A Fox News executive said he was surprised and “curious” at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent praise for Al-Jazeera and criticism of US media.
“We’ve got leadership issues there, the safety of people, the safety of our own people,” said Michael Clemente, a senior vice president of Fox, according to The Associated Press. “Some big issues. All of a sudden there are headlines about Al-Jazeera versus the news in this country? It’s just surprising. Curious more than surprising.”
Clinton on Wednesday called Al-Jazeera — which has vigorously covered the pro-democracy movement in the Middle East — “real news” and fretted that American media was relying too much on “talking heads” rather than informing people.
“Like it or hate it, it is really effective,” Clinton told a group of lawmakers. “In fact, viewership of Al-Jazeera is going up in the United States because it is real news.”
“You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news that is not providing information to us, let alone foreigners,” said.
Al-Jazeera’s relentless coverage of the Egypt uprising is believed to played an important role in forcing the resignation of former leader Hosni Mubarak.
Fox was apparently alone among the networks in taking issue with Clinton’s remarks. Spokespersons from CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS declined to comment to the AP on Friday.