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Calvin Freiburger

Al-Jazeera Is Basically Like Fox News, Right?

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Posted on February 2 2011 6:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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Despite what the Left says, there are a few angles Al Jazeera leaves out.

The moral equivalency leftists are capable of never fails to sicken. Whether driven by intolerance of opposition or cluelessness about the real world, many think nothing of comparing those with whom they disagree—often unfavorably—to the most heinous monsters on the planet. Case in point: our old friend Ellen of the loser-packed Fox-hating blog NewsHounds is outrageously outraged that Bill O’Reilly would dare impugn the patriotism of left-wingers like Sam Donaldson and Alan Colmes for their defense of…er, Al-Jazeera:

It’s not as though Donaldson praised Al Jazeera for saying anything anti-American or attacking America. No, attacking an American or Americans is something that Fox News does every day whenever a Democrat or liberal is discussed.

Apparently, praising Al Jazeera for doing something right is completely wrong (and anti-American) because, according to O’Reilly, “Al Jazeera makes a living blaming most problems in the Middle East on the USA and Israel.”

That must be completely different from the way Fox News pundits like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and yes, Bill O’Reilly blame most problems on American liberals.

“Talking Points can provide hundreds, hundreds of examples of anti-Semitism and hate-America rhetoric displayed on Al Jazeera, the network Sam Donaldson admires,” O’Reilly sneered.

And we can provide just as many examples of anti-Semitism and hate-America rhetoric on Fox News. In addition to the hate mongering against Americans, there’s Sean Hannity’s friendly interview with anti-Semite Andy Martin (for which Hannity has never apologized), another lapdog interview with Mel Gibson and Glenn Beck’s anti-Semitic dogwhistles about George Soros. In fact, those dogwhistles were so offensive to so many Jews that 400 rabbis recently wrote to Rupert Murdoch asking him to rein in Beck. Fox News’ response? Calling the rabbis “a George Soros backed left-wing political organization.”

Colmes did not apologize or hedge or try to curry favor as so many other Democrats on Fox do. Noting that Egypt had shut down Al Jazeera, he said to O’Reilly, “I would think a populist like you would support Al Jazeera and freedom of the press… I would think that as a journalist, you would take the side of Al Jazeera.”

O’Reilly claimed that his beef with Al Jazeera was its lack of balance, that there was never anyone on to counter its anti-American message.

Oh, you mean the way there’s never anyone on to counter Glenn Beck’s attacks on President Obama, his former advisor Van Jones, George Soros or 78 year-old Frances Fox Piven?

First, let’s dispense with the usual stuff: the lack of balance at Fox News is a lie, and so is the anti-Semitism garbage.

No, what’s noteworthy is that Ellen doesn’t even try to argue that Al-Jazeera isn’t an anti-American, Jew-hating mouthpiece for Islamic radicalism, but says that Fox News is just as bad anyway. Broadcasting, to use one of O’Reilly’s examples, ex-Gitmo detainees who say Jews perform witchcraft on the prisoners is on the same level as broadcasting people who say liberal policies are bad for the United States. Apparently equating expressions of conservative opinion with support for overt religious bigotry and violent imposition of theocracy is exempt from the new culture of civil discourse demanded of us in the wake of the Tucson shooting.

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