Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Al-Jazeera, the Devil, and Me

Michael L.

This morning I accepted an offer to appear on Al-Jazeera UK television by Julia Chapman, a producer for various news outlets including ABC and the BBC.  The show is something called, The Listening Post.

The funny thing is that I won't see it because I do not get al-Jazeera and even if I did, I certainly wouldn't watch it.  In fact, I just read recent reports that Al-Jazeera America is a huge flop and thank G-d for that.

Do not get the wrong idea, however.  It is not as if that they are yanking me into some studio.  I have simply agreed to video a one minute segment for the show in which I answer one or more of the following questions:
1. American news coverage is often accused of being biased against Iran. Did you see that in coverage of the deal that was struck over the weekend? Have you seen a shift in the way American media depicts Iran?

2. How do you feel the American media has addressed Israel's concerns about the Iran deal? Give some examples.

3. Why have Twitter and YouTube been such an important part of President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif’s media strategy? How do you think this compares with how the previous president interacted with the world?
There is a part of me, I must admit, that wonders if this is not a mistake from an ethical standpoint.  Much of the western left is friendly toward al-Jazeera even as they despise FOX News with the blinding hatred of a thousand suns.  I am not a huge fan of FOX, either, but Al-Jazeera is an enemy of the Jewish State of Israel and, thus, an enemy of the Jewish people.

Nonetheless, if I can add a little balance within a hostile venue then I will go for it.


  1. IMO it's crazy how much goodwill Al-Jazeera gets amongst the left and progressives. Course they like RT and others too. Freaking anti-Americans.

    1. I have an ethical dilemma, but no one is going to convince me that standing up for Israel within any venue is wrong.

  2. Question 1 is a loaded question. "Who says this" and what do 'they' say? In what context? Which news offices are 'biased' against Iran? They assert this as a fact but it's not a fact nor do they point to anything that might make it a fact.

    Question 2 is ambiguous. It should be "DO" you, not "HOW DO". We don't know what THEY in the news are thinking - so how can we answer for them? According to question one's falsehood the dice are already stacked in favor of Israel which is patent nonsense. So taken together the answers to 1 and 2 have to say more or less the same thing or they're internally inconsistent.

    Question 3 depends on your view of the intended audience. To me it's clearly intended as propaganda for the westerners' consumption not Iranians. How many people even know if there's any similarity between their content in English vs Farsi. It hasn't been thus in the news for the last 35 years, why would this be different? The question is intended to draw out an answer that the new guys are 'better', more modern, more liberal etc than the last guy who was more clearly unhinged. But since we're not in Iran and the former guy is the former guy, what does it matter?

    1. I have all of one minute to speak.

      One whole minute.

      I can barely clear my throat in one minute.

      My intention is to very quickly compare Jeffrey Goldberg with Jonathan Tobin, for question number 2.

      And I do not believe that it is even going to be broadcast in the United States.

      Thank G-d my mother is no longer with us because if she saw me lend my face to al-Jazeera she'd have another friggin' stroke.

  3. Mike forget it. I speak here with experience. They will not publish what you say in its entirety. It will be edited to suit their purpose.

    Been there, done that

  4. Good for you. Just don't let them convert you. The world is not ready for JihadKarma.

    1. JihadKarma!

      I think that it has a nice ring!

    2. Now THAT would qualify as a 'what the hell happened to Karma?' moment!

  5. Does the UN rock or what???????????

    "The United Nations decided on Tuesday to declare 2014 as the "International "Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People".
    The UN adopted the draft resolution - in a 110-7 vote, with 56 member states abstaining - among five others that were blasted by Israel for promoting within the body antagonistic biases against the country. "


    In other news, they are planning 6000 resolutions condemning Israel in consultation with everybody's new BFF, Iran.