Get Ready for Al Jazeera America

1375972566000-XXX-AL-JAZEERA-network-hdb3If you thought Walter Cronkite was bad with his broadcasts that propagandized against American efforts during the Vietnam War, get ready for Al Jazeera America.  You may be getting it on your cable provider along with 40 million other American households beginning on August 20, 2013.

Al Jazeera, the state propaganda arm of the dictatorial Qatar government is known for stirring up Al Qaeda with images of Osama bin Laden around the time of 9/11.  More recently, it cheered the overthrow of the Egyptian government and ignored the sexual assault of CBS news correspondent Lara Logan as she covered protests there. The headquarters are to be in our nation’s capitol, at the non-profit Newseum center, even though its operations violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act because they are not labeled as foreign propaganda (a law enacted to protect us from Nazi propaganda).

Ironically, the largest and oldest professional journalism educators’ association, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), enjoyed the participation of Al Jazeera in several panels and events at their annual meeting earlier this month.

Two of these events have been recorded by Cliff Kincaid.  One presentation by William Youmans, Assistant Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington, concerned “the discourse of terrorism.”

Youmans, as the tape reveals, was formerly Civil Rights and Media Relations Manager at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and a Research Fellow for Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont.  Fellow academics listened respectfully as Youmans performed an academic sleight-of-hand, using the post-modern tricks of the trade to make the case for eliminating the word “terrorism.” He questioned definitions (“Terrorism is notoriously difficult to define” with “ambiguities” and “institutional definitions” that exclude “state terrorism”), used moral equivalence (questioning why the word terrorism was used for the 2013 Boston Marathon attack and not for the Sikh temple shooting at Oak Creek, Wisconsin, by a lone gunman), made claims of discrimination (the “racialization” of Arabs and Muslims), and charged Americans with militarism (“policy outcomes” of “hawkishness”).

In another video, of a panel called “News Coverage of Terrorism,” moderated by Walter Cronkite School of Journalism professor Bill Silcock, Abderrahim Foukara of Al Jazeera replied to Kincaid’s questions about Al Jazeera’s funding also with moral equivalence.  He claimed that no journalist can ever claim independence whether in a “dictatorship, semi-dictatorship, or democracy. “ He maintained that journalists are equally beholden to their paymasters, whether of a dictatorial regime or the “military-industrial complex” of the United States.  He and the other panelists from various universities seemed to be oblivious, however, to the idea of freedom of the press and the First Amendment, which the Qatar regime does not have.

Most of the professors attending this conference assign textbooks that recount the journalistic high points of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate.  They tell students that journalists are brave, principled truth-finders and defenders of the public.  The popular textbook The Elements of Journalism by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel includes at the top of the list of journalistic principles: maintaining independence, monitoring power, being loyal to citizens, and upholding  the truth.

The most highly esteemed prize in journalism, the Pulitzer Prize, is named after the founder of the Columbia School of Journalism, Joseph Pulitzer.  His words are engraved prominently at the school: “Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together.  An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham. . . .”

But the top-selling media studies textbook, Media & Culture, calls Al Jazeera a legitimate “foreign news bureau.” The authors quote Columbia University President Lee Bollinger in support of this contention.

After losing the presidential election in 2000, Al Gore taught at the Columbia Journalism School.  It was his channel that Al Jazeera bought for $500 million.

Today, the Columbia School of Journalism sends students to Qatar on fellowships from Al Jazeera and recently awarded its top journalism prize to Al Jazeera English.

In an earlier time, an outlet like Al Jazeera would have been met with the same kind of outrage as would have met the institution of Pravda in Washington, D.C.  But education has changed very much, including journalism education.

On the date of Al Jazeera America’s launch, Tuesday, August 20, 2013, America’s Survival is hosting a free and public conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  I will be joining Cliff Kincaid and will be presenting my report, co-authored with Tina Trent, on the Crisis in Journalism and the Conservative Response that focuses on biased education and alternative journalism education programs.  We will be joined by others, including Grove City College Political Science Professor Paul Kengor and journalists Trevor Loudon and Jerry Kenney.

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  • Chezwick

    I’m not happy the propaganda arm of the Muslim Brotherhood is here, but how can it possibly be any worse than MSNBC?

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    The reason that Youmans is teaching at GWU is that the SEIU is running the show.
    SEIU–Service Employees International Union–is, I believe, a Communist front group. Teachers can’t be censored or fired for infecting the minds of students(Is this what is called “Winning hearts and minds?”) with moral equivalence and outright lies. This is because most teachers at GWU are dues-paying members of the SEIU; which offered them protection from administrative censoring and peer criticism. Youmans’ arguments could have been easily refuted, but I didn’t hear anyone question him. This is what passes for education at GWU these days; and I might add, at an annual tuition cost, per student, of $45,000. Al-Jazeera? Their videos mostly feature good-looking female reporters, with syrupy-smooth voices, saying things like, “Can’t we all just get along?” Don’t swallow it.

  • Hank Rearden

    Was there ever a bigger sell-out than Al Gore? They should name a prize after him.

    • defcon 4

      Jimmeh Carter. The Cllintonistas.

  • John Davidson

    The socialists are spending a lot of money destroying our way of life.

  • flyingtiger

    I do not see any difference between Al Jazeera and the Chicago Tribune.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Al Jazeeera America is jihad in America. Indeed, it’s stealth and deceptive non-violent jihad in one of its many forms, as Islam is not only waging a “holy war”, i.e., a jihad, against the tiny infidel state of Israel, but it is also waging a jihad against all religions and all infidels around the world simultaneously, as the sole fundamental purpose of Islam is the subjugation of all religions and all infidels into Islamic totalitarianism through jihad and the eventual imposition of Sharia, which is Islamic totalitarian law. Of course, there are no bullets flying and no bombs detonating, but it is jihad nonetheless. In this case, non-violent stealth and deceptive jihad.

