Letter: Brought to you by Al Jazeera
While there’s no denying county residents get good local news coverage in the Gazette-Journal, I get pleasure and information on the radio too. In the mornings when I’m outside wearing my "work tunes" and whacking weeds, the Classical station that I choose is one owned by the WHRO people. It’s one of the many National Public Radio affiliates that are supported by donations from private citizens and some business interests, together with taxpayers’ money channelled there by Congress through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The total taxpayer "contribution" is around 25 percent of operating budgets and totals millions of tax dollars according to some reliable eyeshade wearing observers.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, the morning news on FM 89.9 the other day was brought to the airwaves by NPR’s new sponsor, Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera, you ask? Yes, Al Jazeera, the worldwide state owned—Qatar (get a map)—broadcasting network that has spread venom and anti-Judeo-Christian propaganda abroad, and due to an acquisition of Al Gore’s former U.S. broadcasting asset, now is offered on Comcast, Verizon, FiOS, DirecTV, Dish Network and Warner. So now Peninsula locals can get their anti-Israel, anti-U.S.A. propaganda via cable on their TV. Or maybe, as was hinted the other day during the NPR news breaks, on WHRO FM 89.9.
According to articles in The Washington Post last December, NPR ad revenues—oops, "underwriting" receipts—are way down. There was talk of cutting staff. Maybe that’s the reason they’ve taken Al Jazeera’s money. But I think it’s sad that in exchange for Lawrence Welk reruns and Masterpiece Theater, WHRO listeners and viewers allow NPR and WHRO to partner with this disgusting new "sponsor." Golly, folks, this is a lot worse than cigarette advertising. And nobody takes their money.