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.
4.) Finally, is there a distinction between al-Jazeera Arabic and al-Jazeera English (the new network is going to be al-Jazeera America). Or are they all equally problematic?
Clearly, al-Jazeera English tries to be more moderate taking care not to offend the audience. But its main goal is to keep the home office happy by not compromising any Islamist principles so it is restricted. As the Big Bad Wolf said, “All the better to eat you with!” The Muslim Brotherhood’s website is also more moderate in English than in Arabic because of its purpose. And the basic answer is no: he is giving credibility to a pro-terrorist, radical, anti-American enterprise which is only apparently more moderate in its English to better achieve its goals.
AS A BUSINESSMAN Al Gore can sell to the highest bidder. But Gore has never presented himself as a capitalist seeking to maximize profit but as an activist on issues he deems to affect the future survival of America and the planet earth. On this basis he received a Nobel Prize. He has also held high office based on the premise that he understands the value and importance of US interests. In this context, for him to sell knowingly to an anti-American station that supports terrorist groups in informational terms and a front for a country whose (legitimate) interests require the maximum sale of oil and gas—in other words directly contrary to Gore’s supposed agenda—is, to put it politely, hypocrisy.
Moreover, in the statement by his business partner the emphasis was on how this deal served the values of Gore and his enterprise and that he found the purchases to be politically congenial to his worldview. A purely profit-making deal did not require such a statement. I argue then that the “just doing business” argument does not apply.
I am not exaggerating al-Jazeera’s radicalism. I admit that the English-language al-Jazeera is far more cautious than the Arabic-language version and that it has been more open than other historic state-controlled media. Nevertheless, as someone who daily monitors al-Jazeera and knows people behind the scenes, I repeat my contention that it is an organ with a political line. Of course, this is not present in every story or every minute.
By way of full disclosure, I have rejected invitations to appear on al-Jazeera because they are always with one or two extremists and I have seen how the host slants the program in their favor. Former employees have also spoken out on this point. Subtle propaganda is still propaganda. Unlike other, Western mass media outlets (at least historically) al-Jazeera is not in business to make money but to purvey a political stance. That fact is certainly not a secret.
Finally, if you’ve read to the end you deserve a reward so here it is. Although I have to be vague here, responsible and reliable people in Israel have discovered in the past that al-Jazeera tried to send into Israel as staffers people with active connections to terrorist organizations. I have heard the names and details on this point and am satisfied that it is true. There’s more of this kind of thing than I’ve explained here.
Originally published at Rubin Reports.Barry Rubin
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
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