:: Friday, February 08, 2013 ::
Al Gore, Al Jazeera, and the Gray Lady
Posted by Edward Cline at 7:52 PM
New York Times isn't called The Gray Lady for nothing. It has entered its 162nd
year of publication. Despite its falling daily circulation that hovers
tenuously around one million, it is still regarded as the nation's "newspaper
of record." It boasts a monthly tally of thirty million
"visitors" to its online version. "Visitors," however, does
not necessarily translate into "readers." Once the most widely read
paper in the nation, today it follows USA Today and The Wall Street Journal in
the 19th century, it was largely a Republican paper, until it turned
Times' record of reporting "all the news that's fit to print" is not
immaculate. Its offences are legion. Too often it was charged with fitting the
news to conform to the paper's growing partiality for collectivist ideologies.
Today, it is more or less notorious for it. Its crimes of commission include
the Walter Duranty
series of articles
in 1931 that omitted mention of the Soviet government's engineered campaign of
starvation in the Ukraine, which claimed millions of lives, but for which
Duranty received a Pulitzer Prize. In 2001, it was revealed that before, during
and even after World War II, the paper "minimized" reports of the
of Jews by briefly mentioning the atrocities in stories buried deep inside its
were the Pentagon Papers in 1971, which revealed U.S. military strategy in
Vietnam, a war it opposed vociferously in tune with the anti-war and
anti-America mantra of the Left. There was Jayson Blair, a reporter who was
caught plagiarizing other newspapers and falsifying facts and whom the Times
had hired to prove its commitment to affirmative action. The paper reproduced
exclusively the prosecution's perspective in the Duke University/lacrosse rape
the paper has adopted an anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian policy that colors every
bit of its news reportage, and not just in its editorializing.
recently, it has become a kind of publicist for the anti-wealth and
anti-freedom complaints of the likes of Occupy Wall Street, running an article
that condemned the Constitution, whose writer, Georgetown University
constitutional law professor Louis Michael Seidman,
called the document "archaic" and "idiosyncratic" and said contained
"downright evil provisions." As though that weren't enough, it has
applauded the purchase of Al Gore's failed propaganda outlet, Current TV, by Al
Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood's
Times acted as point-man in a libel case,
New York Times Co. vs. Sullivan, that
involved the number of times Martin Luther King, Jr. had been arrested in
Alabama by the state police as reported by the Times, and by implication, it
was charged with defaming the character of Montgomery police supervisor L.B.
Sullivan. The case went to the Supreme Court in 1964. Citing the First and
Fourteenth Amendments, the Court held that the Times could not be sued for
defamation of character because no malice was intended.
content defamatory of official reputation, or both, are insufficient to warrant
an award of damages for false statements unless "actual malice" --
knowledge that statements are false or in reckless disregard of the truth -- is
alleged and proved….
short, the Court, in overturning an Alabama Supreme Court finding, ruled that
malice could not be proven because no one can get inside a reporter's head to
prove that he had malicious intent.
The evidence was
constitutionally insufficient to support the judgment for respondent, since it
failed to support a finding that the statements were made with actual malice or
that they related to respondent.
try to get inside the Times' collective policy head and try to grasp why its
policymakers would, on one hand, condone a condemnation of the Constitution, and
on the other, applaud the establishment of an Islamist
propaganda medium in this country. Let us try to see what "malicious
intent" looks like.
the Constitution article, the Times implicitly and in agreement repudiates the
Supreme Court's Sullivan decision that the paper is protected by the First
Amendment, which its author disputes has anything to do with freedom of speech
and of the press. The Times ran the article without a proviso that it did not
necessarily agree with Seidman's statements.
his December 30th article, "Let's Give Up on the Constitution,"
Seidman provides us with a fantasy scenario linked to the "fiscal
cliff" gridlock in Congress and serves as the premise of his whole
Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president
or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a
particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts
into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have
been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted
illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have
disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the
official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
is hypothesizing one would find in supermarket tabloids. All it lacks are
Photoshopped pictures of the Founders hassling Obama in the Oval Office. It's
time travel without the CGI.
