Brian Stelter Praises Anti-American Network Al Jazeera for Seizing Opportunity in Egypt

Media reporter Brian Stelter made the front of Monday's Business Day with his profile of Al Jazeera, the anti-American, Qatar-based satellite news network not widely seen in the United States, "Televising the Revolution - Al Jazeera Hopes Reports From Egypt Open Doors in U.S." It's a sunny take on how the uprising in Egypt is raising Al Jazeera's profile.

Al Jazeera stands to benefit greatly from its protest coverage, a fact not lost on the network, which has been placing advertisements in major American newspapers. The live reports strengthen the network's already tight grip on its Arabic-language viewing public, while bolstering its argument that cable and satellite distributors in the United States should make the English version available to American viewers.

Stelter has run several stories on Al Jazeera's Egypt opportunity, while dismissing conservative objections. From a February 1 article by Stelter:

[Managing director of Al Jazeera English Al] Anstey said he thought that the channel had suffered from "some misconceptions about what Al Jazeera stood for." During the Iraq war, the Arabic-language channel was criticized by Bush administration officials, and as recently as Friday the conservative Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly branded Al Jazeera as "anti-America."

But that view has been largely drowned out by people like [ABC newsman Sam] Donaldson who have hoisted up Al Jazeera English for its protest coverage. Traffic to the English-language Web site has increased by 2,500 percent since Friday, Mr. Anstey said.

Stelter didn't bother to detail conservative complaints against Al Jazeera, but here's one example of fairly heinous pro-terrorist favoritism (shown toward America's ally Israel): On a 2008 program the Beirut bureau chief of Al Jazeera, Ghassan bin Jiddo, threw a birthday party for the released terrorist and child-killer Samir Kuntar, calling him a "pan-Arab hero." Kuntar served 28 years for the killing of four Israelis, including two young children, before being released in a prisoner swap in 2008.

Frank Rich also praised Al Jazeera in his Sunday column, as Times Watch documented, while also ignoring counter-evidence like the praise for the terrorist Kuntar.


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