June 27, 2013 | Filed Under Al-Jazeera, Anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, Business, Capitalism, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Journalism, Liberals, Media Bias, Progressives, Qatar, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off
-By Warner Todd Huston
Media broadcaster Al Jazeera is owned by the Nation of Qatar, a Muslim country whose legislature operates mainly upon Sharia law. Since the mid 19th century Qatar has been entirely controlled by the monarchical Al Thani family. Today, Al Jazeera’s new American cable news network will broadcast out of the “Newseum,” an organization dedicated to freedom, liberty, and the First Amendment situated only blocks from the capitol building in Washington D.C.
“Is there anything wrong with that picture?” asks Claudia Rosett in a recent Weekly Standard piece.
When it opened in 2008 in downtown D.C., the Newseum celebrated its focus on Americanism, the Constitution, the history of journalism, and the First Amendment. Now it is hosting a network from a nation that holds to no such niceties. Al Jazeera, as it happens, is entirely owned by the Qatari state and is not a free media outlet.
Since the oil-rich nation bought out environmental guru Al Gore’s cable TV network to host Al Jazeera’s new American outlet, we have been told it will be “independent” and allowed to follow the news anywhere it take them.
That remains to be seen, of course. We cannot know what the future will hold for the sort of journalism that Al Jazeera will practice.
It is clear that this new office space in America’s premier museum to the new, but as Rosett asks, what is in this relationship for the Newseum?
Interestingly, the museum that sells itself as a bastion of freedom, openness, transparency and Americanism, refuses to divulge the financial arrangement it has with the Muslim-owned Al Jazeera.
“When I phoned the Newseum press office recently to ask for financial details of the Al Jazeera arrangements,” Rosett writes, “it turned out that officials of this institution dedicated to reporting would not answer such questions from a reporter. Newseum media relations manager Jonathan Thompson did confirm that while a number of other news organizations rent temporary studio space at the Newseum, ‘Al Jazeera will be the only news organization that has a more permanent contract.'”
Rosett also points out that in a recent exhibit dedicated to fallen journalists, the museum that celebrates freedom and liberty included the names of two propagandists from the terrorist group Hamas.
Celebrating dead Hamas terrorists might please the Emir of Qatar, Rosett says, but what does it do for American freedom and liberty?
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.
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