Qatar State Television Mistakenly Hires a Few Real Journalists

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Qatar State Television — personal network of Qatar’s ruling family — otherwise known as Al Jazeera, has run into a bit of a rough patch lately. Readers will recall its non-stop lies and phony atrocity stories to gin up the machine for NATO’s devastating attack on Libya, which has resulted in a fairly advanced and relatively secular African country being bombed into the stone age with Islamic extremist death squads rounding up and killing anyone with dark skin.

Qatar is one of those Gulf State dictatorships like Saudi Arabia that when it is not otherwise occupied stoning or executing its own citizens for trivial infractions is engaged in a selfless campaign to promote human rights and democracy in places like Libya and Syria with the kind assistance of NATO bombs.

That is why the string of recent high level defections from senior Al Jazeera personnel is so fascinating (and dare I say encouraging?).

As RT reports today:

Key staff from Al Jazeera’s Beirut Bureau have resigned citing “bias” in the channel’s stance on the conflict in Syria.

Bureau Managing Director Hassan Shaaban reportedly quit last week, after his correspondent and producer had walked out in protest.

A source told the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar that Al Jazeera’s Beirut correspondent Ali Hashem had quit over the channel’s stance on covering events in Syria. “… his position [which] changed after the station refused to show photos he had taken of armed fighters clashing with the Syrian Army in Wadi Khaled. Instead [Al Jazeera] lambasted him as a shabeeh [implying a regime loyalist],” a source told Lebanese press…

Journalist and author Afshin Rattansi, who worked for Al Jazeera, told RT that, “sadly”, the channel had become one-sided voice for the Qatari government’s stance against Bashar al-Assad, having begun as the region’s revolutionary broadcaster….

“There is the courage of these journalists, however, in saying ‘Look, this is not the way we should be covering this. There are elements of Al-Qaeda in there,’” Rattansi concluded. “The way Al Jazeera Arabic has covered the story of Syria is completely one-sided.”

Al Jazeera’s lies and propaganda should not be surprising. All state media serves the interests of the state and Al Jazeera is state propaganda as much as was Pravda or many others. Of course we should not forget that which has the illusion of independence but in fact functions as the propaganda arm of the state, by which I am referring to the US mainstream media.

The brave journalists who publicly dissent from the propaganda line of their bosses and lose their livelihoods in the process are a rare breed and should be congratulated. They risk their careers and perhaps more because they want no part of the coming bloodbath in Syria once NATO’s bombs start to fall (or NATO-equipped “rebels” start their killing sprees with advanced weapons).

And meanwhile viewers should take anything reported by Al Jazeera with a huge grain of salt.

8:52 pm on March 12, 2012