Stewart: Fox Smears Owner Alwaleed bin Talal!

Jon Stewart points out that Fox News anchors and guests are vilifying Saudi prince and financier Alwaleed bin Talal as a financial backer of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Muslim-American clergyman who seeks to build a community center in lower Manhattan. The problem: Alwaleed bin Talal is part owner of Fox News. Stewart’s special correspondents debate whether Fox is just pure evil or terminally stupid. I vote for both.

Apparently most of the country actually prefers Democrats to Republicans, thinks well of Obama’s major initiatives, and just wants the jobs to come back. All this noise about tea parties and vilifying Muslim Americans is being generated by just three guys– the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch. And poor Prince Alwaleed’s capital is being used for Islamophobia. For a Saudi prince to help fund Fox Cable News is like having a prominent African American entrepreneur fund a Steppin Fetchit remake. If I were he, I’d sell my shares in Fox, or maybe sue Newscorp for libel. I know suing yourself for libel could be complicated, but surely there is a tax break in there somewhere.

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39 Responses

  1. Actually the linkage may be slightly different than you suggest. Fox News benefits from the fear and turbulence occasioned by terrorism on the fundamentalist right, whether Islamic or others. It is therefore in the financial interest of Fox News investors to make sure this continues. In effect we have the 21st century version of Hearst´s purported instructions to a photographer “you supply the photos and I will supply the war”. It may be a marriage of convenience but it is in Fox’s financial interest to provoke public clamor over the Muslim cultural center even if doing so increases recruitment for al-Qaeda, puts more American troops at risk, and may stir more terror attacks in the US.

    • Would CNN and ABC have the same benefit? Jon Stewart. Does he benefit from these types of stories ?

      If this was such a great argument, would CNN not be splashing it all over , every minute? Turner is already upset about the whole Turner/Time Warner deal. Has been for years. Soro’s, like Murdoch, hates to lose a penny through his investments. He will give it away, but hates to lose on an Investment.

      As with Soro’s and Time Warner, NewsCorp is an investment for Kingdom Holding. They are very clear and precise as to what their Investment objectives are, their parameters, and Risk/Reward goals are.

      Being that one of their main investment objectives is cash flow , one could easily see how it would be more beneficial to them to manipulate CNN, as the stock really can’t go much lower.

      Also, one could say, lets change a couple of words. ” CNN and Viacom benefits from the fear and turbulence occasioned by terrorism on the fundamentalist Left , whether Islamic or others.” ?

      Having such a goal, would not sit well with a Company like Apple, for instance. Think about that.

      Once again, if this “game ” is such a Home Run, why isn’t CNN even reporting this? They don’t want any more fires, such as ad revenue loss, as with the other investments of KH, their target demographics would fit CNN more than it would Fox.

      This won’t work. It would give Gibbs a boost though. It would explain his recent comments.

      • Your evol dialogue was too long, but allow me to rebutt what I did read before boredom set in.

        John Stewart is a comedian not a news caster. If this, cultural center, mosque combination, wasn’t in the news he and his crew would simply move on to the next Fox, MSNBS,ABC,CBS, et. al. , slip shod reporting techniques.

        • Just as Glenn Beck has admitted that he is an entertainer ergo, also not a news caster

  2. African-American rich person funding a “Stepin Fetchit” remake? Hey, if there’s a good ROI, why the heck should (s)he care? How clear does it have to be that bucks are the most important thing, Trumping even the most fun-damental of tribal drives? And didn’t Sun Tzu and Macchiaveli have some advice on how to use your next enemy’s strength to defeat the current one, in that grand complicated Game of RISK! and WAR! we are all embroiled in?

    Those with the Liberty to indulge live in a new world where everything is “Wag The Dog” hot-button made-for-TV-and-Netspace moments, where there are only string-of-pearls moments of “truthiness” and “factoids,” as explicated so neatly by Farhad Manjoo in his “True Enough: Learning To Live In A Post-Fact Society”:

    There’s something wonderful about this new freedom; we’re no longer
    reliant on an institutional media for our facts about the world.

    But the shift also creates a problem. In the book, I discuss dozens of
    psychological studies that suggest we humans have an innate preference
    to seek out information that confirms our worldview. That’s just how
    our brains work: If given a chance, we’ll avoid news facts that we
    don’t like.

