Early in Al-Hurra’s life I met with an official of the network, and we had a wide-ranging and detailed discussion which appeared to be most promising. But I never heard from them again, and they clearly went in a direction much different from the one which I had suggested, which was much like the one ably delineated by Hugh here.
By Justin Rood for ABC’s The Blotter, with thanks to Oao:
Al Hurra television, the U.S. government’s $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East, is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic, according to a senior official who oversees the program.
That might explain why critics say the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces….
Or maybe Al-Hurra officials are just too naive, too trusting, and too filled with Armstrong/Esposito nonsense about Islam to be anything but asleep at the wheel.
“How does it happen that the terrorists take over?” asked Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., at a hearing last Wednesday of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee he chairs. “Is there no adult supervision?”…
Also, the network’s news division also had no assignment desk, he said. That left decisions over al Hurra’s content in the hands of its reporters and producers, who are, according to Blaya, hastily-hired Arabic-speaking journalists with insufficient understanding of Western journalistic practices or the network’s pro-Western mission.