On its website’s “Partners and Friends” page, the group lists Free Press, an organization co-founded by Marxist Robert W. McChesney. McChesney is an activist who wants to eliminate privately owned media outlets such as Fox News. Like many other American academics, McChesney is hostile to Israel.
Another “friend” of Rethink Press is the Center for Media & Democracy which produces TV programs in Burlington, Vermont. A video the group produced last year called “Vermonters Respond to Israel’s Attack on Gaza Flotilla” features Yonatan Shapira, a prominent Israeli “refusenik.”
The former Israeli Air Force pilot is shown saying, “I was a captain in this terrorist army.” Protests of Israel’s actions against the flotilla should serve to recruit people “to stop this criminal activity of the state of Israel,” Shapira says. “If you are just an American citizen that just continue [sic] his or her life as if nothing has happened you are part of the problem.”
Rethink Press bemoans the fact that Al Jazeera English is carried 24 hours a day on cable systems in only four places: Washington, D.C.; Toledo, Ohio; Burlington, Vermont; and Bristol County, Rhode Island.
The channel should be carried more widely in order to improve ignorant Americans’ well-roundedness, it says. “Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of international journalism, especially news that covers North Africa and the Middle East, two places that Al Jazeera English has been reporting in depth from for years.”
Adding insult to injury, Al Jazeera English is subsidized by American taxpayers.
As Cliff Kincaid has reported, in the Washington, D.C. region MHz Networks, a division of Virginia’s Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corp., takes in more than $2 million a year from federal and state governments. Out of that total, $1.4 million comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which is funded through congressional appropriations.
Kincaid calls the channel “Jihad TV” and “an enemy propaganda organ.”
Broadcaster Jerry Kenney, agrees with Kincaid. He’s livid that WDSC, a public TV station owned by Daytona State College, is airing Al-Jazeera English and Russia Today, a Kremlin-owned channel that never misses an opportunity to attack the U.S.
Kenney filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, arguing it is improper for a publicly subsidized TV station to air propaganda from a foreign power. He wants the college to drop both channels.
“It’s my responsibility as an American citizen,” he said. “I have a duty to be vigilant.”
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