Drinking the Qatar Kool-Aid
At the inaugural Al-Jazeera U.S. Forum held recently in Washington. D.C., John McCain said he was proud to have been the first U.S. Senator to travel to Al-Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha– “not a bad place that you’ve got going on there” — he joked as he sat for interviews with the biased news network known as a mouthpiece for terrorists.
“We live in a new era,” he said. “What Al-Jazeera has done is achieved something that all of us I think want to achieve, particularly as we grow older, and that is to make a contribution that will last and will be brought to future generations that lie ahead of us.”
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also thought this was the place to quip, as she opened her remarks with a nod to the fact that, not so long ago, so much praise of Al-Jazeera from such a high-ranking member of Congress would have been controversial. “I’m very delighted to be here with Senator McCain,” she wisecracked. “When I accepted this invitation to speak here this evening, I didn’t realize that he was going to be here until I arrived. You can just imagine how happy I was to see him, because I was preparing for the onslaught of criticism that I was going to receive. But now I’m covered!”
The room erupted in laughter.
Journalist Cliff Kincaid, writing for NewsWithViews, gives this cogent assessment of McCain’s bizarre behavior: “The only explanation that makes any sense is that Al-Jazeera constitutes another channel that can give — and has given — McCain favorable publicity. The Arizona Senator has a reputation as a favorite of the press who is always anxious to get in front of a TV camera. In this regard, Al-Jazeera simply constitutes another outlet, albeit an unsavory one, that he can use to promote himself. He may, however, find that it will turn on him — and the West — after Gaddafi is overthrown and the Muslim Brotherhood takes power.”
Kincaid wrote this exposé on the launching of the English language version of the Arabist propaganda machine: Enemy Propaganda on Al-Jazeera English.
Take time also to read Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell’s Who’s Soft on Propaganda? which shines a bright light on the Arab-propaganda spin machine. Bozell and Kincaid have covered the topic since the onset of the English language network.
Al-Jazeera English broadcasts as a 24-hour news and current affairs channel, with strategically placed broadcast centers in Doha (Qatar), London, Washington D.C. and Kuala Lumpur with more than 70 bureaus around the world, dedicated to getting their one-sided message disseminated.