Ed Driscoll

Pass the Popcorn: Al Jazeera America Being Sued for Sexism and Anti-Semitism

“Sexism and Anti-Semitism Charged in Al Jazeera America Lawsuit,” the New York Times reports:

Matthew Luke, formerly the network’s director of media and archive management, filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court claiming wrongful termination. Among other allegations, Mr. Luke said he was fired after he complained to the company’s human resources department about his boss, Osman Mahmud, who, Mr. Luke said, told him to exclude female employees from meetings and not involve them in projects that they had previously worked on.

In the suit, Mr. Luke asserted that Mr. Mahmud mistreated female employees and exhibited anti-Semitic behavior, including expressing a desire to replace an Israeli cameraman with a Palestinian. A female senior vice president who resisted fulfilling that request was later transferred to another position, the lawsuit says. The suit further claims that Mr. Mahmud said that “whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell.”

Mr. Mahmud did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In an interview with The Washington Post, he denied making the comment about Israel, saying, “I have never even thought of that at all.” He called the accusations that he had mistreated women “a pack of lies.”

So what does Mahmud think about Israel and the prospect of its continued existence? And note this in the next paragraph:

The network said that it did not comment on pending litigation. “The company takes these matters seriously and will respond in the appropriate forum,” an emailed statement said. “Al Jazeera America’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is fundamental to its mission.”

“Diversity and inclusion?” From a network owned by Qatar? As Hugh Hewitt asked Al Jazeera’s Soledad O’Brien last year, “‘Businessweek’ today has a story on Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, and the headline calls Qatar a patron of Islamists. It says that Qatar funds and arms Islamists fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad and bankrolling Hamas in the Gaza Strip. So here’s an honest question. How can you take money from them?”

Because, as Eliana Johnson of NRO wrote last year, “In New York’s brutal TV-news world, Al Jazeera has become a warren of the displaced, a home of last resort for many anchors, reporters, and producers who have been fired, laid off, or otherwise discarded by better-known networks.” Such as the perilously far-left identity politics-obsessed and Obama/ Rev. Wright-worshipping Soledad O’Brien, for whom Al Jazeera represents the completion of her far-left TV trifecta, having stopped first at MSNBC and CNN. And note this passage in Johnson’s article last year, which foreshadowed the new lawsuit against the network:

The situation is particularly poignant for Jewish producers, some of whom had to choose between unemployment and relatively well-paying work for a channel whose parent network has exhibited virulent anti-Semitism. A cynical joke making the rounds of television Jewry refers to “Jews for Jazeera,” a subtle play, of course, on “Jews for Jesus.”

The previous employment of Matthew Luke, who instigated the new lawsuit against Al Jazeera, included local CBS and ABC affiliate stations. Other staffers and on-air talent have come from the aforementioned MSNBC and CNN, and PBS. As Johnson wrote last year, “It’s an odd place to be, getting paid good Arab oil money to produce somber, liberal news programing that nobody watches. Is this really a career, or it is journalism’s version of mowing the grass at the Astrodome?”

And she’s not kidding about nobody watching the network:

As of last month, it was averaging approximately 10,000 viewers at any given point during the day. It has been on the air for just seven months, sure, and it’s available in just half the number of homes its competitors are. But that 10,000 statistic is minuscule, especially compared to what AJA’s competitors are logging. In February, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News averaged 272,000, 349,000,and 924,000 viewers a day, respectively.

As even the Times admitted in its article on the recent lawsuit against the network, “in the nearly 20 months since Al Jazeera America went on the air, it has struggled to match the ratings of its frail predecessor, Current TV.”

Socialism: if you build it, they will flee — whether it’s in the real world, or the fictional construct of leftwing “news” and opinion.