Glenn Beck Whines: Cable Carries “The Enemy” Al-Jazeera, But Not Me

Professional crybaby, Glenn Beck, let loose again today with a lament that the big, bad cable companies just don’t love him enough. Not that it matters, because he loves himself more than enough to compensate.

Glenn Beck

What triggered Beck’s latest self-pity party (video below) was today’s launch of the Al-Jazeera cable news network. Beck was inconsolably perturbed that a network with an Arab sounding name was invading the homes of decent Americans and infecting their brains with subversive messages and probably subliminal commands to kill Christian patriots. He called Al-Jazeera “the voice of the enemy.” And making it all the worse is that those same cable companies were refusing to carry his crackpot Internet video blog.

Beck: They don’t have room for an American-owned, American operated, and a network that only serves America. They’re not interesting in that one. But Al Jazeera? ‘Oh, we’ve got to get that one on the air right away. That’s crazy.

Absolutely crazy! Because a network that posts the rambling and hate-filled conspiracy theories of a former shock-jock, and wanna-be Messiah, is just so much more deserving of cable carriage than an awarding-winning international news network with a stable full of respected journalists. It’s crazy because there aren’t any other American owned and operated networks (except for all of them, including Al-Jazeera America). It’s crazy because, as Beck frets, the hard-earned dollars of his flock is being diverted to some nefarious purpose.

Beck: They are taking money from your cable bill and they are sending it overseas to Al Jazeera so Al Jazeera can pump propaganda into America. They not only have Saudi oil money, they have your cable bill. You are funding Al Jazeera.

Can you believe it? You are funding Al Jazeera – when you should be funding him to pump propaganda into America. It couldn’t be more clear. After all, Beck is only doing what he’s doing for your sake. He isn’t interested in the millions of dollars he is sucking from the rubes who buy his podcast and his books and attend his revival meetings, etc. He is only there to serve you, the ignorant, glassy-eyed, disciples who need him to make sense of the world.

Beck: You don’t have time to follow all this crap. It’s our job to figure out what’s important and what you need to make the right decisions for your life and for your country. That’s MY job.

So are you ingrates, or what? Why aren’t you lavishing Beck with even more wealth? He’s begging you. He made a plaintive appeal to his audience to call Comcast and Time-Warner and DirecTV, to implore them to add Beck’s Holy Huckster Sideshow to their channel line-up. And again, he isn’t doing it for himself. He came right out and said so.

Beck: This is not a marketing ploy. I do this because I believe in it. I just said to the guys “You know, one of these days I’m just gonna walk off. One of these days I’m not gonna be able to talk it anymore, I’m gonna walk off.” And I almost did it about ten minutes ago. And you know what keeps me in this chair? I believe it. I believe it. I believe somebody’s got to stand. We work our brains out.

Well that explains what happened to Beck’s brains (and why they are so prominent on his wish list). It is also encouraging that Beck is so close to surrender. With just a little more patience, and the continued decline of his Congregation of the Gullible and Fearful, Beck may yet walk off and relieve us all of having to endure his moaning about how desperately unloved he is.

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Fox News Hypocrisy Over Al-Jazeera Hilariously Exposed By Jon Stewart [Video]

As reported here last week, Fox News went on a loopy and hyperbolic panic over the news that Current TV was purchased by Al-Jazeera. They railed against what they called an anti-American network with ties to terrorists when, in reality, Fox News is more closely associated with terrorists than Al-Jazeera.

Last night Jon Stewart weighed in on The Daily Show with another of his hallmark smackdowns that revealed the brazen hypocrisy of Fox News. The segment features ludicrous condemnations from the likes of Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Stuart Varney, and Steve Doocy, as they sought to demonize Al Gore, while blithely ignoring the fact that their own boss, Rupert Murdoch, was deeply aligned with repulsive rhetoric from a Saudi-based network (Rotana) of which he has a 20% stake. Stewart noted that…

“Rotana is the same network that aired “Valley of the Wolves,” a movie in which American soldiers are the bad guys, massacring Iraqi civilians and stealing Arab organs to sell them to Jews.”

