[Marxism] Saudi Royal Backs Fox News

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 26 11:59:07 MDT 2010

August 26, 2010, 12:16 pm
Saudi Royal Backs Imam and Fox News

Remarks by Dan Senor, a former Bush administration official, on 
Fox News this week led to a call to boycott the channel.

In an awkward moment on Fox News this week, a pundit suggested 
that a member of the Saudi royal family who has supported the 
bridge-building work of the imam behind a planned Muslim community 
center and mosque in Lower Manhattan “funds radical madrasas all 
over the world.” The awkwardness came from the fact — unmentioned 
by anyone on the Fox set — that the same Saudi, Prince Alwaleed 
bin Talal, also happens to be the second-largest shareholder in 
News Corp., the parent company of the Fox News Channel.

During his appearance on Fox News on Monday, Dan Senor, a former 
Bush administration official, hinted darkly that Feisal Abdul Rauf 
— an imam who was first recruited to promote religious tolerance 
in the Middle East on behalf of the United States government by 
the Bush administration — had, in the past, received financial 
support from a Saudi foundation established by a man with supposed 
radical ties. Mr. Senor did not mention the prince’s name but said:

The Kingdom Foundation, so you know, is this Saudi organization, 
headed up by the guy who tried to give Rudy Giuliani $10 million 
after 9/11 that was sent back, funds radical madrasas all over the 

Last week, Sam Gustin pointed out on AOL’s Daily Finance blog that 
the prince owns a good portion of the channel on which he was 

The stridency with which Fox News personalities attack the 
downtown Islamic center — red meat for the millions who tune in 
each night — is an example of the often uneasy relationship and 
occasionally diverging interests between many of News Corp.’s 
properties, in this case Fox News and its parent corporation. For 
example, News Corp.’s second-largest shareholder, after the 
Murdoch family, is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the nephew of Saudi 
Arabian King Abdullah, and one of the world’s richest men.

Through his Kingdom Holding Co., Alwaleed owns about 7 percent of 
News Corp., or about $3 billion of the media giant.
Karl Jeffs/Getty Images News Corp.’s two largest shareholders, 
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Rupert Murdoch, last year in the 
United Arab Emirates.

In an interview with Deborah Solomon of The New York Times 
Magazine in 2006, the prince said his attempt to give $10 million 
to victims’ families after the Sept. 11 attacks — which was 
returned because he also suggested that the United States should 
“adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause” — was 
part of his attempt “to bridge the gap between Christianity and 
Islam and Judaism.”

As John Cook explained on Yahoo’s Update blog, several Fox News 
anchors and guests have gone to great lengths in recent weeks to 
suggest that the Muslim center is a front for radicalism by 
insisting that we must “follow the money” of the people who might 
donate money to it:

The opponents of the proposed Cordoba Initiative Islamic center 
planned for Lower Manhattan are fond of suggesting, by way of 
lengthy and often confusing chains of causation and association, 
that its principal planner, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is connected 
to terrorism.

“The imam has been tied to some shady characters,” Fox Business 
Channel’s Eric Bolling recently said, “so should we worry that 
terror dollars could be funding the project?”

Mr. Cook noted that the implication that Prince Alwaleed’s 
foundation spreads radicalism seems to stem from its donations to 
projects like one undertaken last year by the Islamic Development 
Bank, which is building three community centers in Malawi, each of 
which will reportedly include a mosque, a health center and a 
primary school.

The same day that Mr. Senor appeared on Fox, another News Corp. 
property, The Wall Street Journal, reported that “Controversy over 
the community center, which will contain a mosque and other 
facilities, has helped fan anti-Muslim rhetoric in the U.S. far 
from Lower Manhattan in recent weeks.” Evan Kohlmann, a terrorism 
expert who monitors jihadist Web sites told the newspaper, “We are 
handing al Qaeda a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup,” 
with the uproar over the center.

As my colleague Frank Rich pointed out several years ago, someone 
should really tell all journalists who think that they are 
emulating Woodward and Bernstein by repeating the mantra “follow 
the money” that the phrase was invented by the screenwriter 
William Goldman for the Hollywood version of “All the President’s 

But taking the Fox pundits at their word, Jon Stewart suggested on 
The Daily Show this week that the best way to keep the Saudi 
prince from making money and then possibly using it to back the 
mosque project, is to boycott Fox News:

This is the proposed ‘terror mosque.’ We know that it’s a ‘terror 
mosque’ because the money may be coming from a bad guy, who 
definitely owns part of Fox News. Now, we know that he’s a bad guy 
because we just heard it on Fox News.

And by hearing it on Fox News, watching Fox News, I’m increasing 
their viewership. And their advertising rates go up. Now, part of 
that money goes to the bad guy we learned about on Fox because 
he’s their part owner — Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — allowing him 
then to make it rain, so to speak, on the ‘terror mosque.’

My point is this: If we want to cut off funding to the ‘terror 
mosque,’ we must, together as a nation, stop watching Fox.

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