that his fantasy might be taken out of context, Seidman attempts to provide a
Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the
Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional
disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia
in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of
Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all
13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles,
wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after
ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather
than the state legislatures.
provides other contextless examples, as well, citing John Adams supporting the
Alien and Sedition Acts, Jefferson's notion that every constitution should
expire after a single generation, his Louisiana Purchase, and other instances
of presidents exceeding their constitutional authority, in addition to some
Supreme Court decisions he alleges go contrary to the Constitution.
In the face of this long history of disobedience, it is hard to take
seriously the claim by the Constitution’s defenders that we would be reduced to
a Hobbesian state of nature if we asserted our freedom from this ancient text.
Our sometimes flagrant disregard of the Constitution has not produced chaos or
totalitarianism; on the contrary, it has helped us to grow and prosper.
because the Constitution was ignored, contradicted, or usurped in the past, we
may as well scrap it and begin anew, fabricating a "compact" that
answers the needs of our modern times. His reference to Thomas Hobbes, author
a 17th century political tract that sanctions strong or authoritarian
central governments, is evidence of Seidman's superficial grasp of our current
situation. The federal government is assuredly on the road to a totalitarianism
of the Fascist/Marxist kind, and at present the bewildering forest of laws,
regulations, prohibitions, mandates, and powers has produced a chaos not easily
mastered even by the most knowledgeable statist or informed politician.
then expresses a concern that by discarding the document that has so far
haltingly guaranteed certain liberties, we shouldn't see the negation of those
This is not to say that we should disobey all constitutional commands.
Freedom of speech and religion, equal protection of the laws and protections
against governmental deprivation of life, liberty or property are important,
whether or not they are in the Constitution. We should continue to follow those
requirements out of respect, not obligation.
must wonder what Seidman imagines would protect freedom of speech, life,
liberty, and property if there were no Constitutional restraints on what a
government may or may not do. What "respect" have a succession of
administrations and Congresses shown for them even with the Constitution? When has the New York Times ever shown
"respect" for them? What dictator or tyrant has shown
"respect" for them in the absence of such a Constitution? Without a
codified set of defined liberties and enumerated powers that a government may
not exceed, none of these liberties could be guaranteed or saved from obviation.
begins to let his cat out of the bag.
And as we see now, the failure of the Congress and the White House to agree
has already destabilized the country. Countries like Britain and New Zealand
have systems of parliamentary supremacy and no written constitution, but are
held together by longstanding traditions, accepted modes of procedure and
engaged citizens. We, too, could draw on these resources.
we should model ourselves after countries that are full-fledged welfare states
with no governmental restraints on what they can do for the "general
endorses the linguistic analysis, subjectivist notion that the words in the
Constitution (as well as in the Declaration of Independence) have no relevance
to today's collectivist spirit and yearnings, that they can be stretched or
"interpreted" to mean anything anyone wishes them to mean, and that obedience is the highest virtue a
citizen can aspire to. After referring to the Constitution as a "poetic
piece of parchment," and cautioning that "No one can predict in detail what our system of government would look like
if we freed ourselves from the shackles of constitutional obligation," he
If we acknowledged what should be obvious — that much constitutional
language is broad enough to encompass an almost infinitely wide range of
positions — we might have a very different attitude about the obligation to obey. It would become
apparent that people who disagree with us about the Constitution are not
violating a sacred text or our core commitments. Instead, we are all invoking a
common vocabulary to express aspirations that, at the broadest level, everyone
can embrace. [Italics mine]
have no absolute meanings, but obedience
is an absolute obligation not to be questioned. And it can be predicted what
our system of government would look like sans
the shackles of constitutional obligation: authoritarian, and too likely,
totalitarian. No checks and balances, no referenda, no debates, no discussions,
no escape, mercy at the whim of a tyrant, and fiat law that would produce a
chaos which a régime would answer with more controls and exact more stringent
obedience on the part of the enslaved. The end result would be firing squads
and concentration camps and a lottery of death.
