New York Gets Al Jazeera English

Look out MSNBC. The market for “vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable” cable news just got more crowded in New York.

The New York Times reported August 1 that Al Jazeera English will begin appearing in New York for the first time, “subletting air space from a channel owner.” This marks a victory in AJE’s campaign to gain widespread access to the U.S. cable market. It’s also a victory for the network’s liberal media supporters, including several at the New York Times.

“Al Jazeera English was lauded by the United States government and even by a few competitors for its broadcasts from Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries earlier this year,” the Times noted. Yes, and it was called “balanced and thorough.” But as the Culture and Media Institute has reported, the praise was overblown and stemmed more from a decidedly non-journalistic admiration for the network’s activism than the quality of AJE’s reporting.

In fact, AJE willfully ignored the horrible sexual attack on CBS’ Lara Logan in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Feb. 11. Nor did it report on the murder of a Jewish family (including toddler and infant) in an Israeli settlement the next month. AJE did report on related events that occurred later, portraying Palestinians as victims of the Israeli thirst for vengeance.

But it’s par for the course for a network that threw a birthday party for a child-murdering terrorist, whose Iraq War coverage was called “vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable” by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, and who’s website after the killing of Osama bin Laden ran a long list of editorials suggesting the moral equivalence of the terrorist and his killers.

Al Jazeera English is little better than an anti-Western propaganda outlet. It says a lot about the debasement of our own “journalists” that they can call it “balanced and thorough.”

Matthew Philbin
Matthew Philbin
Matt Philbin is Managing Editor of MRC Culture