Ann Gearan, AP diplomatic writer, reports that
The government's Arabic-language satellite television network is seeking an outside review after recent broadcasts that included broadsides and inflammatory language referring to Israel or Jews.
The excuses offered for allowing some appalling speakers and viewpoints to be broadcast to Middle East audiences with our money are simply appalling, indicating a near criminal negligence. And the "solution" requested is absurd.
A broadcast last December included a lengthy speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that the network later said was not screened for anti-Israel content before broadcast because no supervisor spoke Arabic. [emphasis added]
How, exactly, does one "supervise" a broadcast in a language one doesn't speak?
In another Al-Hurra broadcast, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya appeared to support the assertion that the Holocaust was a myth, and the network's coverage of an Iranian Holocaust deniers' conference has been criticized as insufficiently skeptical.
Having an openly American-funded network broadcast such nonsense only confirms its supposed truth in the eyes of millions who never even hear the broadcast.
So what is the remedy? A member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the federal supervisory body, said
... the review will be done by a university or other academic institution with experience both in Middle Eastern affairs and journalism. The review has not begun, and Hart said he did not know when it will be completed.
Right. Just go to the notoriously anti-Israel Columbia University Middle East Studies faculty, or another part of the left wing-dominated academic establishment. They would only make the matter worse.
The charitable interpretation is that this operation is run by incompetents. I incline toward a less charitable interpretation. In either case, it is time to pull the plug and throw the lot of them out of work. NPR might be hiring.
Hat tip: Jerry Long
, I learn of Joel Mowbray's reporting
in the paper version of the Wall Street Journal
Dealing a sharp blow to embattled Al Hurra news director Larry Register, a powerful Congressional panel yesterday expressed its dissatisfaction with the "new" Al Hurra in the strongest possible terms: It withheld millions in funding.
Al Hurra had asked for -- with the strong support of Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes -- an additional $11.1 million in funding over fiscal year 2007 levels for new programming. The network didn't get one dime of it.
By the time the appropriations process winds its way through Congress, the requested funding could be restored -- but that most likely could happen only if Register is fired.
And if the stars align, Register could be gone within a week.
Hat tip: Dan Peterson