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The Parent Company Trap

Fox News accuses the Kingdom Foundation, which has funded (State Department-approved) Imam Feisal “I-Am-a-Supporter-of-the-State-of-Israel” Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative (dubbed “Ground Zero Mosque” and even “Terror Mosque” by the nutty Right) in the past, of also funding “radical madrasas all over the world.”  But it fails to mention that the Kingdom Foundation is a personal charity of a Saudi prince, Al-Waleed bin Talal, whose Kingdom Holding Company is the second largest shareholder of News Corporation (a 7% stake), the parent company of Fox News, and that Fox News, in turn, owns a 9% stake in Rotana, the largest entertainment company in the Arab world, whose chairman is Prince Waleed. — Ed.

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Cf.  Oddly, the growing connections between Saudi money and the most powerful and egregious Western purveyor of Islamophobia have received little attention so far, in the West or in the Arab world — even among leftists, according to Paul Cochrane (“The Coming Contenders,” Arab Media & Society 11, Summer 2010, an endnote omitted):

While the launch of the new channels will no doubt spark much debate in the region whenever it happens, News Corp. buying into Rotana and the announcement of Prince Alwaleed’s news channel have not provoked much reaction.  Details of the deal and the new channel have been confined to the business pages of newspapers, magazines and online news outlets.

“Rotana is, by Arab world standards, a large media company, and the lack of any attempt at exposing the link between it and a company that has done so much harm to the image of Arabs and largely shaped US public opinion before the war on Iraq, till this day, shows [that journalists have experienced] a level of fear and intimidation,” said Ramzy Baroud, author, syndicated columnist and former Al-Jazeera producer to Arab Media & Society.

“Those daring enough to expose the link might not have the kind of publicity, level of penetration and influence to even make a dent in public opinion in the Arab world.  It is surprising that the leftist media is largely muted on this; but once again, it further demonstrates the lack of appreciation of the role of media in society.  If this happened in many other parts of the world, it would’ve been a major topic for discussion, as has indeed been the case whenever News Corp made similar moves,” he added.


This episode was broadcast on 23 August 2010.




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