Former Al Jazeera English anchor Dave Marash said Sunday that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly was wrong to describe the Arab channel as “anti-American.”
O’Reilly said last week that former Vice President Al Gore “shamed himself” by selling Current TV to Al Jazeera, claiming the Qatar-based media network aired a program that was sympathetic to Osama Bin Laden.
Marash told CNN’s Howard Kurtz that O’Reilly’s analysis was a “vast oversimplification.” He noted that Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is a minority shareholder in News Corp., Fox News’s parent company, and that Qatar’s royal family is considered a friend of the United States.
“Al Jazeera has covered news, and when they put Osama Bin Laden on television, they covered it as news,” he explained. “They didn’t just take his tapes and re-broadcast them, they took his tapes, extracted the newsworthy portions, cut them down, then surrounded them by analysis and interpretation. That’s what journalists do.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by CNN, below: