Making Fun of Al-Crapeeza

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How come whenever I see a story from or about Al-Crapeeza, I can sense a blog entry coming on? In this case, yahoo news ran this news item:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera has appointed its Baghdad bureau chief as new station manager, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Waddah Khanfar…

No thanks.

..was named manager on Sunday and is already in place, said Jihad Ballout, Al-Jazeera’s communication and media relations manager.

A guy named Jihad Ballout in charge of media relations? Sounds more like a terrorist with a predisposition for flashing.



In June, the network named veteran newsman Adnan al-Sherif as interim acting manager replacing Mohammed Jassim Al-Ali, who had managed the station since its inception seven years ago.

At the time, Al-Jazeera did not reveal the reasons behind Al-Ali’s dismissal, but the decision came amid an aggressive campaign by the United States criticizing the station’s editorial policies and its decision to air tapes made by members of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida terrorist network.

More American aggression against the poor Muslims, eh?

Khanfar’s appointment “is not a shift of policy,” Ballout said. “Al-Jazeera continues its core value of (airing) ‘the opinion and counter opinion” – the station’s motto.

For example: Opinion – Israel and the Jews should be immediately destroyed. Counter-opinion – Israel and the Jews should be destroyed. But let’s wait a small while.

Khanfar, a 35-year-old Jordanian of Palestinian dissent, joined the network about four years ago and first served as bureau chief in South Africa.

Why is everything with the palestinians about “resistance”?

He covered Afghanistan during the U.S.-led war that ousted the Taliban in 2001. Khanfar later covered Iraq from the north, doing extensive reports on the Kurds. After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Khanfar became bureau chief in Baghdad.

In several programs since the ousting of Saddam, the network’s reporters in Baghdad shared anecdotes about how former Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf was angered by Khanfar’s reporting and had once threatened to kill him.

And he believed him?

Al-Jazeera was launched in 1996 with a five-year $150 million loan from Qatar’s government. Since then, the station has claimed full independence from the government and the Al-Jazeera executives say the station now supports itself financially. It has gained a reputation as an independent voice in a region where many news media are government-controlled.

Now that is funny.

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An Aussie immigrant to Israel, David Lange is founder and managing editor of Israellycool. He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and single malt whisky.