Hit & Run

Al-Jazeera Notes

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I know, you're supposed to provide links when blogging, but here are two items on Al-Jazeera that I thought might be moderately interesting, and that I've gotten either through emails or conversation. The first is not too serious, but somewhat revealing. This from a missive sent by someone at the TV station who described his recent visit to Baghdad, in this case to the U.S.-controlled "green zone":

"An interesting place, full of US soldiers in desert camouflage, strolling around with large guns dangling from their shoulders, Iraqi administrative staff (or as we call them back in Doha, collaborators) [emphasis added] and journalists, local and foreign."

The second comes from a very well informed Lebanese journalist, who tells me that Al-Jazeera has recently fallen under the editorial control of those in the Qatari royal family close to the Muslim Brotherhood, hence its harsh anti-American line. He also added, as an exotic twist, that the station has "received advertising revenues from the former occupation authority in Iraq, despite the protests of the former Iraqi Governing Council."

For the record, Qatari mosques also subscribe to the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam. For the record, too, a number of Al-Jazeera employees are seriously considering joining the new BBC Arabic-language television station. Recall that Al-Jazeera initially hired the employees left out in the cold when the BBC Arabic radio service closed won.