By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
A former Al Jazeera producer who describes himself as Palestinian told the National Conference for Media Reform in Denver, “My job as someone in the media is to humanize my people, my heritage…”
Ahmed Shihab-Eldin now hosts a show for HuffPost Live, an on-line television service associated with the far-left website. He told the audience, “I left Al Jazeera because as much as I enjoyed my show and what I was doing, Al Jazeera wasn’t on in America…”
HuffPost Live is sponsored by Cadillac, a “founding partner” of the online streaming TV station. As a result of Obama’s bailout, American taxpayers own 26% of the car company.
As we previously reported, HuffPost Live has also hired Alyona Minkovski, the Moscow-born Russian-American “journalist” who had been working for the Kremlin propaganda channel Russia Today (RT).
Shihab-Eldin’s comments came during a panel that was characterized by the conference sponsor, the George Soros-funded Free Press, as part of the fight for “social justice” and “media equality.”
Al Jazeera is the voice of the Muslim Brotherhood and the various terrorist groups it has spawned, including al Qaeda and Hamas. In her article, “Al Jazeera: Non-Arabs Should Not Be Fooled,” Najat Fawzy AlSaied wrote that “The Emir of Qatar, an absolute ruler, and Al Jazeera, have not covered the ‘Arab Spring’ to advance democracy, but to support the Muslim Brotherhood, which is aligned with the Qatari regime. Al Jazeera has as its chief goal Muslim Brotherhood domination.”
Al Jazeera has announced the creation of Al Jazeera America, and the hiring of CNN’s Ali Velshi, after paying Al Gore and his associates $500 million for the rights to Current TV’s contracts with cable services, which reach 40-50 million homes. But the deal continues to be the subject of controversy.
Last January Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate the deal. But his office says there has been no response and it is not clear what, if anything, Murphy intends to do as a result of this official stonewalling.
At the National Conference for Media Reform, after his formal presentation, former FCC commissioner Michael Copps told me in an interview that the Al Gore-Al Jazeera deal should be examined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) because of its possible impact on the U.S. media market.
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey has called for a congressional “inquiry” into the sale.
Former Al Jazeera producer Shihab-Eldin spoke on a panel titled, “Manufacturing Terror: The Media’s Anti-Arab and Anti-Muslim Problem,” based on the claim that the media tend to depict Arabs and Muslims as terrorists.
The National Conference for Media Reform did not feature any panels or discussions on how free speech is threatened by Islamists who murder or physically attack those perceived to be critical of Islam.
The moderator of the panel, Suzanne Manneh, writer and national media coordinator at New America Media, did attack Pamela Geller, a leading critic of radical Islam, alleging she was somehow part of a movement characterized by “Islamophobia,” or the irrational fear of Muslims. But when I questioned her about this charge, she said in a brief interview that she was only quoting from media accounts and turned away. “I’m not going to discuss this, sir,” she said.
Her “New America Media” is described as “a nationwide association of over 3,000 ethnic media organizations representing the development of a more inclusive journalism.” It was founded by Pacific News Service, itself an offshoot of the far-left Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies.
Another panelist, Adel Iskandar, described as an author and media scholar at Georgetown University, refused to be interviewed about a book on Al-Jazeera that he co-wrote. He said it was in the process of being re-written. Iskandar’s 2001 book, Al-Jazeera: The Story of the Network That is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism, is described as the first book published about the network but it doesn’t explore the Muslim Brotherhood’s relationship with the channel. The book does mention the channel’s official backing and funding from the government of Qatar.
Like Shihab-Eldin, Adel Iskandar is a contributor to the Huffington Post, whose anti-American and anti-Israel tilt has increasingly attracted the attention of media watchdogs.
The Huff-Watch website documents what it calls the Huffington Post’s “pathological, malicious incitement of hate against the U.S. military, Israel and Jews, the Tea Party and conservative individuals and organizations.”
Another website, the Huffington Post Monitor blog, purports to expose how the Huffington Post has become a home to a group of “commentators expressing anti-Israel hate speech and anti-Semitism.”
- Please call Rep. Tim Murphy’s office (202-225-2301) and ask him to follow through on an investigation into Al Jazeera.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].