Pts. 1, 2, and 3 may be found here.
Last night, Bill O'Reilly devoted his "Impact Segment" to the Silence of the Non-Fox Media on the Gore-Al Jazeera deal. As noted in the past week of coverage at this website, Fox has been covering the deal with righteous, if micro-targeted indignation (Al Gore, Hypocrite) while overlooking choice hypocrisy (and worse) on its own team (Murdoch's House of Saud connections).
O'Reilly's "Memo" last night (video above) only underscored this troubling pattern.
Network news pretty much ignored Al Gore selling his cable network to Al Jazeera. Scant mention. MSNBC in prime time didn't mention it at all. Again, are you surprised? But think about this: What if Mitt Romney had sold one of his companies to Al Jazeera?
Irrepressible thought bubble: What if Rupert Murdoch had sold a chunk of News Corp. to a senior member of the House of Saud? Oh wait -- he did.
Think the national news media would have ignored it? They would not. They would have been hysterical. And that proves once again how corrupt the national media really is [sic]. The same standards of reportage are not applied to Repblicans and Democrats. Liberal democats like Al Gore are favored big time.
Now, one guy who did address the issue is New York Post media writer Phil Mushnick. In his column of Sunday, Mushnick said this, quote: "As a private citizen, Gore should not have been able to make such a transaction unless he was registered as a certified foreign agent" unquote -- Mushnick pointing to the fact that the country of Qatar owns Al Jazeera.
A pertinent notion -- although if Gore's role at the network is over I don't see how the sale alone, presumably approved by the US government (not that that's a Good Housekeeping Seal), makes him an agent of the Qatari government. Will the new "Al Jazeera America" network, owned by the Qatari dynasty, be required to register as an agent of Qatar? If so, shouldn't Murdoch's News Corp. -- part-owned by Prince Talal bin Alwaleed -- be called upon to register also as an agent of Saudi Arabia? (I called for News Corp. to register as a foreign agent in 2010.) Murdoch, meanwhile, owns 18.97 percent of Alwaleed's Rotana, an Arabic media company.
What say O'Reilly?
But Mushnick is not correct. There is no federal law restricting the sale of an American cable network to a foreign governent.
Aha. I didn't know such an exemption for cable networks exists. Such an exemption spares Fox foreign agent requirements just as much as it does Current TV. Shouldn't O'Reilly, though, in the spirit of full disclosure for "the folks," mention in passing the existence of the Saudi stake in News Corp.?
Nah. What they don't know won't hurt his ratings. But O'Reilly goes on to make further use of this exemption ... to pat himself and Fox on the back!
You see, that's an example of what we do here. Fair reporting, even if it's favorable to a guy we don't have much use for: Al Gore.
But Mr. Mushnick was correct when he wrote this, quote: "Qatar has been ruled by the emirs of the Al Thani family since 1850. It's known to provide funds and vocal, visial support to Islamic radicals. Qatari women are treated in the standard, regional religionist-approved manner. They do as ordered by men."
The "standard, regional religionist-approved manner"? "Religionist"? But "religionist" is what O'Reilly said -- and, yes, what Mushnick wrote in the Post (which, not incidentally, is another Murdoch-Alwaleed property).
[O'Reilly continues to read Mushnick] "And, according to workers' and human rights organizations -- groups Gore and liberal Current TV relied on for facts and outrage -- the most backbreaking jobs in Qatar's oil fiield are held by laborers shipped from Africa and Asia who are paid bare, subsistence wages. That this is a country with whch Gore chose to do big handshake business is one ugly thing. Unquote.
Actually, Mushnick's sentence continued. In full, it reads: "That this is the country with which Gore chose to do big, handshake business is one ugly thing, but that as a private citizen he’s allowed to sell a US cable network to a country — especially an Islamic monarchy — should first be a matter for the State Department, not Al Gore."
Back to O'Reilly:
And certainly that is true. Al Gore sold out his principles to people who are not friendly to human rights, who make massive money trafficking in oil, and couldn't care less about Gore's big passion, global warming.
