Recent media articles have featured Maine tea party members who are upset that the Washington Bureau Chief of Al-Jazeera, Abderrahim Foukara, will be the speaker at the General Henry Knox Museum’s 2011 fundraising event. The Sun Journal printed a letter to the editor on July 18 featuring the same complaint. Apparently, the tea party has made a foray into censorship.
In his letter, Jared Bristol makes an unsupported allegation, floated in the right-wing media, that Al-Jazeera is “a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood.” From there, it’s a couple of jumps to the contention that having Foukara as a speaker is giving “evil” a microphone.
For the record, Abderrahim Foukara is a veteran journalist who has reported for the BBC and has appeared on ABC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN and other news outlets. Al-Jazeera was demonized by the George W. Bush administration during the run-up to the Iraq war but is currently recognized for its comprehensive coverage of the “Arab Spring.” Foukara can offer a different perspective on revolutions current and historical.
It’s ironic that the tea party wants a demonstration at the Knox Museum event at a time when Rupert Murdoch, owner of its preferred media outlet, Fox, faces intense scrutiny for allegations that his now-defunct News of the World hacked into the cell phones of a murder victim, war widows, and victims of the terrorist attacks of 7/7 in London, looking for tabloid fodder.
Renee Cote, Auburn