Senator McCain Becomes Shill for Al-Jazeera

Worldview WeekendBy Cliff Kincaid

The Arab-funded Al-Jazeera is hosting a two-day inaugural "Al Jazeera U.S. Forum" in Washington, D.C., featuring Bob Woodward of The Washington Post among the celebrity journalists. But of particular interest is Politico's revelation that Republican Senator John McCain showed up at the opening night of the forum to praise the channel's coverage of the Middle East.

"Over dinner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Sen. John McCain praised Al Jazeera's role as a catalyst in the Arab Spring uprisings before a room of journalists…" the publication reported. In fact, the "Arab Spring" has resulted in a government in Egypt that is less friendly to the U.S. and more accommodating to the Iranians and the terrorist group, Hamas.

This was a shocker because the day before, on Sunday, The Washington Post had finally gotten around to publishing a semi-critical article on the channel, noting its double-standards and open bias on the matter of revolutions in the Middle East. The Post even acknowledged that WikiLeaks had released a U.S. cable describing the channel as a foreign policy instrument of Qatar, the Middle Eastern dictatorship which financially sponsors it and selects its personnel.

While ignoring evidence of Al-Jazeera's links to al-Qaeda, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Post article by Thomas Erdbrink noted that the channel "built its reputation on its critical coverage" of the U.S. military intervention in Iraq-a war strongly supported by Senator John McCain. Al-Jazeera's first managing director, Mohammed Jassem al-Ali, was exposed as an agent of the Saddam Hussein regime.