Al Gore Sells ‘Current TV’ to Islamist Station from Qatar

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Criticism continues to grow about Al Gore’s recent sale of his cable station, Current TV, to Qatar’s Al Jazeera network due to Al Jazeera’s radical Islamist agenda. Gore garnered a reported $100 million from the sale.

Al Jazeera is bankrolled and owned by the emir of Qatar, who was most recently in the news for donating $400 million to Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. The emir’s cousin is the chairman of network.

Al Jazeera has made no effort in its programming to hide its Islamist, anti-American and pro-terrorist agenda. But like many in the Islamist world, the network will often say one thing to its Arabic viewers and another to its English-speaking ones.

Take, for example, the on-air birthday party that Al Jazeera made in 2008 for the notorious Palestine Liberation Front terrorist Samir Kuntar from Lebanon. In 1979, Kuntar headed a group of four terrorists who infiltrated Israel, killed a policeman, broke into an apartment and kidnapped a man and his four-year-old daughter. He later shot the father to death and murdered the daughter by smashing her skull against a rock. While trying to avoid capture by Kuntar, the mother accidentally suffocated her only other child to death, a two-year old, trying to keep her quiet.

Kuntar was released in 2008 in a prisoner swap for coffins containing the remains of two Israel soldiers killed by Hezbollah (Israel was not told ahead of time that the soldiers were dead).

You can watch a video of Al Jazeera’s birthday party to celebrate Kuntar’s release below. To the sound of festive music, Al Jazeera presented Kuntar with a huge scimitar to slice the cake on which was printed a picture of Kuntar with various terrorists, including Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Another example of Al Jazeera’s Islamist agenda can be found on one of the network’s most popular Arabic-language programs, “Shariah and Life,” hosted by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chief cleric of the Muslim Brotherhood. On air, Qaradawi said, “Oh, Allah, take this oppressive Jewish, Zionist band of people. Oh Allah, do not spare a single one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers and kill them, down to the very last one.”

You can watch Qaradawi’s message below:

Through the sale, Al Gore — an environmentalist crusader against global warming — will be making $100 million through petrodollars. But, there is something even more troubling about the sale: Gore says he sold the network to Al Jazeera for ideological reasons.

Sheikh Hamad (L) with channel”s director-general Sheikh Ahmed (R)” />

In a publicized internal memo announcing the sale, Current TV CEO Joel Hyatt, a lawyer and Democratic fundraiser, wrote (for himself and Gore) that despite having offers from other buyers for the network, they sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, because “Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current: To give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the important stories that no one else is telling.  Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us."

[ad]Gore and Hyatt also said that they were impressed by the "journalistic integrity" of Al Jazeera after doing “significant due diligence” on the network.

Given Al Jazeera’s radical Islamist broadcasting (two such examples as are provided above), it is difficult to understand how Al Gore based the sale on ideological reasons.

Writing in ClarionProject.org, on how Al Jazeera bought Current TV to spread its Islamic agenda in the U.S., Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the Islamic Forum for Democracy, said, “Despite years of effort, Al Jazeera has been unsuccessful in America because it could not secure the cable television distribution networks necessary to spread its message across the United States.  In one fell swoop, it has secured those networks and access to over 40 million homes with the purchase of Current TV.”


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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org