Thursday, June 30, 2011

Aljazeeera: worse than Al-Arabiyya and Fox News

So yesterday, I tuned in to Aljazeera main evening (Arab world time) newscast.  It started with a sensational headline: "In Syria, tanks are shelling in cities and towns" or words to that effect but it did include "tanks shelling" (قصف بالدبابات).   So I listened to the newscast and there was nothing about shelling but it reported that Syrian troops with tanks entered certain cities and towns.  So I read other newspapers and found other references to the shelling by tanks.  In Aljazeera's account, the source was "legal activists" (ناشطون حقوقيّون) which is a common source in news and reports on Syria and Western (and its subservient arm in the Saudi and Qatari media).   What is a legal activist? Someone who runs in the streets with law books?  Anyway, in other media, the source is the same but the account puts the casualty at 4 to 6 people.  Now that made me more supicious: the lies that are spread by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and published and used in the Western (and Saudi and Qatari) media has been so vast that I have become very suspicious--in the same way that I am suspicious about the accounts in Syrian TV propaganda outlets although I am now convinced that Muslim Brotherhood and its echo chambers have surpassed the regime in their lies and fabrications.  So how could the shelling by tanks result in the death of 4 to 6 people in one demonstration? Hell, a machine gun could cause more deaths.  Don't get me wrong: this is not about politics and I am fully aware that the Asad regime is capable of committing such atrocities and worse ones were committed in Hamah in 1982 or in Lebanon against the Left and PLO in 1976 (or even against civilian areas of East Beirut in 1978 but there the Israeli militias (known as the Lebanese Forces) were responsible for the instigation of all clashes and wars there at the behest of Israel).  So clearly some one is lying.  I was able to trace the origin of the story to one guy: ONE GUY who lives in...CAIRO.  `Ammar Al-Qurbi (a Syrian dissident) who is a very good and effective speaker on behalf of the Syrian opposition and I don't even know his political affiliations.  I know that he identifies himself, and is identified by the media, as "legal activist".   So you see how one person can start a story that becomes a top headline for Aljazeera.  Aljazeera is now worse than Al-Arabiyya (the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) and Fox News, and I mean that literally.  It is discrediting its own coverage of Syria by being so sensation, unreliable, and propagandistic.  It does not even try to cover another point of view: not on Syria and not on any other issue.  It would not, for example, the pro-Bashshar demonstrations.  You want to know how bad Aljazeera has become: yesterday, I kid you not, it said that "tomorrow it is expected that massive demonstrations will turn out in Aleppo".  I kid you not.  It said: "it is expected" (من المتوقّع).  That means that Aljazeera's propaganda impulse allows it to cover events BEFORE THEY EVEN HAPPEN.  Yet, I have not heard of massive demonstrations in Aleppo.  So an event that did not take place was covered a day in advance.  Aljazeera on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to hijack a popular protest movement in Syria, and in that it is alienating potential secular supporters of the movements.  And Aljazeera is now totally discredited in the eyes of Arab public opinion and people are mocking its coverage on the internet.