    Digital technology allows us to indulge those human desires better
    than we could in the past. On the Web, television, radio, and all
    manner of new devices, today you can watch, listen to, and read what
    you want, whenever you want; seek out and discuss, in exhaustive and
    insular detail, the kind of news that pleases you; and pursue your
    political or social or scientific theories, whether sophisticated or
    naive, extremist or banal, grounded in reality or completely insane.

    [There's been] a fundamental shift in the way
    Americans are thinking about the news. No longer are we merely holding
    different opinions from one another; we’re also holding different
    facts. Increasingly, our arguments aren’t over what we *should* be
    doing — in the Iraq War, in the War on Terrorism, on Global Warming,
    or any number of controversial subjects — but, instead, over what *is
    happening*. You can go so far as to say we’re now fighting over
    competing version of reality.

    Bumper Sticker: Ah, The Comforts Of Cognitive Dissonance! with the small-print reminder of that wonderful absolution, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

  3. Maybe there is a Muslim conspiracy here, Juan – this Alwaleed bin Talal is really using Fox to turn Americans stupid, so we can’t counteract their evil scheme to take over America (and then the world). And it’s working! Did you hear the stupidity of the people protesting “Ground Zero Mosque”? Their misunderstanding of Islam is so profound it’s like they dream up stuff to be afraid of and then label that “Islam”.

  4. Ummmm…might not Islamophobia help the Saudi monarchy keep and consolidate its position of power in a nation that has become increasingly unstable over the last 10 or so years? Or, is it not at least possible that the Saudi king & princes might believe this?

  5. What is sad is that it took Jon Stewart to bring Fox News’ lack of journalistic integrity to light. Once again the mainstream media was asleep at the wheel.

  6. Why are we not hearing more about this in the “traditional” media? You would think the New York Times would run with this story. What’s going on that FOX is not being called out for their ties with the “terrorist” (FOX’s word, not mine) who is building the “mosque” (actually a cultural center)? What am I missing here?

  7. Follow the money is always a great chant. Well until it comes back around to expose oops the corporation you are employed by.

    Basically total silence in the so called progressive blogosphere about ever expanding Israeli illegal settlements. Of course silence in our MSM. Hell even Rachel Maddow repeating inflammatory and unsubstantiated claims about Iran. Follow that money.

    • After I had ditched the entire mainstream media quite a while ago I only used to follow Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow. Well, I realized that since 3-6 months I had rarely been watching Keith O. and, more importantly, since the last several weeks I have had no desire to watch Rachel either.

      As I reflect on this I also realized that while they may not be as bad as the mainstream media, their topics and coverage too have become rather irrelevant to the real issues.

  8. I really do wonder what Alwaleed bin Talal thinks about being libelled by a company he owns seven per cent of. In Saudi his television stations are accused of being Unislamic, in the US he is accused of funding terrorism by his own television asset. He should have stuck to banks and property.
    Of course any sort of charitable giving to Islamic organisations is equivalent to “funding terrorism” in the US this month. As is being Saudi Arabian

  9. I had to do a little research to determine that the Koch Brothers are not associated with Ed Koch.

  10. While the Prince is certainly interested in influencing the world’s most popular news outlet (he’s bragged about calling up Murdoch and having scroll changed from “Muslim Riots” to “Civil Riots.”) The real issue here is (and always will be) about money. Fox News provides misinformation to the general public in an effort to smear “clean technologies.” A decrease in our dependence on foreign oil hurts the Saudi royal family. The Prince can put up with some slander and bigotry…so long as the oil keeps flowing and the US dollars keep rolling in. In a rare interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto in January, AlWaleed explained his personal reasons for seeking influence in American politics: the U.S. buys Saudi Arabia’s oil, and the bulk of his country’s gross domestic product (GDP) comes from oil. Fox News reliably broadcasts misinformation on clean energy, and aggressively fights efforts to move America away from being dependent on a fossil fuels. As Fox & Friends point out… “Follow the Money.”

  11. The major news networks including CNN were not helpful deciphering facts from fiction. Fox News may be a propaganda outlet; so is CNN, ABC News… when since 9/11/2001 did nothing to tell what is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan or how Muslims were targeted unfairly. If you focus on the “terror Mosque” alone you don’t get the whole picture. I feel sorry for people who are trying to catch one news and trying to understand the whole picture. Thanks to many independent informative media we are not all ignorant. Democracy Now!, Bill Moyer, and many investigative journalists have been filling the gap where every “news networks” wouldn’t want to fill.

