You've just got to love the right wing propagandists over at Fox, like Bill O'Reilly, having the nerve to be screeching about Al Gore and his business partners' decision to sell Current TV to Al Jazeera. Here's more from Mediaite on Bill-O's rant during the opening of his show this Thursday evening: Bill O’Reilly Tears Into ‘Hypocrite’ Al Gore For Trying To Settle Current TV Sale Before Taxes Went Up:
Bill O’Reilly had some harsh words for Al Gore tonight over his sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera. O’Reilly took issue with Gore’s hypocrisy in trying to finalize the sale before the fiscal cliff deadline this past Monday night to avoid paying higher taxes, as well as doing a deal with “anti-Americans” at Al Jazeera. O’Reilly declared that Gore has “shamed himself” with the deal.
O’Reilly highlighted Gore’s hypocrisy on taxes by bringing up video of Gore saying two months ago that he believes rich people such as himself need to “do our fair share.”
O’Reilly then set his sights on Al Jazeera, a network he declared to be run by “anti-Americans” and even sympathetic to Osama bin Laden. By making a deal with Al Jazeera, O’Reilly said, Gore has “shamed himself.” O’Reilly made it clear he would not want Al Jazeera to be censored, but said the whole deal is “sleazy” and “disgraceful.”
I'm not going to defend Gore on the tax hypocrisy, if the anonymous sources O'Reilly quoted here, that it was Gore along with his business partners who were pushing to get this through before taxes went up this year are correct. But as the article noted, Gore owns 20 percent of the company, so it wasn't just him pushing for the time table if the source is accurate. And if the source is not accurate, as O'Reilly admitted is possible, Gore may very well have not been the one pushing for the deal to go through before the end of the year to avoid the higher tax rate.
Of course, O'Reilly's solution for this is for Gore to come on his show and explain himself, which we all know would be a completely "fair and balanced" and cordial interview... or maybe not. The likely outcome would be O'Reilly screaming over Gore and calling him every name in the book and accusing him of sympathizing with terrorists, just as he did here.
Which brings us to O'Reilly's attack of Al Jazeera as some anti-American propaganda outfit. I just have to say, that's pretty rich coming from someone from the right wing propaganda outfit, Fox, which has an ownership stake by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. I guess O'Reilly doesn't have any problems with Uncle Rupert palling around with someone from the country where 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were from.
And as to the quality of Al Jazeera's programming, from what I've watched of it, they've done a hell of a lot better job than Fox or many of their American counterparts with just delivering straight news from around the world. The reason people like O'Reilly hate them is for the real reporting they were attempting to do when the United States decided to invade Iraq under false pretenses and reporters from that network along with others paid the price for that with their lives.
Fox and O'Reilly were too busy playing cheerleader for the Bush administration at the time instead of telling Americans the truth about what we were doing there.
There are legitimate concerns to be had about foreign ownership of our news media here in the United States, but I think they pale in comparison to the problem we have with media consolidation, which is far more dangerous. The quality and honesty of what's presented to the American public matters and having five or so huge media companies controlling everything we watch, read, listen to and the mixture of entertainment and news has been far more corrosive than any addition of news channels with foreign ownership will ever be.