Al-Jazeera seen as using Al Gore to bolster network’s legitimacy in United States

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Jamie Weinstein
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

Pollock didn’t go quite as far as Rubin in his assessment of the network, but did say that Al-Jazeera English has a clear slant against the United States that he would call “anti-American government.”

“It is actually looking to highlight systematically the flaws, you know, the incompetence, the bad intentions, contradictions, whatever you want to call it, hypocrisy, double standards  … of American policy in what I would say is a deliberate and disproportionate way,” he said.

“I would say that Al-Jazeera English, in my opinion, it is OK to appear on it, but to be part of the management as it stands without changing it would be bad judgment,” Pollock said of Gore’s decision to remain on the advisory board.

Pollock added that if Gore attempts to influence the network for the positive and not be just “a kind of façade,” it might be acceptable.

Founded by the Emir of Qatar in the mid-1990s, Al-Jazeera first came to prominence as the go-to media outlet of al-Qaida.

According to Pollock, Al-Jazeera’s networks are subservient to the ideology and interests of the Qatari ruling family.

“I mean, the chief executive of the overall holding company is a member of the royal family of Qatar,” Pollock said. “I think that they have, you know, pretty clearly — although you can never document it — but they’ve pretty clearly shifted editorial direction on certain key issues, like the Syrian civil war, in response to changes in Qatari government policies. And sometimes they, you know, hire and fire their top talent for, I think, probably political reasons.”

At times, Al-Jazeera can be stunningly radical. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Islamic theologian considered the spiritual leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, hosts a show on Al-Jazeera’s Arabic network.

In 2009, al-Qaradawi used this TV platform to declare that the Holocaust was Allah’s “divine punishment” on the Jews. (RELATED VIDEO: Top Al-Jazeera host said Jews deserved Hitler, Holocaust)

“Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers,” he said, pining for another Holocuast of the Jews.