Murdoch and Talal, together, in Abu Dhabi this week: It's a long way from Rudy Giuliani's Big Dis in Manhattan
This week's syndicated column:
When Glenn Beck, Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol each from their respective Fox News perches branded Dutch political phenom Geert Wilders as beyond the political pale, it was shocking and outrageously so, and for several reasons.
One. I’ve grown used to Fox News and all other media ignoring not just the Wilders story but also the cultural story of the century, altogether – namely, the Islamization of Europe, something Wilders, a great admirer of Ronald Reagan and a committed supporter Israel, is dedicated to halt and reverse. The survival instinct of the Dutch, who, earlier this month gave unprecedented electoral victories to Wilders and his party, is a strong indicator that this civilizational transformation is not irreversible. But covering the Islamization of Europe, as readers of this column know, usually makes for bad news. And worse, at least according to the powers-that-be, even half-way competent reporting on the subject puts Islam in a bad light because it reveals exactly what happens to Western-style liberty when Muslims enter a non-Muslim host country in sufficient numbers to enact and extend sharia (Islamic law) over a heretofore Judeo-Christian-humanist society.
Better safe (politically correct) than sorry (subject to potential boycott or worse), our media prefer, frittering away precious powers afforded by the First Amendment. This motto seems to go double at Fox ever since Rupert Murdoch, for reasons unknown, sold what is now a seven percent stake of Fox’s parent company News Corp. to a scion of the sharia-dictatorship of Saudi Arabia, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. For the Fox commentators, supposedly punditry’s bulwark of Western values, to bring it up just to slap it down -- and without factual care (to say the least) -- was disappointing but also irresponsible.
Two. Readers may recall that I’ve questioned Talal’s ownership stake before (previous column here, post here). This week, much too synergistically, after Murdoch’s and Talal’s all-stars warned Fox viewers about the Wilders threat, in effect, to Islam in Europe, Murdoch was in Abu Dhabi, along with Talal and 400 other media executives, announcing that key components of the News Corp. empire were moving into the Islamic world, into the United Arab Emirates.
Remember the UAE, notorious for enslaving Bangledeshi boys as camel jockeys, for its support of Hamas? It was the UAE whose ministers and princes were hunting with Osama bin Laden, preventing the Clinton White House from taking a cruise missile shot at the jihad kingpin. It was the UAE that was one of three countries (Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) to recognize the Taliban. And it was the UAE’s Dubai Ports World that was thwarted in a pre-tea-party populist uproar about these connections and more (eleven of the 9/11 hijackers, including two UAE citizens, were deployed to the US from Dubai). The UAE is “not free” now, says Freedom House, and never has been. You get the picture. It is now complete with a macabre vision of a News Corp.’s Middle Eastern headquarters potentially rising into the skyline, the better to oversee, perhaps, Murdoch’s new 9.1 percent stake in Prince Talal’s Arab media company Rotana.
What impact does the Islamization of News Corp. have on “fair and balanced” news Stateside? I don’t know. But when one of the big bosses is a Saudi prince, it doesn’t exactly encourage reporters to doodle spoofs of the Danish Motoons on their notepads, let alone engage in “offensive,” PC-busting debate in the news room or on the air.
Three. Regardless of cause or effect, the fact remains that in classifying Wilders as a fascist (Beck), denouncing his views as “extreme, radical and wrong” (Krauthammer), and slandering him as a “demagogue” (Kristol), Fox’s opinion-leaders expressed themselves in terms that surely thrilled not just Murdoch’s Islamic prince-cronies, but also the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). This is the organization driving the advance of sharia in the world, as, for example, at the United Nations, where it leads an endless campaign to outlaw all criticism of Islam – such as Wilders’ -- under the PC-sensitive rubric of banning “defamation of religion.”
Now, one thing you don’t want to do in this life is thrill the OIC, particularly on its smooth drive to extend sharia that is only now, according to OIC plan, unexpectedly blocked by Geert Wilders. But how it hurts to see Fox pushing in the wrong direction.