Friday, May 4, 2007

Terrorists Tirades Taxpayer funded

U.S. taxpayers should not pay to air terrorist tirades. Yet, that is exactly what happened at Alhurra, an Arabic-language television network for the Middle East that is completely funded by U.S. tax dollars.

Alhurra exists to counter the anti-American biases that pervade the Arab world’s news media. However, the station’s recent broadcasts have instead provided platforms for terrorists to spew hate directed at the United States and Israel.

In November 2006, former CNN producer Larry Register took over the station. Since then, he has broadcast live, hour-long interviews with terrorist leaders. One month into the job, Register put Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah on live. According to the Wall Street Journal, less than five minutes into his 60-minute rant, Nasrallah told the audience behind him to stop their gun-firing, explaining, "the only place where bullets should be is the chest of the enemies of Lebanon: the Israeli enemy."

Register also broadcast live, unchallenged interviews with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in December and yet another in November with an alleged al Qaeda operative who, according to the WSJ, "expressed joy that 9/11 rubbed ‘America’s nose in the dust’."

When I learned of these events, I was outraged. Why on earth were terrorists allowed to spout-off live and unedited on a TV station paid for by American taxpayers? In no way are the ravings of Nasrallah and an al Qaeda operative promoting the United States’ perspectives and policies abroad. In no way were these broadcasts in our country’s best interests. How did this happen?

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