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Fox calls Al Jazeera "propaganda wing" - ROFL

Reported by Chrish - January 20, 2006

I think we can bank on seeing this on the Daily Show tonight. Alyson Camerato interviewed Mamoun Fandy on The Big Story yesterday 1/19/06 on the delivery system of tapes to Al Jazeera (or Al Queda, as she called them. Okay, only once.)

Gibson introduced the segment by saying that two tapes have been delivered to Al Jazeera recently, of the kidnapped journalist Jill Carrolll and of Osama Bin Laden, and "reports" that they haven't gotten there by UPS or Federal Express. Why doesn't Al Jazeera use the messengers to trace back to the source?

Camerota begins by reiterating the question how does AJ get the tapes, and asks how do they decide what portions to air? Only part of the OBL tapes were played. If anything else on the tape is newsworthy, we have to trust the editors at Al Jazeera to make them available at some point. "Who are they protecting?" (emphasis added.)

Comment: She makes it sound nefarious for a television station to edit and air clips. She's being disengenuous already in her scripted piece; of course she knows ALL media outlets edit what gets published.

She complains that 20 seconds of tape showing kidnapped American journalist Jill Carroll aired by "Al Queda" (sic) had inaudible sound.

She is joined by Dr. Fandy, identified as an Arabic media analyst and a Senior fellow at the Baker Institute of Foreign Policy. According to their website it is a "non-partisan" think tank at Rice University founded by James Baker III (Baker served as chief legal advisor for George W. Bush during the 2000 election campaign and oversaw the Florida recount. He is currently (as of 2004) a senior partner at the law firm of Baker Botts and senior counsel to the Carlyle Group.)

Fandy says there is a system of trust built within Al Jazeera, and says that 70% of the employees there are Islamists who are part of the Muslim Brotherhood network. Some of them fought in Afghanistan in the -80s.

Camerota notes that the tapes are hand-delivered, and wonders if Al Jazeera feels any obligation to notify authorities when the deliveries are made. Fandy tells her it's complicated, that OBL praises Al Jazeera in the fourth paragaph of today's release, and there is a lot of sympathy to him and his message in Qatar, where AL Jazeera originates, and in the Arab world, and they want to help get out the message.

Camerota says that without Al Jazeera, OBL wouldn't be able to get his message out, and in the US "there's a feeling that they're sort of the propaganda wing of a terrorist organization. How would AJ respond to that?"

Fandy replies that Al Jazeera has to compete with the larger Al-Arabiya, based in Suadi Arabia. They got the "whole story" about Syria and Lebanon, therefore Al Jazeera felt it had to air the Bin Laden tapes to compete.

Camerota asks what, if any, responsibility AJ feels toward Jill Carroll. If they feel compelled to help her captors get their message out, why don't they feel compelled to help find her?

Fandy's answer to that bizarre question was rather rambling: First he said that there were some reports in the Arab media (some say) that some Al Jazeera reporters were working with her captors, doing some of the taping and they paid people to do this taping. "There's something fishy about this relationship between Al Jazeera and Zarqawi as well as Bin Laden and Zarwahari. I mean, AL Jazeera is not really Fox News or like an American network. It is owned by the Emir of Qatar, it is part of the Qatari state, so really, there is no reason to talk about Al Jazeera itself. It is very important that the American officials pick up the phone and talk to the Emir of Qatar, and tell him to cease and desist.

Comment: Fandy obviously thinks Bush (or does he mean Cheney?) is already dictator of the world.

Camerota wraps up, turning back to Gibson and saying "It sounds like a relationship that Al Jazeera is comfortable with, with Al Queda." Gibson, of course, agrees.

Comment: This whole segment was pure smear and propaganda from start to finish. Only one view of Al Jazeera was presented. On the other hand are supporters who see it as the most open and objective provider of factual information in the Arab world. Camerota questioned Fandy as if he were an Al Jazeera representative, rather than an outside analyst with a POV. But the best part was having a FOX blonde accuse another outlet of propaganda. (a very interesting read at Wikipedia. Look for "fair and balanced." lol.)

It's pretty appalling that as FOX trumpets the message for the White House that we went to Iraq to spread freedom and democracy, in a segment like this they advocate killing the messenger and censorship.

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