The Arabic website of the Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera reportedly published an extraordinarily offensive piece this week mocking the beheaded U.S. journalists Steven Sotloff and James Foley. The piece questioned the authenticity of the two videotaped beheadings, suggesting that both men and their killers were straight out of “Hollywood” casting and that their murders were “unconvincing.”
The report was flagged and translated by the competing regional news network, Al Arabiya:
Appearing insensitive to the feelings of the victim’s family, the report – published under the “reports and interviews” section of the pan-Arab channel’s Arabic website on Thursday – said Foley likely fabricated the video, despite confirmations from the U.S. government that the video was real.
“Perhaps the first thing that draws the attention of the viewer” in the first beheading video is that “Foley was playing the role of champion not the victim only, for he recites a lengthy statement in peerless theatrical performance, and it seems from tracking the movement of his eyes that he was reading a text from an autocue,” the Al Jazeera report said.
The report even expressed doubts over the identity of the masked killer, saying: “he does not have the features of common jihadist figures, but he was rather similar to a Hollywood actor.”
The report in Al Jazeera suggested that these events were “staged,” indicated that the editing of the tapes were oddly edited, and questioned why “the knife being moved on the neck of the victim six times triggered no blood.” It indicates that the aim of these two supposed beheadings was to create a pretext to justify Western intervention in Syria.
In a somewhat contradictory note, the report seemed to claim that at least one of the victims, Foley, deserved his execution. Quoting unnamed “activists,” the report alleges that Foley worked for the State Department and had come to Syria to act as a surrogate for the United States government.
In short, the Al Jazeera report submits every conspiratorial claim it can in order to deflect blame for the beheading of Americans by the Islamic State onto the United States and the West.
When the Kremlin-funded news network Russia Today (or RT, as it prefers to be branded) went all in on its mission to serve as an anti-Western propaganda outlet for Moscow, a handful of Western broadcasters resigned. These honest journalists could not stomach the anti-Americanism and dishonesty that dominated that network’s daily coverage.
In contrast with RT, Al Jazeera America, or even Al Jazeera English, are nowhere near as overtly anti-American as is the Arabic language network. Nevertheless, Al Jazeera and AJAM are the same entity with the same mission. Do the respected and accomplished reporters currently working for the U.S. arm of Al Jazeera really want to be associated with this?