  12. Obama’s policies suck. Unless of course, you are a major corporation who seeks to extract rents from the middle class. HAMP, anyone? HCR, that the pharmaceutical companies paid to promote? The bail-out of the banks at 100 cents on the dollar?

    Please, Obamacorp is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall St. The Dems are probably going to lose the House in the Fall, and deservedly so. The only problem is the Republicans are slightly worse.

  13. Never know when to trust to Wiki, but when is anything every as simple as it seems:

    “Stepin Fetchit (May 30, 1902 – November 19, 1985) was the stage name of American comedian and film actor Lincoln Theodore Monroe Andrew Perry….
    Perry’s typical film persona and stage name have long been controversial, and seen as synonymous with negative stereotypes of African-Americans. However, a newer interpretation of his film persona contends Perry was ultimately subversive of the status quo….
    Perry reportedly converted to Islam in the 1960s and became a friend of heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali….”
    link to en.wikipedia.org
    If Perry had lived a little longer he might have heard some NWA, or met Flavor Flav.
    Likewise, I can’t imagine a Saudi Prince being so concerned with the fate of American Muslims, not to invest in a right wing propaganda organ like Fox. Besides, Lockheed Martin buys a lot ads on Fox.

  14. “The major news networks including CNN were not helpful deciphering facts from fiction. Fox News may be a propaganda outlet; so is CNN, ABC News”

    This is a good point, and why we should rethink this as something that will serve any purpose , besides showing that we will just say anything, true or not, to try to build the progress of “Change”.

    This is so bad to the democratic party, one I have been in for over 50 years , this really makes me think we have totally lost it. Everyone is saying facts, and yet, we are not using them. Could it be that there are some of us in this party that are fueling things like ” Gibbs Far left comments” or Burton’s reaffirming Gibbs statements, but in a nicer way?

    The result of Jon Stewarts ‘reporting” that This investment Company , Kingdom Holdings , which is run by this Prince for the entire Saudi Royal family , is that it is so convoluted, even Stewart was forced to remove it from his website. There were som I am sure, Un-intended consequences.

    First, owning stock in NewsCorp, which is the parent Company of Fox News, is not being a “Co-owner ” It is called being a Shareholder. This fund owns 7 % of NEWSCORPS stock. Not Fox news.

    Second- This Holding Company, is also a publicly traded stock , traded on the London exchange. Anyone can buy it’s stock , as they can NewsCorp.

    Third-While follow the money is often a good thing, in this instance, the money trail leads back to the exact same thing people are attaking Fox for. I am not defending Fox, I am pointing out a blatant, Hyprocratic position, or line being drawn by factions of our party.

    If what the premise of this story is true, that Fox news is in any way influenced by what this Prince does , and this is the result, then maybe we should look closer , and so should Stewart, as we all know about throwing stones in glass house.

    This Holding Company bought NewsCorp stock .

    This Holding Company is also the 3rd largest shareholder of Time Warner , Parent Company of CNN . The second largest is George Soros, and the largest shareholder of Time Warner , Is Ted Turner. Both active and suppotive to our party. Does this mean that CNN and Anderson Cooper, and all the “reporters on CNN are also C0-Owners” with the Kingdom Holdings , and influenced by the Stock holdings of it’s 3 largest shareholders? Does this mean that George Soros and Turner stock ownership, make it biased , and do their bidding? No of course not. Does this also mean that CNN has ties to some “bad activities, allegedly linked to security issues. No, of course not.

    The prince also is a significant shareholder of Disney, which is the Parent Company of ABC News. Are they involved in something? No of course not.

    Next, a significant percentage of Apple Computers, is also owned by this same , Prince Controlled Public Company . Does that make Apple part of some conspiracy to engage in illicit activities? No, of Course not.

    he is also a large shareholder of Sak’s, pepsico, Four Seasons Hotel, Canary Wharf project, Motorola, P&G and a host of others.

    The reason, I am sure why Stewart took this down, is that this Prince also has a large stake in a Company called Viacom. They own MTV’s, and also the Commedy Network, which just so happens to own The daily Show with Jon Stewart. You see where this is going? Does Jon stewart get his paycheck from a nafarious Muslim ? No, of course not. It is a little hypocritical though.
    This Prince is HIGHLY regarded by all sides, and VERY supportive of many liberal Companies, and People that own them. Are we all guilty of something, such as Stewart was suggesting? No of course not.