all, pleads Seidman:
If we are not to abandon constitutionalism entirely, then we might at least
understand it as a place for discussion, a demand that we make a good-faith
effort to understand the views of others, rather than as a tool to force others
to give up their moral and political judgments.
does adherence to the Constitution "force others to give up their moral
and political judgments"? It doesn't, or shouldn't, force liberals,
leftists, fascists, and Marxists to give up their political judgments. What it
does – or should do – is prevent them
from forcing their judgments on the rest of us. The federal government,
however, has been forcing their judgments
on the rest of us for well over a century. Freedom from "constitutional
bondage," concludes Seidman, would allow us to "give real freedom a
freedom? That of the statists, collectivists, and others who would be free to
lock everyone into a single barracks for indentured servants? All 20th
century tyrants have imposed dictatorial régimes as a means of granting
themselves the freedom to act.
Mr. Seidman? Anybody home? Are you asking for an American version of Hitler's Enabling
Act of 1933? His was passed by the Reichstag in an opera house. I think the
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts would also be a perfect venue to
vote ourselves into a dictatorship. Don’t you agree? The New York Times
us now turn to the Times' newly discovered TV station, Al Jazeera, which also
broadcasts "all the news that fits." Fits what?
anyone think that Al Gore doesn’t believe in free enterprise, Bloomberg
News has a shock in store for you:
highlights Gore’s makeover from career politician to successful businessman.
His take from the Current TV sale is many times the maximum net worth of $1.7
million he reported while running for president in 1999. Besides investing in
startups, Gore is on the board of Apple Inc., an adviser to Google Inc.,
according to his website biography, and a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield
& Byers. Gore’s holdings also include investments in Amazon.com Inc.,
EBay Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. through his Generation Investment
Most of Gore’s
investments are made through Generation Investment Management, which he
co-founded with former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive David Blood. The most
recent regulatory filing lists about $3.6 billion under management in 29
publicly traded companies. In addition, Generation Investment Management also
has stakes in private ventures such as Nest Labs, a company formed by Apple
Inc. alumni to create a thermostat that adapts to user behavior and saves
money. The fund also backed Elon Musk’s SolarCity Corp.
(SCTY), a developer of rooftop solar power systems that went public last
In April, Gore’s
fund was part of $110 million in venture capital invested in Harvest Power
Inc., a closely held company that produces renewable energy from waste such as
can only strut as a "successful businessman" if the government
subsidizes these companies, or passes legislation forcing everyone else to
patronize them. So rich a man as Gore, in these times, can only
"profit" if he's a member of what Ayn Rand called an
"aristocracy of pull."
notes further that Gore is also tax-savvy.
whether one lauds or criticizes Mr. Gore’s actions in the sale to Al Jazeera,
he is likely to pay U.S. taxes influenced in part by the fiscal cliff deal.
Current TV has $41.4 million in debt and preferred holders with first dibs on
$99.5 million, according to a 2008 regulatory filing. Current TV appears to be
an LLC, and that will help Mr. Gore enormously.
How will Mr. Gore and his compatriots do? Initially named INdTV Holdings,
the Current TV LLC was founded in 2002 by Mr. Gore and businessman Joel Hyatt.
They appear to be shrewd investors. The LLC should facilitate a single tax on
the deal, not the two taxes common to more established businesses. LLCs are tax
reporting entities but the members pay tax on their share.
If Mr. Gore and other members sell their interests, their own tax basis in
their interests will count. But whether Al Jazeera is buying assets from
Current TV or membership interests from Mr. Gore and others, this should be a
nice single-tax payday. Not every business seller is so lucky.
what about Al Jazeera?
Jazeera is a Qatar-funded
"private" news organization that is acknowledged to be the propaganda
vehicle for the Muslim Brotherhood.
