Many Americans around the United States are making a fuss about Al Jazeera’s purchase of Current TV, which will allow the Arab based channel to air its content in the United States. Some Americans have called Al Jazeera a threat to national security, while others have even suggested that Al Jazeera spreads anti-Semitic propaganda. The Fox News commentator, Bill O’Reilly, has also accused Al Jazeera of being anti-American.
Hmm… Spreading propaganda, giving air to racist commentators, and vociferously hating certain groups? Sounds eerily similar of accusations towards Fox News.
Some Americans would argue that Fox News is a threat to national security because it encourages the United States military to solve global problems, while others might suggest that it’s a threat to American democracy because it feeds right-wing propaganda to the public. Some Americans would say that Fox News is anti-Muslim and portrays the faith of Islam in a violent light. Bill O’Reilly, for example, has equated the Qur’an with Hitler’s Mein Kempf. Another Fox News commentator, Sean Hannity, frequently invites guests who hold negative views of Muslims and Islam.
Ultimately, the issue here is freedom of speech. If Fox News is allowed to air its position in the United States, so too should Al Jazeera. One is not really worse than the other.