    This is easily, thrown back at us by those who chose to do so. To use this as some sort of Gotcha, by many on the left, will end up making us look bad. We have had enough of that. Why do you think Jon took it down?

    It is my hope that we reconsider this gottcha, because the left is just as involved as NewsCorp, which means do as we say, not as we do”. that never works, and is already having condequences. I hope this is considered before we continue this issue. We come out looking like fools if we keep it up.

    This is my opinion, and I respect those of others. I just want to make sure we are informed. This is not one to play with. Too many on the left with a lot to lose.

    Thank you

    • owning stock in NewsCorp, which is the parent Company of Fox News, is not being a “Co-owner ” It is called being a Shareholder.

      Actually, the owners of a corporation are its shareholders. And 7% of Newscorp stock represents around $3 billion, so to question his potential influence is a little silly.

      • So George Soros and Ted Turner tell Anderson Cooper and Larry King what to say or do?

        No, they don’t. They try,maybe , but 7 % shareholders do not run the Company.

        the notion that they do is silly. 7% isn’t enough to trigger most By-laws into motion. what is he going to do? Tell Murdoch I will sell if you don’t do as I say. If you think that, you don’t know him very well. It is a profitable company, Unlike Time Warner. He could easily absorb the stock. It is an investment that he gets a nice return from, and he gets the expertise of NewsCorp for his Media property back home. They don’t tell Murdoch what or what not to report. That model has proven to be very ineffective, and very Unprofitable . Murdoch is all about profits. That is what he is about.

        Yes, I understand that shareholders own “shares” of a Corporation. Co-Owner(singular) is not a term used to describe someone with a 7 % stake. Never heard it used that way in 25 years.

    • I am not really sure what people mean by “left” in the American context. I don’t really see one. I just thought I would point out that if you watch both Stuart segments he was not suggesting that we simply “follow the money” to infer people’s real commitments. Instead he was suggesting both that Fox was following one trail and not the other (inconsistency) and that seems to suggest a logical inconsistency in their argument.
      It’s also interesting that no one in this conversational thread is suggesting that Fox is, as it portrays itself to be, “fair and balanced” … at best, it appears to be a counter balance to other “left” organizations that the Kingdom is also invested in.
      Yes, apparently the mainstream media is, across the board, beholden to their shareholders… If there is a link between economic interests and political bias, this would suggest that all (mainstream) media reflects the same interest and tell different versions of the same story.

  15. Bobby1412:
    Jon Stewart has not removed this segment of the show from his website. Your argument is invalid

    • My Argument is invalid because of a website?

      Then they put it back up for hits, doesn’t change any facts. CNN and ABC, and Viacom are doing the same thing.

      Use this one. It will badly backfire.

      • If CNN, Viacom, and ABC are calling the head of Kingdom Holdings a terrorist supporter, but refusing to give out his name because of his holding stock in the company then you have a point. I’ve never heard anyone on any channel owned by these companies say that. The Daily Show also gave equal time to the idea that the people at Fox and Friends were just stupid, yet you fail to mention that. Finally, you must think of yourself as an intelligent guy, but arrogance and insults don’t make anyone want to come over to your way of thinking.

        • Who did I insult? Jon Stewart. Naw he would never say that. So who did I insult?

          This whole idea is nonsense. if that is an insult, not intended to be. I just speak to true things. CNN isn’t reporting this because to them its BS. Yes i asked.

          This going to just make the left….. Fill in the blank.

  16. more proof that muslim is the new gay in political fear mongering. do americans need a group of our own citizens to hate and be afraid of and deny equal rights? fox thinks so.

  17. Bobby

    I think if you watched subsequent episodes of the Daily Show you would have seen Jon Stewart was making two points about this story: one using Fox News’s connect-the-dots logic to show that Fox News has ‘terrorist ties’ just as much as the proposed NYC mosque, and the second to show just how ridiculous that logic was. Alwaleed Bin Talal seems to be a shrewd businessman who happens to be a Saudi prince.

    Furthermore the other news outlets/networks named definitely do not represent or further the interests the american left in any way. Besides Jon Stewart & Steven Colbert i don’t believe anybody on TV consistently does that anymore…

  18. Alwaleed has a right to invest in whatever he wants with his money. He’s also invests in APPLE. gasp. U gonna throw away your retarded iPad and hate on apple now?

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