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Radio Host's Blunt Interview With Al Jazeera America Correspondent Soledad O'Brien: 'Does It Creep You Out?


"If the funding for the journalism comes from a regime that is funding ISIS, does it creep you out?"

Soledad O'Brien. (Image via Twitter)

Hugh Hewitt had one question for Soledad O'Brien on Monday: Is she on the payroll of terror sponsors?

"Are you still a special correspondent for Al Jazeera?" Hewitt asked the veteran journalist on his radio program.

Soledad O'Brien. (Image via Twitter) Soledad O'Brien. (Image via Twitter)

"I am," O'Brien responded. "I run a production company, so I work with National Geographic, with Al Jazeera America, with CNN, with HBO, and a number of other companies."

"Businessweek Today has a story on Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, and the headline calls Qatar a patron of Islamists," Hewitt continued. "It says that Qatar funds and arms Islamists fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad and bankrolling Hamas in the Gaza Strip. So honest question: How can you take money from them?"

O'Brien responded by defending Al Jazeera's reporting, saying that she puts quality journalism above all.

"I know that the journalism can be good," Hewitt pressed, "but if the funding for the journalism comes from a regime that is funding ISIS, does it creep you out?"

She wouldn't give a straight answer.

"Well you know, I think again, at the end of the day, the thing that I think about is the journalism," O'Brien said. "And I think those are very complicated issues. They’re not as straightforward as that."

"Is there anything that would cause you to say if Qatar was shown to be funding ISIS, would you quit Al Jazeera?" Hewitt asked.

Again, she wouldn't say.

"Very rarely do I operate in hypotheticals," O'Brien responded, but said she would "take it under consideration."

When Hewitt later asked if Qatar is funding Islamists, she replied that "it's unclear to me."

O'Brien conducted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Tuesday afternoon promoting her 9 p.m. special on CNN, "The War Comes Home."

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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