NBC News may view conservative journalists as mere hacks for “anti-Clinton websites,” but if you work for a network many consider anti-American, NBC News may view you as a future employee.
Politico’s Playbook reported Thursday that Tom Lumley will be the new senior producer for NBC’s “Meet the Press.” The British-born Lumley comes to the network from Al-Jazeera English, where he worked as the senior producer of “Inside Story” and the Americas news editor. He previously worked for the BBC.
“Tom has a wealth of experience in political programming, from DC and internationally, and will bring that broader worldview to the table,” “Meet the Press” executive producer Rob Yarin told Politico. “His knowledge of digital platforms will be a great advantage for us as we continue to expand the ‘Meet the Press’ brand online and further engage our audience throughout the week.”
Whatever Lumley’s worldview is, Al-Jazeera certainly has a “broad worldview” of its own, which critics say mirrors the perspective of its Qatari royal family funders. Some analysts see Al-Jazeera English as anti-American and anti-Israeli in orientation — even if sometimes subtly so.
“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,” Middle East scholar David Pollock told The Daily Caller last year, speaking of Al-Jazeera English’s news coverage.
Al-Jazeera’s Arabic-language channel is far more radical. Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has been barred since 1999 from entering the U.S., has a wildly popular show on the station. In the past, Qaradawi has legitimized the killing of American soldiers in Iraq, praised the Holocaust and publicly prayed that Allah would allow Muslims to commit the next Holocaust of the Jews.
NBC News did not return TheDC’s email request for comment on how it views Al-Jazeera.
Certainly not everyone who works for Al-Jazeera necessarily shares the network’s biases, much less subscribes to the worldview of Qaradawi. But Lumley did tweet out an article in November 2012 by Al-Jazeera English correspondent Sherine Tadros that complained the media was too pro-Israel and said it could be “career suicide” to say so.
“This is worth a read,” Lumley said of the article.
This is worth a read: http://t.co/4898ghpo
— Tom Lumley (@TomLumley) November 21, 2012
“There is a general problem with media when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict,” Tadros wrote. “The need to sanitize events so as not to be controversial and upset the wrong people, the lack of humanizing the conflict for fear that it will make you look sympathetic or worse empathetic to the Palestinians, which could be career suicide.”