WHAT A WEEKEND !! First, Norman Finkelstein “gets his” before Shabbos and Today Larry Register, the man who turned US funded Al-Hurra from an alternate voice to the propaganda on Arab TV, to an American funded broadcast of hatred toward the US, resigned—-Blaming the Media, of course:
News director quits Arab language networkWASHINGTON (AP) — The news director of a U.S.-funded Arab language satellite television network that was accused of airing anti-Israeli propaganda has resigned.
Larry Register, vice president of news for the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and editorial leader of Al-Hurra Television, claimed in a resignation letter Friday that he was the victim of a smear campaign.Register, a former producer at CNN, joined Al-Hurra in October 2006. He resigned not long after the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which funds the station, sought a review to examine Al-Hurra’s programming.An Al-Hurra broadcast last December included a lengthy speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah that the network later said was not screened for anti-Israel content in advance because no supervisor spoke Arabic.The network was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats during a congressional hearing last month.Al-Hurra, which began broadcasting in February 2004, was created in an effort to counter a perceived anti-U.S. bias among Arab news sources in the Middle East. The Broadcasting Board of Governors also operates Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.Board member Joaquin Blaya, in a statement announcing the resignation, said Register brought to the position a “wealth of experience as a broadcast journalist with extensive knowledge of the Middle East.”Register will be replaced by Daniel Nassif, a “native Arabic speaker” who is news director of the broadcasting network’s Radio Sawa, according to Blaya.Register’s letter of resignation, dated Friday, said he had been “professionally and personally attacked” in the media.”In good conscience I cannot allow the personal vendettas and attacks to damage the credibility of MBN,” he wrote.
Lets take a look at what the credibility of MBN has been like since Register has been the news director of the network Larry Register, one month into his tenure at al-Hurra, reversed a ban on terrorists as guests. The Journal reports that, according to one al-Hurra staffer, Register aims to “pander to Arab sympathies” to win viewers and compete with the widely-popular al-Jazeera:
- On November 26, 2006, al-Hurra aired an interview with a self-professed al-Qaeda operative who praised Osama bin Laden and said that the 9/11 attacks had brought him joy because they rubbed “America’s nose in the dust.”
- On December 7, 2006, al-Hurra aired 45 minutes of a live speech by Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah, whose group is responsible for the murder of hundreds of Americans and Israelis. Nasrallah told his audience to aim their bullets at the “chests of their enemies…the Israelis.” Speeches by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah have also aired.
- On February 9, 2007, al-Hurra carried two hours’ coverage of Arab protests of Israeli construction near Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque, forty minutes more air-time than al-Jazeera. On-air guests vilified Israel and falsely charged it with “plans” to destroy the Mosque. A UN agency, on March 14, said the ongoing construction poses no threat.
- This year, the Department of State’s annual human rights report received scant attention on al-Hurra, even though it had been treated as major news in years past.
- One point Register tacitly acknowledged was that coverage of human rights abuses and government corruption has, indeed, been significantly reduced. Filling that void, he noted, has been an increase of C-SPAN-style coverage of U.S. politics.
- An anecdote involving Register is perhaps the best window into his vision for al-Hurra. During a conversation with Broadcasting Board of Governors Chairman Ken Tomlinson—and as told by someone who overheard it—Register explained that a high-ranking Egyptian “information” official (in short, a government censor) had expressed strong displeasure with al-Hurra’s coverage. Though he immediately said that he misspoke, Register said that he assured the angry Egyptian official that al-Hurra’s coverage was getting better, and that this pleased the censor.
Don’t cry for Register, with the Anti-US and Anti-Israel slant of most of today’s media there will be a line of networks at his door offering him a job.