This is further evidence that Fox has no genuine interest in the pseudo-patriotism with which they plaster their airwaves. It is just a sleazy and phony operation aimed at advancing the political agenda of right-wing extremists, and enriching the network’s owners and the celebrities posing as journalists.

It’s too bad that the humor-deprived conservatives who need to see Stewart’s piece most are unlikely to do so. They already regard the program as liberal propaganda and dismiss it out of hand. But if they knew that they were being conned by Fox while the company is embracing some of the very same villains they pretend to oppose, viewers would revolt in a big way. Perhaps some of them already have, because Fox’s ratings have been in a steep dive for the past couple of months.

Fox News vs. Al-Jazeera: Tales Of Terror And Hypocrisy

The news that Qatar-based Al-Jazeera has agreed to purchase Al Gore’s Current TV has stirred controversy throughout the mediasphere. For the most part the debate has been driven by conservative xenophobes worried that Sharia law would be imposed on American viewers via x-rays emanating from their television screens.

The usual suspects on the right have issued their predictably alarmist warnings about Al-Jazeera plotting to brainwash what they must regard as a gullible American public. Obviously their assessment of gullibility is based on their experience with Fox News viewers. The rest of us are quite capable of discerning fact from fiction and developing informed opinions from diverse news sources. But the censorious right-wingers insist on having only one mindset available to the U.S. television audience.

Fox News - Al-Jazeera

Some of the knee-jerk reactions from conservative critics include Bill O’Reilly saying that “Gore has shamed himself simply by selling to Al-Jazeera.” Frequent Fox News guest Matt McCall saying of Gore that “To me, he’s now associating himself with Al-Qaeda.” Glenn Beck complained that his own sham attempt to bid on Current was dismissed and therefore Gore is un-American. Stuart Varney of Fox News defended Beck by castigating Gore for rejecting Beck but saying “Okay [to] big oil, the sheikhdom of Qatar.” The uber-rightist Media Research Center’s Dan Gainor alleged that “lefties love Al-Jazeera” and then whined that “The purchase is part of a larger trend of foreign media outlets.”

There is a lot there to chew on. First of all, the trend toward foreign ownership of media outlets was never more pronounced than when Rupert Murdoch crossed the Atlantic to launch Fox News. And it is absurd to suggest that Gore is somehow more pro-Big Oil than those at Fox who defend foreign oil corporations while vehemently condemning the development of renewable, domestic energy sources, and disputing the scientific reality of climate change.

Much of the criticism aimed at Gore was directed at his having cashed out to a state-based media enterprise. For some reason these alleged free-market proponents are all of a sudden opposed to a businessman making a profitable deal that will advance economic activity and create jobs. As for the involvement of the nation of Qatar as the financial backer of the new network, these small-minded critics conveniently forget that the second largest shareholder of News Corp, outside of the Murdoch family, is Alwaleed bin Talal, a prince of the Saudi royal family. And therein lies another hypocrisy. The critics complain falsely that Al-Jazeera is aligned with terrorists, but if they are intent on forming ludicrous associations between news networks and terrorism, they might do better to recall that the plotters and hijackers on 9/11, including Osama bin Laden, were from Saudi Arabia, not Qatar.

[Note: Qatar is friendly to the west, is a major supplier of natural gas to the U.S., and has been an ally in American military endeavors including in Libya and Syria, as well as providing bases for the United States Central Command in support of forces in Iraq and Afghanistan]

What’s more, Fox is engaging in their own unique brand of terrorism by literally inciting terror in the minds of their viewers. The demonstrably false allegations that Fox continues to spread about President Obama are designed to create a sense of dread. They have built a fear factory that alleges that Obama is deliberately trying to destroy America on behalf of the extremist Muslims they believe he was invented to represent. They assert that he will become a tyrant who will abolish the Constitution, confiscate guns, criminalize religion, and condemn dissenters to prison camps. It’s a brand of fright-inducing journalism that has the potential to result in actual hostilities. In fact, it already has. (More examples: the murder of Dr. Tiller; the mass shootings at the Wisconsin Sikh Temple; and the Beck-inspired gunman who was apprehended on his way to kill people at the offices of the ACLU and the Tides Foundation).

