America’s Survival, Inc.
February 28, 2011
Mr. Brian L. Roberts
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
1500 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Dear Mr. Roberts:
We are strongly opposed to Al-Jazeera’s efforts to obtain carriage on Comcast and other cable and satellite systems. Al-Jazeera is a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood and the various terrorist organizations it has spawned.
Far from promoting democracy in the Arab/Muslim world, we have pointed out:
Al-Jazeera’s bias against the U.S.-supported government of Iraq was evident from the start, as shown in our [Accuracy in Media’s] “Terror TV” documentary, which included captured videotape showing its first managing director, Mohammed Jasem al-Ali, telling Uday Hussein that Al-Jazeera was at the service of the Saddam Hussein regime. Captured documents from Iraq linked him to Saddam’s intelligence service.
Al-Jazeera’s offices in Iraq were closed by the new government that replaced Saddam’s regime after it became obvious that the channel did not want to see this particular experiment in democracy succeed.
That Al-Jazeera’s original intention never was to spread democracy can also be seen in its failure to subject the authoritarian regime in Qatar, where it is based and where it gets its money, to serious media scrutiny.
As we prepare for a Washington, D.C. news conference on this subject, I want to provide to you excerpts of a press statement we are going to release publicly from Dr. Judea Pearl, the father of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl.
His statement includes the following comments:
Al Jazeera's popularity and general acceptance in the West has emboldened its management to take an even harder anti-Western stance. Their glorification of child-killer Samir Kuntar (WSJ, August 16, 2008), and their leaking of the so called Al Jazeera Palestine Papers in January of 2011, aimed to destroy the credibility of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and to end all hopes for negotiated Mideast settlement are two of many steps attesting their aims and tactics.
Their unconditional support of Hamas's terror in Gaza, the Hezbollah takeover in Lebanon, and the Syrian and Iranian regimes betrays any illusion that democracy and human rights are on Al Jazeera's agenda -- weakening the West is their first priority.
Al Jazeera is an anti-Western propaganda machine that also engages in news services for profit and status.
I am deeply concerned about the consequences of further empowering Al Jazeera's management with acceptance, which would reinforce their illusion that we are blind to their aims and tactics.
Dr. Pearl raises the specter of Al-Jazeera influencing the development of home-grown terrorism in the U.S.
While we protest any possible deal by Comcast to carry Al-Jazeera on more of its cable systems, we also object to Comcast currently carrying the channel through MHz Networks multicast channels in the Washington, D.C. area. In my area of southern Maryland and I am a Comcast cable and Internet subscriber -- Comcast is carrying Al-Jazeera on channel 275 MHz5 and “RT” or Russia Today, the Kremlin-financed channel, on 274 MHz4. My cable fees are paying for this and I strongly protest that.
Both RT and Al-Jazeera are foreign government-funded anti-American propaganda channels. Why is Comcast putting them on the air?
Our news conference will examine how U.S. tax dollars are improperly being used to put Al-Jazeera and RT on the air through the MHz Networks subsidiary of Commonwealth Public Broadcasting. An FCC complaint has been filed over this matter, initially prompted by an American soldier upset over the anti-American propaganda on these channels.
Florida broadcaster Jerry Kenney investigated and uncovered this scandal, finding that 30 public TV stations are broadcasting Al-Jazeera and RT. He hired a lawyer to file this FCC complaint. Violations of the FCC rules can result in financial fines and revocation of broadcast licenses.
Al-Jazeera has been labeled “Jihadist TV” by Professor Whalid Phares, author of the book, The Coming Revolution, about Middle East affairs. It originally was known as the mouthpiece for al- Qaeda, which carried out the 9/11 terrorist attacks and murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl. One of its correspondents was jailed in Spain after being convicted of being an agent of al-Qaeda.
Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, has said this about Professor Phares:
"Professor Walid Phares is a respected author, scholar and expert on Islamist Jihadism. For several months Professor Phares has been advising the Homeland Security Committee staff and me in preparing for Committee hearings on Islamist or Jihadi radicalization.”
Professor Phares writes in his book:
Since fall 2001, the Qatari-funded channel al Jazeera had systematically challenged war efforts and public relations of U.S. and allied campaigns in the region. It played a tremendous role in arousing sentiment and mobilizing large segments in the Arab and Muslim world against America. Amazingly, despite the savage attack against the United States, al Jazeera was able to turn the tables against Washington by portraying the United States as waging war against Islam, and not in defense of its own security. I followed the network closely and saw clearly that the ideological and political line, from editorial to talk shows, was without a doubt that of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was barely even camouflaged.”
We are urging Rep. King to probe the activities of Al-Jazeera, RT, and an Iranian government-funded anti-American propaganda channel, Press TV. All three have studios and operations inside the United States.
It could be the case that Al-Jazeera could be categorized as a global terrorist entity. Such a designation has already been applied to Al-Manar, a television station associated with Hezbollah, a terrorist group.
Considering all of this, we were surprised to read that the Jewish Daily Forward reports that you “might see a business opportunity” in adding Al Jazeera to the Comcast lineup.
We hope this report is incorrect and that you do not see this as a “business opportunity.” It could backfire on Comcast and America -- in a big way. Millions of patriotic Americans would object.
The paper added:
While Al Jazeera has earned widespread admiration for its coverage of the demonstrations in the Middle East, and past news events, much of the rest of its coverage still remains a campaign of disinformation about the Arab world and Israel. Unlike the rest of the foreign media, Al Jazeera did not report on the brutal attack and rape of CBS correspondent Lara Logan. Its typical coverage is antiIsrael; the website advertises a DVD entitled, “Israel: The Truth from Within,” which is packed with falsehoods.
An article I wrote on the subject of the cover-up of the assault of CBS News reporter Lara Logan noted:
Having praised Al-Jazeera English for its coverage of the demonstrations in Egypt, some American liberals are now backpedaling. They are outraged that the channel they praised so much has covered up the sexual assault on CBS News reporter Lara Logan. Al-Jazeera’s code of ethics declares that it will “Adhere to the journalistic values of honesty, courage, fairness, balance, independence, credibility and diversity, giving no priority to commercial or political over professional consideration.” But when it came to a sexual assault carried out by protesters that it had glorified in its coverage of the riots in Egypt, Al-Jazeera violated its own ethical guidelines. Perhaps the liberal media will now come to grips with the fact that Al-Jazeera isn’t the independent and objective network it claims to be.
You may be aware of the fact that 91 American, Israeli and Canadian victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks have filed a lawsuit against Al-Jazeera. The suit, Kaplan et al. v. Al-Jazeera (10 cv 5298), filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, seeks $1.2 billion in compensatory damages plus punitive damages.
Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center, an Israeli-based civil rights organization, filed the suit and reports:
Al-Jazeera camera crews in Israel during the war were repeatedly detained by the Israeli police for broadcasting real-time information regarding the location of missile strikes, which Hezbollah utilized to more accurately aim their missiles at civilian population centers.
Al-Jazeera allowed itself to become a crucial component of the Hezbollah missile offensive. The intent was to assist Hezbollah in targeting and killing civilians. Without the assistance of Al-Jazeera's on-the-ground spotters, Hezbollah would have been unable to accurately aim its missiles into Israeli cities. Al-Jazeera, which has offices in New York, aided and abetted Hezbollah terrorism and shares responsibility for the injuries suffered by the victims of these attacks.
Attorney Robert Tolchin said, “By giving Hezbollah real-time targeting feedback, effectively helping the terrorists to improve the aim of its missiles, Al-Jazeera crossed the line between reporting the news and being part of the new.”
We hope that we can report at our upcoming press conference that Comcast has decided not to give further access to Al-Jazeera to the U.S. media market.