Protest for Al-Jazeera flops in Philly but makes the news regardless

Special to WorldTribune.com

Based on an article by Cliff Kincaid for Accuracy in Media

U.S. media organizations covered an Occupy demonstration this week on behalf of the Arab propaganda channel Al-Jazeera despite the fact that only two dozen protesters took part.

Fresh from their attempts to disrupt last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, members of the “Occupy” movement showed up in Philadelphia, at the headquarters of Comcast Corp., to demand that the company put the Arab propaganda channel Al-Jazeera on all of its cable systems nationwide.

The pathetic turnout was deemed newsworthy by such news organizations as the Associated Press and Reuters.

The Occupy movement's protest of Comcast Corp. in Philadelphia seemed to draw more media and onlookers than protesters.

Pamela Geller, editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs blog, told AIM the channel should not only be discouraged but officially blocked from U.S. media markets because of its links to terrorist groups such as Al Qaida. “Terror TV Al-Jazeera should be designated a terrorist organization just like [Hizbullah’s channel] Al-Manar. Al-Manar is designated a terrorist organization,” she said.

Geller, who also serves as president of Stop Islamization of Nations (SION), added, “Jihad murder mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki has praised Al-Jazeera, and several years ago one of its most prominent reporters was arrested on terror charges. Al-Jazeera also has for years been the recipient of numerous Al Qaida videos featuring Bin Laden, Zawahiri, and American traitor Adam Gadahn.”

The Philadelphia demonstration was organized by the little-known Rethink Press, a group that boasts a “partnership” relationship with the George Soros-funded Free Press. Al-Jazeera officials openly encouraged the protests through the popular website Meetup.

Meredith Larson, one of the founders of Rethink Press, is listed on the Facebook page for the “First National Call In Day to Demand Al Jazeera English.” Her own personal Facebook page identifies her interests as including Barack Obama, the Democratic Party, the Free Gaza Movement, Noam Chomsky, National Public Radio, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Al-Jazeera English.

The “Campaign for Al Jazeera English’s DC Networking Event,” now on YouTube, featured Mike Haack of Rethink Press describing how the campaign for Al-Jazeera was being conducted through the “Meetup” web site.

The event was held at Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C., a left-wing bookstore, restaurant, and gathering place, and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Action Center, Institute for Policy Studies, and the Media and Democracy Coalition. People were invited to talk about “why they love Al-Jazeera English.”

Haack’s bio says he “likes Al Jazeera English because of its superb coverage of economic inequalities in the United States.” His Facebook page lists his interests as including Occupy Your Workplace, Noam Chomsky, Institute for Policy Studies, U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the International Solidarity Movement.

Florida broadcaster Jerry Kenney, a critic of the channel’s efforts to get carriage in the U.S. media market, commented that: “It is obvious that these occupiers are clueless that Al Jazeera English is owned and operated by a one percenter, a petrodollar billionaire dictator who forbids freedom of the press in his own country and who could buy Comcast with his pocket change. Why aren’t they protesting for free speech in Qatar or at the Qatar embassy?”

Kenney went on, “The owner of Al Jazeera English is so repressive and paranoid of free speech that he has routinely imprisoned bloggers and even a World Cup film crew. But I guess if 30 tax-supported public television station program managers, mostly in academia, who currently carry Al-Jazeera English for free, think that a dictator’s point of view is just what Americans are crying out for, well, how can we blame another group of useful idiots for thinking the same?”

He is referring to the tax-supported public television stations airing foreign propaganda channels such as Al-Jazeera English and Russia Today (RT).

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