Having gained little or no traction in finding carriage or distribution
in the U.S., it finally found a willing partner in Al Gore's insipid
enterprise, Current TV. He has sold it to Al Jazeera for a reported $500
million, and will profit from the sale to the tune of $71 million. Al Jazeera's
connections with the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorism bother him not. WND
reported, on announcement of the sale:
Al Jazeera this
week announced a plan to establish a new U.S. cable news channel, tentatively
call Al Jazeera America, utilizing the purchase of Current TV. The
Qatar-financed network is hoping to retain and even increase Current TV’s
distribution rights in more than 40 million homes to broadcast its own new
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. are also major funders of terrorism, and
also of programs now installed in American public schools to persuade students
of the "benign" nature of totalitarian Islam. Gore failed to
brainwash the world with his An
Inconvenient Truth, although he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his
failure, just as President Barack Obama was. But he found another way to skin
one of the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, rose to fame in the Arab
world after Al Jazeera gave him his a major platform. Many regard Qaradawi as
the de facto spiritual leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Qaradawi achieved
star status because of his regular sermons and interviews on Al Jazeera.
Gore must know this. But the truth is inconvenient or irrelevant and he'd
rather not think about it.
Al Jazeera was
founded with financing from the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al
Thani, who previously served as the network’s chairman. The network is still
financed largely from Qatar, where its headquarters are located. The current
chairman of Al Jazeera is Sheik Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, the Qatari emir’s
Keeping it in the family seems to be a theme shared by Al Jazeera and Current
TV. About Current TV, Bloomberg News reported that:
investors included funds controlled by Los Angeles billionaire Ron Bruce
Burkett and San Francisco money manager Richard Blum, according to the 2008
filing, when the company unsuccessfully sought to sell stock to the public.
Blum is married to U.S. Senator Dianne
Feinstein, a Democrat from San Francisco.
Foundation International, or QFI, a nonprofit group financed by the government
of Qatar, last year gave Harlem’s Hamilton Heights, a K-5 public school, a
$250,000 grant to support the Arabic program for three years….
And, here's that family connection again:
QFI, based in
Washington, D.C., is the U.S. branch of the Qatar Foundation, founded in 1995
by Qatari ruling emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Al Jazeera founder.
Thani is still the group’s vice-chairman, while his wife, Sheikha Moza bint
Nasser, chairs the organization’s board.
Why would Qatar be funding Arabic language programs in American schools? Why,
to better enable students to read the Koran
and its companion texts in the original tongue. It's fairly common knowledge
among "Islamophobes" and other critics of Islam that what Islamic
spokesmen say publically in English is quite the opposite of what they say in
Arabic. This practice is called taqiyya
or Islamic double-speak. If an Islamic
supremacist publically offers Israel or Obama or the West an olive branch, in
private, behind doors closed to the MSM, it says it is offering a slave collar
to infidels and a beheading sword to Jews.
In January 2012,
the foundation launched the Research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics
under the guidance of Tariq Ramadan, who serves as the center’s director. Ramadan
is the grandson of the notorious founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al
Banna. Ramadan was banned from the U.S. until 2010 when the Obama
administration issued him a visa to give a lecture at a New York school.
It isn't just the Brotherhood that is offering us slave collars and beheading
swords. It is our own President. And, don't wonder where former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton got her news about what was happening around the world
and a clue about how to formulate her own dismal and failed policies. The New
York Post had this interesting tidbit
about the popularity of Al Jazeera in the administration:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a Senate Foreign Relations
Committee last March that viewership of Al-Jazeera is going up in the US
“because it’s real news.”
“You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news
around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments
between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news, which, you
know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners,” Clinton
New York Times practically drools over the prospect of an Islamic propaganda
machine "competing" with the MSM, although the MSM hasn’t done too
badly acting as Obama's de facto
Ministry of Truth. Only, it isn't a Brotherhood-connected propaganda machine.
