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May 17, 2007

At Al-Hurra, No Supervisor Spoke Arabic

Imagine supervising the production of a broadcast in a language you do not speak. This actually happened at Al-Hurra, the American-made Arabic language satellite network, paid for by your tax dollars and mine. AP reports:

Overseers of the United States government's Arabic-language satellite television network say a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah was not screened for anti-Israel content before broadcast because no supervisor spoke Arabic.

"Mistakes were made," Joaquin Blaya, of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, told the House Middle East subcommittee Wednesday, referring to the broadcast last December and others by the network, Al-Hurra, that he said "lacked journalistic or academic merit."

The subcommittee chairman, Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., said in several instances Nasrallah used the U.S. government's satellite television network as a platform for inciting a crowd to violence against Israel. . .

In another Al-Hurra broadcast, Ackerman said, Hamas leader Ismail Haniya lent support to the Iranian assertion that the world War II Holocaust against European Jews was a myth.

"Why are American taxpayer dollars used to spread the hate, lies, and propaganda of these nuts, when our goal was to counter them?" Ackerman asked. . . .

A new vice president for news, Larry Register, has been appointed, and editors are now accountable for monitoring news items before and wile they are delivered.

The appointment of November 2006 appointment of Register came one month before Nasrallah's unscreened screed, making him the problem, not the solution.

Posted by TS at May 17, 2007 06:53 AM

Comments

Or maybe Al-Hurra executives don't trust those who speak Arabic? You know, because they are considered to have a sympathetic views toward Arabs?

For god sake man, why bother to build a TV station if you're going to censor it anyway?

Posted by: Petunjuk at May 18, 2007 09:29 AM

That last question is just silly, Petunjuk. Stations choose their content. If you want to convince me that selecting what you air based on quality, theme, or moderation is "censorship," then let me know when PBS starts running Girls Gone Wild, the Disney Channel broadcasts Kill Bill, CNBC airs cartoons, or Voice of America radio beams pro-Osama bin Laden propoganda. Oh wait, it turns out that last one is actually plausible.

Posted by: J. Campbell at May 19, 2007 10:41 AM

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