Even Arab Media Getting Sick of Al Jazeera's Muslim Brotherhood Propaganda
Posted By Daniel Greenfield On July 12, 2013
The amazing part isn't that this happened, but that the Washington Post wrote an honest account of what Al Jazeera is and even quoted Memri.
Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arabic news channel, has always battled charges of bias, both from government officials in the Middle East and from those in Washington. But on Monday, the bias claims came from an unusual source: other Middle Eastern journalists.
In an unusual episode, al-Jazeera's reporters were kicked out of a news briefing held by the Egyptian military in Cairo after the shooting of dozens of supporters of Mohammad Morsi, the nation's ousted president. According to an Associated Press account, the al-Jazeera journalists left the meeting amid chants from the crowd of "Out! Out!"
Al-Jazeera's rude reception in Cairo probably reflects a perception that has been building since even before Morsi and his political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, won and lost power in Egypt over the past year: that al-Jazeera and its owner, the royal family of the oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar, have been supporters of Morsi and the Brotherhood. With Egypt now deeply divided, those alleged loyalties have cast al-Jazeera into disfavor among Egypt's anti-Morsi faction.
Al Jazeera pushed the revolution and then it became the voice of a tyranny.
Once hailed as a democratizing force in a region dominated by government-owned or -controlled news media, al-Jazeera's independence from the politics of its Qatari owners has been challenged in recent years.
Many Western commentators noted al-Jazeera's limited coverage of the uprising against Bahrain's ruling family and its brutal suppression in 2011, contrasting it with its robust coverage of other popular revolts during the so-called Arab Spring. Qatar and Bahrain are close allies.
What's more, "Al-Jazeera's breathless boosting of Qatari-backed rebel fighters in Libya and Syria, and of the Qatar-aligned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, have made many Arab viewers question its veracity," the Economist wrote earlier this year. "So has its tendency to ignore human-rights abuses by those same rebels. . . . "
Why would Al Jazeera have any journalistic independence? The very notion is a Western idea. Qatar isn't spending money on Al Jazeera except for the sole purpose of controlling its content.
He said the network's management and journalists have long-standing ties to the Brotherhood; among others, its former chairman, Wadah Khanfar, was a member. Among its talk-show hosts is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Muslim cleric and Brotherhood adviser whom Stalinsky describes as "anti-Western, anti-Semitic and anti-American."
Al-Jazeera's opinion programs have been dominated by pro-Morsi pundits, and some of its journalists have openly supported the Brotherhood in postings on social media, said Mansour al-Hadj, who directs a MEMRI project on reform in Arab and Muslim countries.
But al-Hadj said he expects al-Jazeera America to take a more moderate tone, just as al-Jazeera English has moderated some of the political passions of the Arabic network. "I don't think they'll do the same thing" on the American network, he said. "It's a different audience, and they need a different perspective. They're not going to make fools of themselves by saying things that are misleading" or strongly partisan.
I think he's being rather optimistic. No, Al Goreeza won't feature screaming anchors. But even if it goes +10 on Anti-Americanism and Pro-Islamism compared to CNN or MSNBC, it will still be nearly as bad.
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