Uday goes on in his videotaped conversation with al-Ali to mention that some people have relayed to him al-Ali’s comment that Al Jazeera is the station of Iraq’s Baathist regime “both literally and figuratively.” Thus, Uday says, “It is important that I share with you my observations about the station.”
In response, al-Ali never denies saying that Al Jazeera was Saddam’s station. Instead, his cloying remarks provide Uday every reason to believe that this is so. Al-Ali gives Uday his “unequivocal thanks for the precious trust that you put in me so that I was able to play a role at Al Jazeera; indeed I can even say that without your kind cooperation with us and your support my mission would have failed.” Al-Ali also tells Uday that, in his mission at Al Jazeera to serve Iraq, “the lion’s share of the credit goes to you personally sir, yet we would be remiss not to mention our colleagues here who constantly strive to implement your directive.”
On April 24 I reported on the lecture Abderrahim Foukara, Al Jazeera’s New York Bureau Chief gave at Princeton University’s Wilson School. In Mr. Foukara’s own words,
The scourge of the media, be it AJ or CNN, too, is the attempt to merchandise sentiments — the Arab world is anti-American — because being ‘anti-something’ sells.”
And A-J can be bought, too. It’s all about merchandising.