Al Risala Award for Excellence. Source: Diana West
Last week, TheBlaze published a series of articles detailing the sale of Al Gore's Current TV to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network. Established was also the fact that Gore and company made a point of claiming that the reasons for choosing to sell to Al Jazeera stemmed from their aligned ideologies. Since Al Jazeera was first to provide a forum to Osama bin Laden immediately following the 9/11 attacks, has consistently propogated blood libel and hosts a rabidly anti-Semitic, anti-Western Islamic televangelist as its star-talent, the idea of such "shared goals and visions" is unsettling to say the least.
Which brings us to what really compelled Gore and his partners at Current TV to sell their network to Al Jazeera: Money.
Indeed, it is not so far fetched to think that perhaps Current executives were simply acting in the name of capitalism. After all, it would be difficult for Gore to turn down $100 million of the $500 million total offer Al Jazeera placed on the table. Not to mention, while we don't have access to all of the offers the network received, it stands to reason Al Jazeera's was likely the highest offer Current had received.
Now if Current executives had been forthright in their motivations for selling to Al Jazeera, while some would still not have liked their choice, it would have gone a long way in fostering at least a modicum of respect for the sheer honesty alone. What most critics are likely upset about is the hypocrisy involved -- and that hypocrisy spans an extensive gamut including but not limited to:
- An "environmentalist-pioneer" (Al Gore) selling out to a network funded by Middle East big oil.
- A proudly liberal Current claiming it shares core values with a network that consistently perpetuates anti-Semitism, anti-Western sentiment and whose "talent" openly supports the whipping if not outright execution of gays and lesbians, the subjugation of women and a host of other ills anathema to human rights and true progressivism.
- A man who, some might claim favors the "fair share" meme, trying with all his might to push through the Al Jazeera deal prior to January 2013 in order to avoid the increased capital gains taxes that would be incurred following the enactment of the Fiscal Cliff bill. He failed in his efforts, however, making Gore, in the words of Blaze finance writer Becket Adams, "the world's lousiest tax-dodger."
But are Al Gore and his cohorts the only ones playing both sides against the middle here? Fox News, while its anchors and pundits have been astute in pointing out the intellectual and ethical inconsistencies of Current TV executives, seem to be missing one fairly glaring example of hypocrisy right in their own backyard: Namely that Fox head Rupert Murdoch owns nearly 20 percent of Rotana Media, the Arab world's largest entertainment company and parent of the Kuwait-based network Al Risala.
What's more, Al Risala, which is Arabic for "The Islamic Message," is owned by Saudi prince Talal bin Alwaleed, who also happens to own a 7 percent share of Murdoch’s News Corp., making him the largest single shareholder after the Murdoch family. This in itself might not raise eyebrows if it were not for the type of content Al Risala dissemniates on a regular basis, which is an amalgamation of anti-Semitic blood libel, Islamist-supremacy, anti-Western sentiment and Muslim Brotherhood propaganda.
Dr. Andrew Bostom, scholar and author of "Sharia versus Freedom" and author Diana West have provided a wealth of information showcasing the type of Muslim Brotherhood-driven content offered on Al Risala as well as greater details on Murdoch's stake in the Arab media outlet. But other than a precious few who have sat up and taken notice, who else will speak out when the truth no longer fits the narrative they'd hope to spin?
It might not have been popular for West or Bostom to call Murdoch's bluff -- after all, Fox Network has typically been a powerful champion against the very ideals Al Jazeera and Al Risala embody -- but they believe that integrity matters. What is good for the goose is just as good for the gander.
On the satirical front, Daily Show host Jon Stewart took a jab at Fox in a segment that duly noted the double-standard at play when the network's talking heads condemned Al Gore. The issue, however, is that while correct in his assessment of Fox, Stewart simultaneously downplayed Al Jazeera's true nature by characterizing it as merely a "Muslim" network disseminating a Muslim -- not an Islamist -- point of view. That, of course, is disingenuous, unless he seeks to imply that everyday Muslims share the same worldview as imam Yussuf al-Qawadari.
Now one might posit that since Murdoch never vocalized sharing the same goals and values of the various networks he helps to fund, he is somehow less culpable than Al Gore. It could also be argued that since Al Risala is not (yet) catering to an American audience, the Australian media mogul has managed to keep above the fray, or at least, beneath the radar when it comes to hypocrisy. At the end of the day, however, so long as money rules the day and people continue to invest in businesses with blood on their hands, capitalism will continue to be given a bad name. It doesn't matter which side of the political fence the investors fall on, they will be judged, and rightly so, based on the company they keep.
Sunlight is always the best disinfectant.