Famed BBC reporter David Frost announced yesterday that he has joined a new English-language version of the Qatar-based al-Jazeera network. As reported by Howard Kurtz in today’s Washington Post:
“‘I love new frontiers and new challenges,’ Frost, 66, said yesterday from London. He said the new network, al-Jazeera International, has promised him ‘total editorial control’ and that he had checked out the company with U.S. and British government officials, ‘all of which gave al-Jazeera a clean bill of health in terms of its lack of links with terrorism.’"
In an answer to those who question the integrity of al-Jazeera, in particular many in the West who view the network as being anti-American, anti-Israel, and pro-terrorism, Frost said: “‘For all the people who think it's anti-American, there are various countries in the Middle East who think it's too pro-Western. I would say the jury's out on al-Jazeera. Obviously, we all suffer from the handicap of not being able to sit there and watch in Arabic.’"
Of course, many in the West view this marriage skeptically: “Clifford May, president of the advocacy group Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, said any American who goes on al-Jazeera ‘is misguided. He thinks he'll be able to tell the truth. I think he's going to be used and be seen as a useful idiot.’"