Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And Now, Infidel Newshour With Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

OK, look. We've heard just about enough of president Bush screwed up the war, and president Bush is surrounded by idiots, and president Bush likes it that way. While you're all out there complaining because our troops completing their third and fourth tours in the middle of a civil war, while Navy and Air Force people are being retrained as ground combat troops because there aren't enough people left in the Army and Marines that don't dive under desks when a car backfires or wake up screaming every night, your president, the one you think is a clueless bozo, has been quietly winning over hearts and minds in the Middle East.

Al Hurra television is the U.S. government's $63 million-a-year effort at public diplomacy broadcasting in the Middle East.

Ha! See that? Another six months or so of the 'A' Team and the Mujahadeen will be as dangerous as Cubs fans.

Critics say the network is run by executives and officials who cannot speak Arabic.

Yeah, well, that's not so bad. You think MTV is run by young people? You think American Idol is run by people who can sing? You think the government is run by...well...bad example, but you get the point. Who needs to speak Arabic when you've got The Price Is Right?

According to a senior official who oversees the program, lack of Arabic speaker on the executive staff might explain why the service has recently been caught broadcasting terrorist messages, including an hour-long tirade on the importance of anti-Jewish violence, among other questionable pieces.

Erm...OK, "Kill the Zionist Pig" could be a game show.

Facing tough questions before a congressional panel last week, Broadcasting Board of Governors member Joaquin Blaya admitted none of the senior news managers at the network knew anything about running a television station, let alone one in a foreign language. "I watched Fox a lot," Blaya said. "I figured, how hard could it be?"

"How does it happen that the terrorists take over?" asked Rep. Gary L. Ackerman, D-N.Y., at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee he chairs. "Hey, don't talk to me about terrorism," Blaya countered. "Have you seen The OC?"

Blaya conceded that the top officials in the network's chain of command could not understand what was being said on al Hurra broadcasts. "The commercials were in English though. We thought that was helpful."

The network's news division also had no assignment desk, he said. That left decisions over al Hurra's content in the hands of its reporters and producers, who are, according to Blaya, hastily-hired Arabic-speaking journalists. "In retrospect, I suppose when the objective line on their resumes said 'Destroy the infidel crusaders,' that should have been a clue," Blaya admitted.

It has never been al Hurra's policy to "provide an open, live microphone to terrorists," Blaya assured lawmakers. "We were thinking more of a seven second tape delay, or something along those lines. You know, like they should have done to Imus."

The station's gaffes have included broadcasting a 68-minute call to arms against Israelis by a senior figure of the terrorist group Hezbollah. "You know, I thought that guy looked familiar," Blaya told the Committee, "But Ali, my assistant told me he was the Arabic equivalent of Mr. Rogers, so I let it go."

At the hearing, Blaya and other officials assured lawmakers that some of the staffers involved in the controversial broadcasts had been fired. "Well, actually when we went down to fire them they had already disappeared. Plus they had booby trapped their desks. We had trouble getting janitors after that."

Blaya also said the network now has an assignment desk, staffed by Arabic-speaking editors. And the network's vice president of news has hired an Arabic speaker to help monitor its broadcasts and ensure the material is consistent with al Hurra's mission. "We're pretty confident that our new vice president, a Mr Muqtada al Sadr, will make sure nothing like this happens again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why does this surprise you when someone like Michael Brown, who had no emergency management experience, is hired to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)?