Al-Ja-SeeYa! Massive Layoffs Coming for Qatari-Owned Network

September 23rd, 2015 10:34 AM

An anti-Western propaganda network is reportedly letting go a quarter of its workforce. But this time it’s not MSNBC. On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that falling oil prices are forcing the Qatari emir to cut expenditures. So rather than cut his funding of Hamas, 800-1,000 al-Jazeera employees are on the chopping block worldwide.

“Broadcasters, journalists, technicians and other support staff working in both English and Arabic language channels are all expected to be told of the planned cuts over the coming days,” the paper said. (Where does one go professionally after AJ? The Beheading Channel?)

According to The Guardian, al-Jazeera America “is expected to be protected from most of these cuts.” Which is odd, since AJA is mired in personnel problems and lawsuits, and its ratings are competitive with 3 am Bedazzler infomercials. 

Still, AJA has brought us all that good journalism New York Times-types longed for, like it’s wildly pro-Hamas reporting during the 2014 Gaza war or allowing a “vegan food maniac” and “friend to all animals” anchor to report on the chicken industry.

We can only hope oil prices stabilize before the merciless axe of economic necessity reaches Al Jazeera English editor and executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr, who cut through the post-Charlie Hedbo attack “free speech” spin. Or AJE executive Carlos van Meek, who told employees not to use the terms “extremist,” “Islamist,” “militant,” and “terrorist” in their news coverage to “avoid characterizing people.”