It’s official now – Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has announced plans to launch a 24-hour Arabic-language TV news channel in partnership with Rupert Murdoch’s Fox.
This deepens the relationship between the Saudi prince and the Fox News Channel that so many Americans rely on as the “fair and balanced” alternative to ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN. He was already a major, one might even say pivotal, stockholder in Fox’s parent company, News Corp.
It is a relationship that compromises the integrity of Fox News now and into the future.
Alwaleed is not just any Saudi prince. He’s, frankly, a notorious one.
He’s the nephew of Saudi King Abdullah. You might remember Alwaleed for his moment of infamy in the landscape of American political culture: In October 2001, right after the World Trade Center destruction at the hands of primarily Saudi terrorists, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani famously turned down his offer of a $10 million donation for disaster relief after Alwaleed suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East were actually to blame for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
A few years ago, Alwaleed, who then owned 5.5 percent of the Fox News Channel’s parent company, News Corp., boasted of his influence on the network’s principal owner, Rupert Murdoch, and explained how he persuaded him to alter on-air content about “Muslim riots” in France to make them more palatable to adherents of Islam.
Now it’s a partnership on a new Arab-language TV news channel.
If Alwaleed was able to influence content on the Fox News Channel back in 2005 as a minority shareholder in News Corp., is it not likely he and his Saudi friends would have a much more significant influence on Fox News today as major partners of the principal owner?
This development prompted the courageous syndicated columnist Diana West to ask the question: “Should Fox News register with the State Department as a foreign agent – an agent of Saudi Arabia?”
“First off, is that a farfetched question?” she wrote in a column last February. “Not when a leading member of the ruling family of the Shariah-totalitarian ‘kingdom’ of Saudi Arabia, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has made himself the second-largest shareholder of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., Fox News’ parent company.”
Alwaleed is also the Saudi prince who contributed $20 million to Harvard University when Elena Kagan was running the institution back in 2005. Since he objected to Fox News’ characterizations of Muslim riots in France, how will he feel about tough questions about possible compromise directed to a Supreme Court nominee? Have you seen that question asked on Fox News, or has the self-censorship already begun?
Is it possible the reason Fox never covered the breathtaking investigative book “Muslim Mafia” – a groundbreaking exposé of the Council on American-Islamic Relations – is because Alwaleed donated $500,000 to the group? Is it possible this is why CAIR, a group the U.S. Justice Department and FBI both say unequivocally is tied to terrorism, still finds the welcome mat rolled out at Fox?
Alwaleed has also donated $27 million to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
If you’re already seeing Alwaleed’s influence on Fox exerting itself, just imagine how much worse it might get in the future. It seems the prince is very close with Rupert Murdoch’s favored son, James – a son who, suffice it to say, shares none of his father’s overly touted “conservative” leanings.
Before entering into his Murdoch association, Alwaleed told an Arab News interviewer that “Arabs should focus more on penetrating U.S. public opinion as a means to influencing decision-making.”
Does anyone doubt that is at least part of Alwaleed’s motivation for being a major investor in Media Corp.?
For what it’s worth, there is one U.S. media enterprise at which Saudi money is not welcome – now or ever. That’s WND.
If you would like to help WND defend against the legal jihad being waged by Saudi-backed CAIR against one of the authors of “Muslim Mafia,” you can do so here. All those who donate $25 or more get a complimentary copy of the exposé shunned by America’s Saudi-influenced major media.