The Anti-Defamation League says it is disturbed by Al Jazeera’s purchase of Al Gore’s Current TV cable network and worries the pan-Arab media company could spew anti-Israeli propaganda to a huge American audience.
“Al Jazeera, whose major broadcast focus is in the Arab world, has a troubling record and history that is very disturbing, particularly in its Arabic language broadcasts,’’ said Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director.
“It has exploited and exaggerated the Arab-Israel conflict in a heavy-handed and propagandistic manner, and always at the expense of Israel, while giving all manner of virulent anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic extremists access to its airwaves.’’
Foxman said that while in its English version, Al Jazeera has “toned down its anti-Israel propaganda . . . it continues to be of great concern.’’
He said ADL officials will be monitoring Al Jazeera’s broadcasts once it takes over Current TV and becomes available to a wide national audience.
Gore has been under fire for selling to Al Jazeera and it was revealed that he even rejected Glenn Beck’s bid for the network in favor of the Middle Eastern network.
The former vice president under Bill Clinton can expect to earn about $100 million from the sale, a purchase made possible by the oil-rich Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
Al-Jazeera is substantially owned by the Arab nation, one of the region's wealthiest due to its oil and natural gas resources.
That Gore benefits immensely from a nation that is heavily invested in an industry he routinely rails against has not been missed by industry observers.
"It’s reeking with irony," Jeff Sonnenfeld, a senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management, told Bloomberg News. "It seems to be at least a paradox in terms of his positions on sustainability and geopolitics."
Gore went on record in 2006 as criticizing America's dependence on foreign oil from that region.
"Many Americans are tired of borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the Persian Gulf to make huge amounts of pollution that destroys the planet's climate," Gore said then during a conference at the New York University School of Law.
"Increasingly, Americans believe that we have to change every part of that pattern."
Gore's environmental activism led to his being the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change," according to his official biography.
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