Is he talking about Saudi's Fox co-owner or Al JAzeera's Qatari owners? As for Qatar not being "friendly to human rights," it's worth noting (hat tip Andrew Bostom) that yesterday's Daily Mail (not owned by Murdoch) reported on a growing human rights crisis in Saudi Arabia: the scores of foreign maids on death row for crimes such as "witchcraft," and killing would-be rapists. This week one such maid, protesting her innocence, was beheaded on charges of murdering a child. Meanwhile, Saudis continue to find themselves facing death sentences at the behest of Alwaleed's uncle (the King) and first cousin (the interior minister) for "apostasy" against Islam, as noted here.
So, in the eyes of fair-minded Americans, Al Gore has to be an unbelieveable hypocrite.
But no one else in the room.
But you would not know that by watching the network news where the story was almost totally ignored. The implication of this is huge for the American people. No longer -- no longer -- are we getting fair news coverage from many broadcast operations. The print press is almost as bad, but the New York Times did break the Gore story, to its credit. We are living in a complicated age where the fedegal government is amassing enormous power over all our lives. The harsh truth is the American press, which is supposed to look out for all the folks, often ignores stories that go against their guys And since the national media is overwhelmingly liberal, conservative Americans are getting hammed.
And that is the truth.
But not the whole truth.
O'Reilly then introduces media critic Bernie Goldberg, who brings up a new point:
It isn't simply Al Gore's hypocrisy that the media doesn't have interest in. It's far, far worse than that. Al Gore before he sold Current TV said he wanted to sell to a organization that share his journalistic values. Fair enough. So how about this, Bill? In 2008, Al Jazeera threw an on-air party for a Palestinian terrorist who was just released from an Israeli prison. What was his crime? He kidnapped an Israeli family and took their four-year-old daughter to the beach and bashed her head against the rocks until she was dead. OK?
On-air party with cake, OK?
Goldberg is referring to the Lebanese PLF murderer Sami Kuntar, whose 1978 attack killed four Israelis, including the little girl whose skull Kuntar personally crushed (after he killed her father in front of her). On his 2008 release, Kuntar was honored by the governments of Lebanon and Syria, and applauded as a hero by both Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. "Naturally," public celebrations lit up the Islamic region, with "sweets" handed out all around.
While Goldberg says what he says, the camera leaves his face, shows some file footage of Gore and dissolves to an Al Jazeera logo. Is the Al Jazeera party video going one? No. Just the Al Jazeera logo.
Later, Goldberg mentions that he had just watched the video of the Al Jazeera terrorist party on Youtube, where it is available here (translation thanks to MEMRI). It is, to say the least, ghoulish (flames shooting from the floor, an orchestra playing, frosting prison photos including PLO's Marwan Barghouti, Kuntar cutting the cake with a scimitar...).
Fox didn't show "the folks" even a snippet. Is that odd?
It is highly likely that Goldberg discussed with the producer what he would be talking about in advance of his appearance. Might there be a copywrite issue preventing the footage from being shown? No, because O'Reilly has shown footage of an Al Jazeera documentary sympathetic to Osama bin Laden.
I believe the editorial choice not to show one (Palestinian terrorist) and to show the other (Al Qaeda terrorist) may well have something -- not necessarily defined, maybe just "something" in the air -- with the fact that the Saudi monarchy (as represented at the News Corp. board table by Prince Talal bin Alwaleed) supports the Palestinians, and opposes al Qaeda, at least within Saudi Arabia. In 2002, News Corp. stakeholder Alwaleed, shortly after his $10 million donation to the Twin Towers fund was rebuffed by Rudy Giuliani, contributed $27 million to the families of Palestinian terrorists, noted here.
Goldberg continues discussing, in his way, what's "far, far worse" than the Gore hypocrisy story. He brings up Yusef al-Qaradawi, guiding light of Al Jazeera -- and, more important, the Muslim Brotherhood, only not by name. Goldberg doesn't mention Qaradawis' Muslim Brotherhood connection either, which really does seem to be par for the Murdoch course, as noted here. (Goldberg doesn't mention Kuntar's name, either, so it could also be his shorthand style.)