    As a matter of fact, it’s in effect a Cold War very similar to the previous one we fought against Communism, but this time around our politicians and our elites are totally unaware and incompetent. Indeed, according to our politicians and elites, if it isn’t construed as being violent, then it isn’t construed as being terrorism, and therefore it isn’t opposed. Nevertheless, it is jihad nonetheless just as much as the 9/11 jihad attacks were jihad as well, as jihad, in stark contrast to terrorism, which is always and only violent, is both violent and non-violent, but overall astronomically far more non-violent relative to violent. It is also waged only by Muslims alone, unlike terrorism, which is a manifestation of all societies and cultures, and jihad is always and only in the cause of Allah for the expansion of Islam. While terrorism, on the other hand, is perpetrated for all kinds of various political causes unrelated to the expansion of Islam and always and only by non-Muslim infidels.

  • tokoloshiman

    as if more ultra left media was needed , it already swamps all other thought and nullifies any reasoned arguments or attempts to investigate facts.
    this travesty is akin to inviting a known pedophile into your home to baby sit your young children while you go on an ideological mission to learn more about crime prevention…

  • Marty

    al jazeera is the propaganda wing of the muslim brotherhood and the legacy of joseph goebbels. It seeks to destroy American democracy and western civilization no less than communism and fascism. At least, we can still turn it off and cancel any cable service that provides al jazeera’s lies and distortions.

  • antioli

    They will be preaching to choir.
    The real Propagandist for extremism is the Big Media.

  • Mrs_Snoopington

    Well this channel will be porn for disaffected youth that do not own an alternative to a television. We’re blocking it. Yet, we won’t be free completely from their news: I’m sure Limbaugh, Hannity et al. will be playing outrageous soundbites for us.

  • seewithyourowneyes

    I recently read a piece in the New Yorker magazine about famous screenwriter Nora Ephron. Apparently, Nora had been a journalist before she became a screenwriter. There’s one bit where she reminisces about the excitement of being a journalist in her youth, but she does not neglect her p.c. duty to laugh at younger self and to sneer at the bygone notion of pursuing the “truth.”
    Welcome to the brave new world where the only reportable facts are those which fit the Cultural Marxist narrative.

    • Harry Black

      Nora Ephron a “cultural Marxist.” Have you lost your !@#$%^& mind? No, don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.

      • seewithyourowneyes

        Perhaps you should look up the definition of “cultural Marxism.” Then look at textbooks from any college and most high schools. You will find that “critical theory,”(i.e. the teachings of the Frankfurt School who created cultural Marxism), is taught approvingly – and not only as a separate course, but also as the lens through which most other humanities courses are taught..
        As for Nora Ephron, I enjoy her movies very much. But can you seriously believe, as she does, that journalism should reject the ideal of pursuing truth? If so, it is you who’ve lost your mind.

        • Harry Black

          I’m very well aware of what cultural Marxism is, and what you’re calling “cultural Marxism” has nothing to do with the Frankfurt School. In fact, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Get back to me in two or three years once you’ve actually read Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Authenticity, and Adorno’s Minima Moralia, Jargon of Authenticity, and Aesthetics. Until then, spare me the insane rightwing paranoia that sees everything in terms of a left wing “Marxist” conspiracy.

          • seewithyourowneyes

            Oh, please. No intellectually honest person would deny that Cultural Marxism is an outgrowth of the Frankfurt School. And do you deny that Max Horkheimer, a founder of the Frankfurt School, first defined Critical Theory in his 1937 essay, “Traditional and Critical Theory?” Horkheimer’s Critical Theory is “a theory oriented towards changing society, rather than understanding it.” Similarly, Karl Marx complained that “Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point is to change it.”
            Couple the attack on rationality made by Horkheimer and Adorno in “Dialectic of Enlightenment” with the attack on truth made by postmodern Critical Theory’s assertion that it is impossible to make “an objective depiction of a stable other,” and what do you get? You get Nora Ephron sneering at her earlier notion that a journalist should pursue the truth when political correctness is soooo much more important.

          • Harry Black

            Oh for Chrissake. Max Horkheimer-Theodor Adorno = Nora Ephron. Go watch “You’ve Got Mail” a few times. Even Frontpage, which shills for the Koch-ultra-right corporate agenda, isn’t as corporation-friendly as Ephron’s evil little film.

  • Omar

    Is there some way that we could organize a protest with Dish Network and have them drop Current TV as it turns over to Terror TV. If enough act Charlie will drop the network. He should make it a “Pay” service then people could decide on their own.

  • bluffcreek1967

    Oh great! The wretched muslims have destroyed our twin towers on 9/11, bombed our Boston marathon, tried countless other times to wreck havoc on our citizens, manipulated our government officials to gain sympathy for special rights, trying their best to flood our nation with even more muslims, planning a million muslim march in DC, and now they’ve established their own news network within our land.

    How much more of this can we take? I suggest we start looking at muslims as our enemies because they have surely declared themselves openly to be such. We must stop all future muslim immigration, deport all muslims who are already here, and socially ostracize every one of them who remain. They have become our enemies now, and we must learn to think differently about them. We need to act quickly because there is time coming when we will wish we should have acted sooner. It’s time to fight.

    “Stacey Dooley: Courageous But Still Naive,” http://www.ambrosekane.com