Al Jazeera: Hanging out with the GOP

The Bush Administration has had plenty of run-ins with the Arab television network Al Jazeera, as amply demonstrated in the documentary Control Room. In the film, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld charges that images of Iraqi casualties beamed out by Al Jazeera—the most widely watched broadcaster in the Arab world—are essentially anti-American propaganda.

But the TV network has gotten a warmer reception in New York than it received from Democrats in Boston. There, the Al Jazeera banner hung in the FleetCenter to identify its broadcast booth was ordered removed. In Madison Square Garden, the banner was in full view—albeit in a high corner of the arena.

“Al Jazeera is an accredited news organization, through the House and Senate galleries”—journalist-run organizations in Washington that grant credentials to cover Congress—said a convention spokesman. “They’re allowed to be here.”

Nice treatment from the GOP isn’t softening Al Jazeera’s world view: A featured story on its Web site is headlined “Israel to US: Now for Iran … Having succeeded in getting the United States to invade and occupy Iraq, Israel is now making efforts to instigate the Bush administration to deal with the "Iranian threat".

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