Is Al-Jazeera trying to use former Vice President Al Gore to gain acceptance in America? Yes, say some experts.
On Wednesday it was announced that the Qatari-funded news station had purchased Current TV, the liberal cable channel co-founded by Gore, for a reported $500 million. Gore and fellow co-founder Joel Hyatt will join the advisory board of Al-Jazeera America, the network set to replace Current TV.
Al-Jazeera, which currently has both English and Arabic language stations, is seen by many as having an anti-Israel and anti-American slant.
“I have a guess, an impression, that Al-Jazeera is looking for more respectability and more — not just more market outlets — but more of an image of being let’s say ’non-partisan’ or ‘mainstream,’ whatever you want to call it,” David Pollock, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has written on Al-Jazeera and often appears as a commentator on the network, told The Daily Caller.
“They did this before by setting up their own organization in the U.S. and hiring some legitimate journalists who ended up resigning in disgust when they saw what it was like,” Middle East scholar Barry Rubin told TheDC, referring to Al-Jazeera English.
Rubin said Al-Jazeera is a “radical media outlet run by people who are anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Semitic, and anti-Western.” (RELATED: Gore reportedly hoped to sell Current TV before fiscal cliff tax hikes)
“[I]t is an instrument of extremist revolutionary movements,” he added. “On a number of occasions it has lent itself to promote and be used by violent terrorist groups.”
Rubin said by lending his imprimatur to Al-Jazeera – and potentially personally reaping a sum of $100 million, according to reports — Gore is acting “disgracefully.”
“In former, sane, times, doing something like this would have finished Gore’s credibility forever,” Rubin said. “Needless to say, sanity has long since jumped out the window.”