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article imageOp-Ed: Fox news getting in trouble over questionable news reporting

By Karen Graham     Feb 6, 2015 in World
Rupert Murdoch's FOX News network has had so much egg on its face lately it has become hard to figure out what's real. But airing a "snuff film" and alleging a "major investor in its parent company" was behind the 9/11 attacks takes the prize this week.
On Wednesday night, Fox News correspondent James Rosen reported that a “major investor in the parent company” of Fox News was implicated in financing the terrorist group al-Qaeda. Rosen dropped this bomb during the news network's “Special Report” show hosted by Bret Baier.
Zacarias Moussaoui, described as the 20th hijacker in the 9/11 attacks, alleged in a sworn statement released on Tuesday that the Saudi royal family was a financial backer of al-Qaeda. Moussaoui, who had the task of entering the names of financial supporters into a database, says the list had a number of high-profile individuals, including several members of the Saudi royal family.
Moussaoui has made incriminating claims before against the Saudi royal family says CNN. The 9/11 Commission report said "Saudi Arabia has long been considered the primary source of al Qaeda funding, but we have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization." But the report also added an addendum. In parenthesis was the remark, "This conclusion does not exclude the likelihood that charities with significant Saudi government sponsorship diverted funds to al Qaeda."
Here is the stickler, though. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is not only a close personal friend of Rupert Murdoch and his family, but Alwaleed is the second largest shareholder in Fox News' parent company. The Murdoch family controls a number of major media companies, such as News Corp and 21st Century Fox, the parent company of the Fox News Channel.
Rosen has been called a hard-nosed investigative reporter, and the allegations he made on-air forced him to cover up the disclosures. But the cat was out of the bag, and the developing scandal puts Murdoch, the News Channel's chairman and Chief Executive Officer squarely in the middle.
Fox News decides to make ISIS atrocities public
The news media plays an important role in disseminating news from around the globe. And like media around the world, some of it is not seen by the public for various reasons. This might involve government censorship or the political leanings of the news outlet's majority shareholders. It's a tricky business and sometimes profits outweigh good taste.
This is what happened with the latest video allegedly posted by the terrorist group ISIS showing the Jordanian fighter-jet pilot, Muath Al-Kassasbeh being burned alive in a cage. The video is being called a "snuff film" by Salon, and rightly so. Salon points out the world has been inundated with these snuff films for the past nine months. There is a growing majority of news channels that will tell you that showing these films lends credence to the terror group ISIS and is playing into their hands.
On Tuesday, FOX News made the decision to do what the other major news networks refused to do, and that was to show the video of the gruesome death of the Jordanian pilot. Fox News played right into the terror group's hands, by showing the world just how big and bad ISIS can be in their quest to dominate the world. Cheap thrills for viewers with a morbid curiosity? Yes, it was. An attempt to get a few extra bucks in earnings? Yes, it was.
Fox News broke with from a policy held by other news networks, themselves included, when they aired the gruesome video. When the video of American journalist James Foley’s murder was posted by ISIS, Fox didn't air that snuff film. It kept the gruesome murder from the public's eye out of respect for the family, and more importantly, out of common decency. But interestingly, Foley was an American, and not a Jordanian.
Here is what John Moody, the executive vice president of Fox News, said when Andrew Kirell of Mediaite asked about the inconsistency in showing this latest video over showing Foley's execution video: “I’m not going to compare two deaths under any circumstances,” he said. But he then argued that the Jordanian's death was more "newsworthy" than Foley's. “As we’ve seen from the news reports out of Amman,” Moody said, “this [video] — more than the previous acts of ISIS — has profoundly touched the Muslim world as well as the West.”
Apparently, Fox News is the news channel of choice with Jordanians. If this is true, Fox News is now helping to add fuel to a fire. Moody has taken it upon himself to be the leading moderator of people's viewing habits. Brett Baier basically made the same claims, when on Tuesday night he told viewers that Fox News' decision to show the video was because “[w]e feel you need to see it” in order to “bring you the reality of Islamic terrorism and to label it as such.”
Notice that Baier used the words "Islamic terrorism." A terror group is nothing more than a bunch of thugs, and religion should not enter the picture at all. Using the word Islamic in describing the terror group ISIS is disrespectful of Islam and the millions of Muslims around the world who are good and law-abiding citizens.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Fox news, 911, Rupert Murdoch, james rosen, Alqaeda
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