Fox News and Variety have reported that Larry Register, former longtime CNN producer, resigned Friday from Al Hurrah, which is a US government-funded TV station in the Mid-East that is supposed to be a type of Mid-East Voice of America combating the pervasive anti-US and anti-Israel rhetoric in on TV stations like Al Jazeera.
As I noted here at NewsBusters in March, “within weeks” of Register taking over in 2005, the station took a sharp turn toward the radical. Award-winning investigative journalist and columnist Joel Mowbray and the Wall Street Journal have been on top of this story, reporting the problems, which included Register reversing the Al Hurrah policy banning terrorists as guests, that resulted in the broadcast of most of an anti-US/anti-Israel rant by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah and giving other terrorists and extremists air time. Al Hurrah later covered the Iranian conference that denied the Holocaust and hired Yasser Thabet, a well-known Al Jazeera editor who had a habit of “fawning over terrorists,” including broadcasting Osama Bin Ladin's unedited propaganda videos because “[i]t's important to hear [Bin Ladin's] opinions.”
Variety reported Register's resignation June 10 and printed a portion of the letter he submitted (bold mine throughout):
"For reasons I still don't understand, I have been professionally and personally attacked," Register wrote. "When this began a few months ago I told you I would fight these smear campaigns as long as Alhurra and the vital mission we are trying to accomplish didn't suffer. Regretfully, I have come to the conclusion that these attacks, especially those in the Wall Street Journal (which I believe to be unwarranted, unfair and based on falsehoods) are placing Alhurra and its editorial independence in jeopardy."
The fact that he doesn't understand why he was “attacked,” indicates that he shouldn't have been in that job in the first place.
Mowbray reported that nine of the thirteen members of the House panel funding Al Hurrah demanded Register's resignation and essentially gave the State Department and the Broadcasting Board of Governors, who oversee international broadcasters, an ultimatum about the man who once ran CNN's Jerusalem bureau to great criticism-- even among his own colleagues:
...he was known as someone who harbored deep biases against the Jewish state, and that he often bragged about his close relationships with, among others, former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. A half-dozen of Mr. Register's former CNN colleagues who agreed to be interviewed for this column share largely similar recollections of his tenure there. Their statements about Mr. Register's sympathetic attitude toward dictators in the Middle East and elsewhere are also corroborated by independent evidence, including emails written by Mr. Register himself.
This brief Newsbusters post can't completely cover this situation. Read more about Larry Register and his history of promoting an agenda sympathetic to terrorists and extremists at CNN and Al Hurrah in Mowbray's recent article in the Wall Street Journal which gave stunning behind-the-scenes details about clear anti-Israel and anti-US bias (more articles at the the Journal). You'll wonder why he wasn't removed earlier, and why US taxpayers subsidized what became essentially a US-funded Al Jazeera.
Update 18:25 EST: Brit Hume covered this story on his show "Special Report" on Fox News
Contact Lynn with tips or complaints at tvisgoodforyou2 AT yahoo DOT com