Being a lefty journalist means never having to say you’re sorry. Good thing, too. You’d be so busy wiping egg from your face you’d barely have time to scream about climate change causing pregnant hens to fly. Take media-types’ early, swooning support for Al Jazeera’s attempts to enter the U.S. market. Sure, character witnesses like Nicholas Kristof, Brian Stelter and the Boston Globe said, The Beheading Channel is dishonest, anti-Israel and anti-American, but it’s a fresh, intriguing anti-Israel and American bias.
It would be nice someone would revisit with those fan boys when something like AJ’s latest disgrace occurs.
AJ has removed a video from its Arabic-language AJ+ youth-focused news site that claimed, essentially, the Holocaust wasn’t all that. Oh, it happened, no question. But, “In all, the Nazis killed 20 million people during the Holocaust and the Final Solution, and the Jews were just a part of that.” The show asked: “Then why does the world focus so much on Jews?”
According to The Independent (UK), “The documentary claimed Holocaust ‘statistics were inflated by the Zionist movement to help them establish Israel’, according to Israeli media reports. It also stated Israel was the genocide’s ‘greatest beneficiary’.” The video got more than a million views before AJ got around to pulling it.
The Independent said the program “went on to suggest the Jewish community’s ‘financial resources’ and ‘media institutions’ had allowed it to shape the historical narrative.”
Wow. Jews in finance, Jews in media … toss in the Blood Libel and “rootless cosmopolitans” and this is your one-stop shop for Anti Semitic tropes!
In addition to deleting the video, AJ has suspended two employees. “‘Al Jazeera completely disowns the offensive content in question and reiterated that Al Jazeera would not tolerate such material on any of the network’s platforms,’ said Dr Yaser Bishr, the network’s executive director of digital division.” Sure, we’d greenlight the idea, and probably fund it. But we draw the line at letting 1.1 million people view it.
Eh, stuff happens. When a jihad-friendly “news” network shares a sugar-daddy (the emir of Qatar) with Hamas, it’s tough keeping the mandates separate. Memos reach the wrong people, directives get confused, and soon enough the zany Whack-a-Jew game show they developed for Gaza kids programming is airing in primetime.
You kind of expect it from AJ, which has given free airtime to Islamist preachers, thrown a birthday party for a murderous terrorist, hushed up the Cairo sexual assault on Lara Logan during the “Arab Spring” and been tossed out by the government of Iraq for “inciting violence.”
And really, at this point we can’t expect better from our media types. Still, it’s fun to revisit the puff pieces on Al Jazeera English in the Columbia Journalism Review, and remember Nicholas Kristof claiming in the New York Times that AJ “played a greater role in promoting democracy in the Arab world than anything the United States did.” (Incidentally, anyone remember Al Jazeera America? Didn’t think so.)
And long before he covered himself in … er, glory ... on the Trump mental health beat, Stelter did the same stellar job for the Times. He got all flushed and sweaty watching AJ cover the Arab Spring, writing of a “sense of mission -- and of opportunity -- permeates the Al Jazeera compound on the outskirts of Doha.” He just about panted, “Many observers believe that by televising the uprisings, Al Jazeera is influencing them -- and tilting the Middle East toward a version of democracy in the process.”
Of course, what turned Stelter on then was what he and the rest of the gang at CNN et al have been trying to do ever since: creating news, not making it. You can’t ask for accountability from activists pretending to be journalists.