There has also been a great deal of commentary about the quality of the journalism produced by Al-Jazeera. Most of the conservative echo chamber has trashed the network. But as that haven of Islamic propaganda, the Wall Street Journal, has noted, the network “has gained plaudits for its international coverage.” Indeed, it has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Polk and Peabody awards. They have also been honored by the Foreign Press Association and the International Emmys. Compare that to the recognition received by Fox News from these organizations that judge journalistic excellence – which amounts to zero awards.

In conclusion, Fox News is more closely related to actual terrorists than Al-Jazeera. Fox News is not as highly regarded for their reporting as Al-Jazeera. Fox News is more biased in favor of Big Oil than Al Jazeera. Fox News denigrates successful business transactions more than Al-Jazeera. By virtually every standard that Al-Jazeera’s critics use to disparage the network, Fox News is worse. The one thing that Fox News excels at is distorting these facts, promoting themselves, and slandering their competitors. But I don’t think anyone is giving out awards for that.

Censorship In America: Al-Jazeera And PBS

At a time when some of the most consequential news stories are emanating from the Middle East, America’s cable companies are almost uniformly refusing to carry Al-Jazeera English, the news channel best equipped to cover events on the ground in their native territories.

Al-Jazeera has received high marks from a broad spectrum of analysts for their coverage of the uprising in Egypt. And with similar protests emerging in places like Algeria, Yemen, and Iran, they have insured that these important stories are being told throughout the world. American news organizations often pick up the Al-Jazeera feed for re-broadcast. This includes Fox News, whose pundits have harshly criticized Al-Jazeera even while their editors have incorporated the Al-Jazeera feeds into their programming.

Yesterday the Boston Globe published an op-ed by Juliette Kayyem, Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Programs at the Department of Homeland Security. She said in part that…

“Not carrying the network sends a message to the Arab world about America’s willingness to accept information, unfiltered, from the very region we spend so much time talking about.”

Kayyem proposed that Al-Jazeera be made available so that Americans can make their own decisions about its content. Cable companies ought not to be the arbiters of what constitutes legitimate news. Reaction to that op-ed was swiftly expressed by right-wing media including Fox Nation who linked to a post on the hysterically misnamed American Thinker. The item stated that AL Jazeera…

“…is filled with anti-American propaganda. It is also awash in anti-Semitism. The material broadcast stokes terror and violence.”

And that it is…

“…a channel that cannot help but inflame tensions and anger and one that is not known for unbiased accuracy.”

That sounds more like a description of the Glenn Beck Program. If that’s to be the standard for carriage of news networks on American cable, then Fox News should be immediately banned and removed from all systems.

It’s ironic that the conservative objections to Al-Jazeera come as they are also attempting to defund PBS and NPR. The right likes to complain about imagined assaults on free speech when they control one of the largest media conglomerates in the world and their domination of talk radio is nearly universal. But they simultaneously work to suppress the free speech of those with whom they disagree – or more correctly, those who report honestly, which generally serves to refute the lies propagated by the rightist press.

If you have cable you should immediately call your provider and demand that they carry Al-Jazeera. And while you’re at it, ask them to carry Current TV as well and place it in their basic package.

Also, call your representatives in Washington and demand that they support Public Television and Radio. There are bills that may be coming up for votes this week and we need to present a united front in favor of these invaluable resources. Several organizations are mobilizing support for PBS and NPR. Please visit each of them and sign on to save unbiased, corporate-free news.

PBS: 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting
MoveOn: Save NPR and PBS
Free Press: Don’t Let Congress Silence NPR and PBS