It’s been a bad few months for The Beheading Channel. First, falling oil prices and nonexistent ratings made Al Jazeera America too expensive for the Qatar government to keep open. Then, Al Jazeera proper announced it was cutting 500 staff.
Now, the government of Iraq has shut down big Al Jazeera’s bureau in the beleaguered nation, according to Yahoo News.
The government’s reasoning: “your continuing violations and offences and persistent media discourse instigating violence and sectarianism.” Yahoo explained that Baghdad thought AJZ “too friendly to the Islamic State jihadist group and hostile to the country's Shiite majority.” Shocking, no?
No. The network whose Iraq War coverage U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said was “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable,” is a consistent anti-western, pro-jihad voice, sharing its Qatar government benefactor with a number of radical Sunni Muslim groups. A few of AJZ’s greatest hits:
- In 2014, Al Jazeera America’s coverage of the Gaza War favored Hamas over Israel by five to one. Of course, Qatar is one of Hamas’ Persian Gulf sugar daddies, so let’s just say AJZ was protecting an investment.
- During the “Arab Spring” in 2013, 22 AJZ staffers quit over its blatant pro-Muslim Brotherhood stance in Egypt.
- About the same time, even liberal American journalists called out AJZ for ignoring the brutal and very public sexual attack on CBS correspondent Lara Logan in Cairo’s Tahrir Square by 200 men.
- AJA has been the media outlet of choice for Al Qaeda leaders and suicide bombers alike – promising a wide and sympathetic audience for your gauzy video explaining how Allah called you to blow up children.
- In 2008 the network threw a birthday/prison release party for a Lebanese terrorist who “shot an Israeli child's father in front of her, and then beat her to death with his rifle back in 1979.” AJZ felt Kuntar's birthday merited cake and fireworks, and one of the network's interviewers told Kuntar, “You deserve even more than this.”
The failure of Al Jazeera America must have been a blow to many in the liberal establishment media who had cheered it on, though hardly surprising anyone else. Apparently, there’s just not that big a market for hard-left anti-Western “news,” and MSNBC has it cornered.
As for Big Al Jazeera, we have to wonder if its days are numbered as well. Oil revenue is drying up and it’s been banished from a regional hotspot. Well, maybe Hamas wants an international news channel.