Current TV, Al Gore's brainchild, has been fledgling and flailing for quite some time. Luckily for him, not only was Gore able to sell his ownership stake for $100 Million but he was able to do so just before the Bush tax cuts expired on December 31st. Perhaps unluckily for all of us, the buyer has quite the checkered past and questionable allegiances.
Via New York Times:
Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab news giant, has long tried to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister.Al Jazeera has worked quite diligently at softening its brand for western consumption but to what extent is this the result of a legitimate, journalistic awakening?
It just bought itself 40 million more chances to make its case.
Al Jazeera on Wednesday announced a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore, a former vice president, and his business partners seven years ago. Al Jazeera plans to shut Current and start an English-language channel, which will be available in more than 40 million homes, with newscasts emanating from both New York and Doha, Qatar.
For Al Jazeera, which is financed by the government of Qatar, the acquisition is a coming of age moment. A decade ago, Al Jazeera’s flagship Arabic-language channel was reviled by American politicians for showing videotapes from Al Qaeda members and sympathizers. Now the news operation is buying an American channel, having convinced Mr. Gore and the other owners of Current that it has the journalistic muscle and the money to compete head-to-head with CNN and other news channels in the United States.
Make no mistake; Jihad in the United States is far more delicate than say, Jihad in Egypt today. But this is something that has evolved and been massaged.
For example, on the day of 9/11/01, while on a Los Angeles radio program, founder and director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) - Salam Al Marayati - said the following:
"If we're going to look at suspects, we should look at the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the state of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies."Not only does Al Marayati not speak like that today but he has learned that a completely different message is more effective. By seeking outreach to bleeding heart leftists, useful idiots, and Chrislamists, Islamists can better play the Islamophobia card. The MPAC founder recently visited the far left All Saints Episcopal Church in California, which hosted his group's annual convention.
Similarly, in 2002, Al Jazeera aired an interview with renowned KKK Clansman David Duke, without informing viewers of Duke's credentials as an American Nazi Party leader and KKK member. In that interview, Duke echoed comments that virtually mirrored those of Al Marayati on 9/11:
Late last fall, for instance, you had Ku Klux Klanner David Duke—Dr. David Duke, as he was described—appearing on the Al Jazeera talk show Without Borders, authoritatively explaining that the Mossad knew of plans to destroy the World Trade Center and had warned Israelis to get out before the planes hit.In much the same way that Al Marayati has softened his tone, so too will Al Jazeera likely do when it takes Al Gore's network and airs its newscasts not far from Ground Zero.
Gore himself capitalized on the anti-American / anti-Israel / Pro-Muslim meme relative to 9/11 during a visit to Saudi Arabia in 2006. He said that after 9/11, Arabs had been...
"...indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable."Al Jazeera and Al Gore don't just share a first name; they have both said and done things that should cause grave concern.
This latest deal may just be another one.