From Al Gore to Al Jazeera: A shorter distance than one might have hoped
I’ve appeared on AJ English quite a few times. Like Current TV and MSNBC, it presents itself as a voice of the Left. AJ English does not overtly promote the ideology of Islamism, but it does present it as mainstream, suggesting an affinity between Islamist and leftist values. Whenever I’ve been on a program, I’ve had an opportunity to provide my analysis and opinions. But, invariably, I will be outnumbered: At least two other guests, as well as the interviewer, will vehemently disagree with me. Anyone versed in Strategic Communications 101 will recognize this as a technique designed to marginalize one set of views and promote another.
The Current/AJ deal brims with ironies: For one, Al Gore, Internet pioneer, paladin of the fight against global warming, and archenemy of carbon fuels, is about to have his bank account inflated by an estimated one hundred million petro-dollars, and he will “proudly” serve on the advisory board of a media outlet owned by a dictatorship that advocates government censorship of the Internet. In that role, he can be expected to use his political influence to ensure that cable executives continue to charge cable subscribers for a channel those subscribers haven’t asked for. Second, Gore had previously refused to sell Current TV to Glenn Beck because the conservative commentator — unlike Al Jazeera — is “not aligned with our point of view.” Third, according to the New York Times, “Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1.” (Sadly, they missed that deadline.)