Al Jazeera English editor Salah-Aldeen Khadr is very unhappy about the recent attacks in Paris. But it doesn’t seem to be for the same reasons as the rest of us. National Review got hold of an exclusive peek under the covers at the network’s internal communications.
As journalists worldwide reacted with universal revulsion at the massacre of some of their own by Islamic jihadists in Paris, Al Jazeera English editor and executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr sent out a staff-wide email.
“Please accept this note in the spirit it is intended — to make our coverage the best it can be,” the London-based Khadr wrote Thursday, in the first of a series of internal emails leaked to National Review Online. “We are Al Jazeera!”
Below was a list of “suggestions” for how anchors and correspondents at the Qatar-based news outlet should cover Wednesday’s slaughter at the Charlie Hebdo office (the full emails can be found below).
Khadr urged his employees to ask if this was “really an attack on ‘free speech,’” discuss whether “I am Charlie” is an “alienating slogan,” caution viewers against “making this a free speech aka ‘European Values’ under attack binary [sic],” and portray the attack as “a clash of extremist fringes.”
This prompted an internal conversation among the staff (some of whom were surprisingly professional) until another of their writers had heard all he could take.
“What Charlie Hebdo did was not free speech it was an abuse of free speech in my opinion, go back to the cartoons and have a look at them!” Salem later wrote. “It’ snot [sic] about what the drawing said, it was about how they said it. I condemn those heinous killings, but I’M NOT CHARLIE.”
This is a rather enlightening look under the covers at this network, and honestly, I don’t have a lot more to add. For purposes of full disclosure, however, I was twice invited to appear on their television network to discuss various issues of the day as I have done on other networks here in the northeast. I declined both offers. It’s not that I don’t believe they have the right to own a business and put on a television show if they can attract the revenue to make it profitable. I just don’t care to be associated with the brand.
In the meantime, the alert level in France has gone up. Warnings have been issued that sleeper cells have been activated in Paris and the police need to take precautions.
French law enforcement officers have been told to erase their presence on social media and to carry their weapons at all times because terror sleeper cells have been activated over the last 24 hours in the country, a French police source who attended a briefing Saturday told CNN Terror Analyst Samuel Laurent.
My level of optimism for things returning to anything approaching normal in France any time soon continues to sink.