anti-Arab Spring slant of the Arab Gulf states, we can also expect Al Jazeera bias on other issues critical of the Arab gulf states themselves:
It's extremely rare that German media report critically about Saudi Arabia or Qatar. There's seldom any reference to the fact that in Saudi Arabia you need a filming permit even if you're filming on the street, nor is there much discussion about the human rights situation in these countries.

It's also scarcely mentioned in German media that there is genuine slavery there. Asian workers come to these countries, work a few years in Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, and then return home - often a complete wreck. The women often return home pregnant. These people can spend 50 years in the Gulf and still never be granted citizenship. Those are unbelievable, inhumane circumstances - and that's never discussed. Instead, you'll see long reportages on German TV about some emir somewhere having so and so many castles and vintage cars. That's scandalous, incredible, and unforgivable.
Now coming to a US station near you!

Read: If Robert Fisk Is Speaking Openly of Muslim Racism, Can We Now Talk About The Problem? and Johann Hari Follows Robert Fisk In Exposing Racism In The Muslim World

Barry Rubin writes about how Al Gore Sells Out (to al-Jazeera):
What would you call it if a former vice-president of the United States had sold his television network to a fascist or Communist front group at a time when such forces threatened America? Nothing very nice. But now Al Gore has sold out his admittedly obscure channel to al-Jazeera and taken a position on its board.
Rubin addresses the Al-Jazeera's anti-Western bias and Gore's own hypocrisy in selling his network to the Qatari-owned station:
But consider what it means in this case to say anti-Israel and anti-American. The same might be said of the BBC, for example, but saying that is based on the fact that it is often or usually so. al-Jazeera is always that way because it has a coherent political line that always must be expressed or the program will not be aired and the reporter will be fired. In other words, the former vice-president of the United States cannot tell the difference between a free media and a state-controlled propaganda organ, or--which is worse--doesn't care.

Incidentally, there are even Arab television options to al-Jazeera. If he had sold to al-Arabiya for example it would have been much more acceptable since it is more moderate.

In former, sane, times, doing something like this would have finished Gore's credibility forever. Needless to say, sanity has long since jumped out the window.

By the way, remember that al-Jazeera is controlled by an oil-producing state whose goals include maintaining the highest possible use of petroleum, a goal that is contrary to Gore's obsession with what he says is the threat of man-made global warming to destroy the planet in the near future.

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