Hardly, with at least three paid moles for Saddam:
- On Tuesday, when al Jazeera fired its director general, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali, the world was reminded once again of one significant reason–Saddam Hussein’s regime infiltrated media outlets throughout the region, including al Jazeera.
According to a dispatch from Agence France Presse, hardly a pro-American outlet, al-Ali was canned after the Sunday Times of London reported earlier this month on documents uncovered linking him and two other al Jazeera employees to Saddam’s regime. Al Jazeera has confirmed the report of Al-Ali’s dismissal, but denies that he was let go because of suspicions about his ties to the Iraqi regime.
On May 11, 2003, the Mirror’s Marie Coyle wrote: “A document headed ‘Presidency of the Republic, Mukhabarat Service,’ indicates apparent contact between the intelligence agency and Mohammed Jasim Al-Ali, the station’s managing director.” While Coyle reported that there was not yet evidence that al-Ali had been paid off, the documents directly implicated two other al Jazeera employees.
….The efforts of the regime to win propaganda were hardly limited to al Jazeera. The CIA report, along with firsthand accounts from Arab journalists, paints a troubling picture of the Arab media coverage–or, as important, lack of coverage–of the Iraqi regime.
The Iraqi Ministry of Information, under the guidance of Uday and Tariq Aziz, “focused on determining the stories to be pushed, and assigning Iraqi resources overseas to conduct media operations.” The Information Ministry coordinated its efforts with the Iraqi Intelligence Service (the Mukhabarat), which, according to the CIA report, “participates in the internal decision-making process, recruits media and other assets, delivers propaganda material and instructions to them, and provides payoffs. A variety of reporting indicates that journalists in the Middle East and Europe have been recruited to assist Iraq.” [Weekly Standard]
“Fair”? “Balanced?” Bullshit. When I think about the accusations of the American media of being propaganda outlets for the administration, then read something like this, I laugh until my nose bleeds. Most of the world still doesn’t even comprehend the concept of an “independent press.” I do give al Jazeera a small amount of credit for firing the prick, very small. They still can’t admit he was a shill for a Stalinist babyraper.