Daily Israel Report

Media Watchdog with Ties to White House Linked to Al-Jazeera

Media Matters for America, the left-leaning media watchdog that has come under fire for its anti-Semitic rhetoric, has links to Al-Jazeera.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 3/19/2012, 4:37 PM

Al Jazeera Award
Al Jazeera Award
Reuters

Media Matters for America, the left-leaning media watchdog organization that has come under fire for its overt anti-Semitic rhetoric, has links to Al-Jazeera, The Daily Caller reported.

MJ Rosenberg, the organization’s senior foreign policy fellow and former AIPAC staffer who is now intensely critical of the pro-Israel lobby, represented Media Matters at a forum hosted by Al-Jazeera in Doha, Qatar and his column appears regularly on their website, explained The Daily Caller. 

He called Fox News “a very, very dangerous force in the United States” and Fox News host Sean Hannity “one of the biggest right wing liars on Fox News,” while praising Al-Jazeera as being “mainstream” and “factual.”

Supporting, what many consider to be, the Obama administration’s unfavorable treatment of Israel, he said, “Suddenly Israel today is, even though it gets what it wants to a certain extent, Israel is treated as another country, a foreign country, which makes it no different than all the other foreign countries. That is what Obama is trying to do: take Israel away from being the 51st state and make it a foreign country like Lebanon or France or any normal foreign country.”

“You know, he has sent the Arab world signals from day one of where his heart is,” Rosenberg added.

Yet, as The Daily Caller noted, “Absent from Rosenberg’s speech at the May 2010 forum was any criticism of Arab authoritarianism or any recognition of the threats Israel faces from Palestinian terrorism and Iranian nuclear proliferation. Rosenberg also didn’t offer any criticism of the anti-American, anti-Israeli biases of Al-Jazeera.”

Last month, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowits declared a personal war on the organization, claiming, “Media Matters will be singlehandedly responsible for (Obama) losing this election. They (the Democrats) cannot win the election and keep this affiliation with them.”

“I don’t know whether President Obama has any idea that Media Matters has turned the corner against Israel in this way,” Dershowitz said, but “I can tell you this: He will know very shortly, because I am beginning a serious campaign on this issue and I will not let it drop until and unless Rosenberg is fired from Media Matters, or Media Matters changes its policy or the White House disassociates itself from Media Matters.”

Rosenberg drew criticism from many pro-Israel groups for using the term "Israel Firsters” to describe American Jews who allegedly put the interests of Israel before those of the United States.