In school, when I first heard the cliche, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” I didn’t buy it. I didn’t have many enemies unless there were girls coming between me and the boy I was attached to at the time. Keep those girls closer? Nu-uh. I don’t think so. I may have tried that for a split second – along with the dumb advice of “playing hard to get.” But, I wound up finding my own way in both regards – by staying the heck away from my high school’s ‘mean girls’ and by chasing my husband down until he married me (love ya, Sweetie).
The controversy surrounding the recent launch of news channel – Al-Jazeera America – leaves people either embracing the cliche, running the other direction, or playing dumb.
Al-Jazeera is a channel, staffed by 800 journalists, that’s owned by the royal family of Qatar – an oil rich country that (get this) has financially supported the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Jazeera became famous for being the middle-eastern network that aired Usama bin Laden’s videos.
So, the strange thing is that the media will not say an ill-word about it! WHAT?!
Personally, seeing a network like this one when I’m flipping channels would scare the heck out of me. But, I’ve got conservative friends who think that rallying against Al-Jazeera is the same as rallying against free speech. I would argue that free speech is one thing but subtle indoctrination is another. My fear wouldn’t be that the station would shout, “We hate Americans” over airwaves. My fear would be that they would subtly influence America in a way that would lead the next spongey-brained generation to anti-liberty….anti-freedom…anti-America ideology.
James Dellinger is the Director of Content Marketing at Liberty Alliance – the company that runs GenFringe and a myriad of other awesome sites. He found it interesting no one in the media will say anything critical about the Al-Jazeera America project because all of the hiring puts positive inflation on all their jobs. Dellinger said he saw this in D.C. when BloombergGov launched and lifted journalist’s salaries accross the city.
“They will never admit it,” says Dellinger, ” ‘Just happy my friends got hired,’ you might hear.”
So, like I said, there are those who support Al-Jazeera – citing its claim for more beefy, serious international journalism and less fluff. Or they might say they’re supporting free speech. I’d say they’re “keeping their enemies closer.” Then, there are those, like me, who don’t think it makes any sense to support a news station – that will literally deliver news in whatever packaging they choose in a way that might directly go against our best interest. Then, lastly we’ve got the media, playing dumb, saying, “Cliche? I’ve never heard of this ‘keep your enemies closer’ business you’re talking about.”
It’s a tricky topic. I know I’m not alone in wishing there was a news station I could flip to that would give me straight journalism without the fluffy segments like “What does your opinion of Justin Bieber say about you?” Would be great to have a balance between C-Span and Fox News. But, I’d prefer that the people running the station aren’t people who…probably hate us. What do you make of all this?