It's just another news outlet that will help bring "truth" to the
American viewing public. Qatar is mentioned in its report, "Al Jazeera
English Finds an Audience" (January 31st, 2011), but no mention
of that oil fiefdom's links to funding terrorism. Praising Al Jazeera during
the protests in 2011 against President Hosni Mubarak,
English, however, is indisputably unique. In recent days, the channel, an
offshoot of the main Arabic-language Al Jazeera, has gained attention for its
up-close, around-the-clock coverage of the protests in Cairo, Alexandria, sues,
and other cities in Egypt.
Jazeera is "unique," without a doubt. It is the Brotherhood's
propaganda outlet. The Times, guilty itself of recasting "facts" to
fit its political proclivities and ignoring genuine facts that don't fit, can
no longer distinguish between news and propaganda, thus explaining why it would
applaud the debut of Al Jazeera in the U.S.
Gore demonstrated just how good a businessman he is. He sold his pitiful
investment to an Islamic propaganda machine for more money than it was worth,
because it had "journalistic muscle" and the money – read oil money –
to compete with American news channels. In its January 2nd article
on the pending sale, "Al
Jazeera Seeks a U.S. Voice Where
Gore Failed," the Times wrote:
Al Jazeera, the
pan-Arab news giant, has long tried to convince Americans that it is a legitimate
news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more
sinister. It just bought itself 40 million more chances to make its case.
Al Jazeera on
Wednesday announced a deal
to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al
Gore, a former vice president, and his business partners seven years ago. Al
Jazeera plans to shut Current and start an English-language channel, which will
be available in more than 40 million homes, with newscasts emanating from both
New York and Doha, Qatar….
A decade ago, Al
Jazeera’s flagship Arabic-language channel was reviled by American politicians
for showing videotapes from Al Qaeda members and sympathizers. Now the news
operation is buying an American channel, having convinced Mr. Gore and the
other owners of Current that it has the journalistic muscle and the money to
compete head-to-head with CNN and other news channels in the United States.
there will be no more vilification of Herr Goebbels' – excuse me, Mr. Gore's –
money moxie, nor of Al Jazeera, because it will have achieved
"respectability" as a legitimate news outlet in the U.S.
the challenge will be persuading Americans to watch — an extremely tough
proposition given the crowded television marketplace and the stereotypes about
the channel that persist to this day. “There are still people who will not
watch it, who will say that it’s a ‘terrorist network,’ ” said Philip Seib, the
author of The Al Jazeera Effect. Al Jazeera has to override that by providing
will be a challenge. Americans are already
saddled with the MSM, which many no longer trust for objective news reporting,
and sense are heavily biased and serve as the government's journalistic poodle
on one hand and a pit bull on the other. The MSM are considered by many to be
the collective mouthpiece of too many collectivist agendas that will affect
their lives, wealth, standard of living, and future. They'd rather get their
news from Internet weblogs and live-stream Internet channels. Still, oblivious
to the trends, the New York Times plods on.
which has bureaus in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago,
intends to open several more in other American cities. “There’s a major hole
right now that Al Jazeera can fill. And that is providing an alternative
viewpoint to domestic news, which is very parochial,” said Cathy Rasenberger, a
cable consultant who has worked with Al Jazeera on distribution issues in the
past. However, she warned, “there is a limited amount of interest in
international news in the United States.”
in this article, either, is there mention of Al Jazeera's terrorist
connections, no hint of the propaganda character of its Islamic origins and purposes,
no suggestion that Al Gore, an anti-wealth ex-politician and the Chicken Little
of global warming, is going to make a questionable, hypocritical, and national
security-violating bundle from the deal. Not a word of any of that is remarked on by
the New York Times.
New York Times has grown as maliciously senile and useless as the radicals and left-wing
demonstrators from the 1960's and 1970's who chanted and shouted during the Occupy
Wall Street demonstrations to show their "solidarity" with the new
generation of fascists and Marxists. It abandoned honest, objective journalism
it's time for it to consider voluntary retirement. It is no longer fit to read.
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