One year later, 2009, the host of the biggest Al Jazeera Arabic radio program -- not some fringe program, the biggest program -- the host said to Allah, the god of Islam, that he hopes he would count all the Jews in the world so that they could hunt them down and kill every last one. Those are the journalistic values. Now, the mainstream media apparently is willing to accept the explanation that Al Jazeera English is different from Al Jazeera Arabic, and it is. But could you imagine if Fox in English said things in a civil way, no big problem, but broadcast in some other language where they said the most vile hateful bigoted things. Do you think the mainstream media would let that one go by? I don't.
Bernie, Bernie, Bernie -- they have! The mainstream media have mainly ignored the fact that among Murdoch's holdings via his stake (18.97 percent) in Prince Talal bin Alwaleed's is Rotana, an Arabic media company, is an Islamic station called Al Risala. Al Risala, as MEMRI and the ADL have documented, broadcasts "the most vile, hateful bigoted things" in Arabic. At this point, Jon Stewart is the only MSM "news" figure to run with it. The Blaze covered it here.
There is something else that takes this Murdoch-Saudi story to a level of practically unimagineable treachery. On the advisory board of Alwaleed-Murdoch's Al Risala sits one Abdullah Omar Naseef, a major Muslim Brotherhood figure and al-Qaeda financier -- and sponsor of the journal run by the family of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. See Walid Shoebat's new analysis here.
Shoebat also makes the connection between Naseef and Al Jazeera-MB star Yusef al-Qaradawi.
Consider that Naseef, the man who sits on the Supreme Advisory Committee of Al Risala – a company Murdoch has a substantial stake in – has a history with Al Qaradawi. In 2004 – 2005, both Qaradawi and Naseef sat on the Board of Trustees of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS). Huma Abedin’s brother Hassan was a fellow at the time.
One linear was to think of all of this is that, thanks to the Murdoch-Alwaleed relationship, precious few degrees of separation exist between al Qaeda financier and Muslim Brotherhood leader (Naseef) and our favorite Fox personalities, including Bill O'Reilly (not to mention straight to Secretary of State, which is another related story). These few degress of separation should drive the media into a frenzy of reporting -- what does it mean? is it good for journalism? good for the country? -- but they are ignored, rejected, buried, the whole relationship, if acknowledged, dismissed as liberal bias.
Back to Bill O'Reilly. How did he respond to Goldberg's elementary points on Kuntar and Qaradawi?
He didn't want to talk about them.
Well, it's more than that, though. It's Gore deaing with the country of Qatar, which is, uh, runs Al Jazeera and provided the funds -- $500 million, and nobody would have paid that, nobody would have come close to paying that, all right, for that network which is failing.
Is Bill treading water?
So Gore bascially took the money and ran. Isn't it interesting that Al Gore has not provided any statement, done any interview, defended himself at all, just gone to ground?
But you worked at CBS News. The only mention -- and I think they're a good news organization, you know. ABC didn't mention it, I was shocked. NBC -- Lester Holt on the weekend I think he mentioned it for 10 seconds. And Anthony Mason on CBS Morning mentioned it for ten seconds. No commentary. They just said he did it, all right?
Where to go now? O'Reilly continues:
At CBS when you were working there and I was working there, I guess, Rather and those boys, Stringer, they wouldn't have done it, either, I guess. I'm, I'm, I'm just flummoxed here.
Goldberg takes up the slack to regale viewers with how, in the old days, he would have read the Wall Street Journal from which he drew his examples, gone to his boss and pitched the story.
I would have said "Hey, this is pretty interesting." And there's video of it. I saw the video today. It's on Youtube. You know, the party --
O'Reilly jumps in:
We used (?) this last week. You must have missed the Factor last week. We reported that last week, we reported the whole party deal.
I'm saying there's v-- OK. [He seemed to have been about to say "video" and stopped.]
And I would have said, let's do a piece on this. They might have said yes, they might have said no. But I guarantee you this -- I guarantee you this -- If an American Republican politician had sold his business to somebody who prayed publicly that all Muslims should be rounded up and killed, they [MSM] would have been interested in that ...
O'Reilly : Oh I see, I see, if it was a fringe Christian group, they would have reported that. ... Well, they're protecting Al Gore because they're protecting global warming. That's what I think it is.
Is O'Reilly protecting something?