Western Self-Destructiveness: A Small Example Regarding the Arab Media
By Barry Rubin
There are two major Arab satellite television networks.
One of them is al-Jazira, owned by Qatar. Beginning as a radical nationalist station, al-Jazira became several years ago an Islamist station. News is slanted against America and the West; discussion shows turn into lynch mobs against moderates; and--though this is a well-kept secret--al-Jazira helps terrorist target-spotters by letting them pose as staff members to get into certain countries.
A moderate Arabic-speaking friend of mine who was on a show told me that while he expected the network to be only 99 percent antagonistic he was wrong. It was 100 percent hostile. When I was invited on a show, I refused since the other interviewee to discuss Israeli policy in a supposedly serious manner from a supposedy analytical viewpoint was a Jewish member of Fatah who had supported anti-Israel terrorism.
Then there is the number-two network: al-Arabiyya, owned by the United Arab Emirates. Al-Arabiyya isn't perfect but it is a real moderate network that tries to be more balanced and does not incite anti-Western hatred. It is run by one of the best Arab journalists in the world who has shown himself to be an advocate of democracy and an opponent of revolutionary Islamism and Iranian-Syrian power over the region.
So, which network is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the current U.S. government, and various well-known American media figures promoting as a wonderful, terrific source of accurate news?
Why, al-Jazira, of course!