Monday, October 17, 2005

Fomer Marine PR Guy Joins Al Jazeera

I thought this was just too interesting to ignore. So here you go...
Is he a modern-day Tokyo Rose, the nickname GIs in World War II gave to the womenthey heard on Japanese radio trying to turn them against America? Is he a propagandist set to tear down the country he once served? A collaborator aiding the enemy?

Rushing, 33, has taken a job reporting for a new channel for Al-Jazeera. That's the Qatar-based network that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said is "perfectly willing to lie to the world" and has "a pattern of playing propaganda over and over and over again" for its 50 million viewers, most of them in the Arab world.

Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly branded it a "propaganda network ... bent on encouraging violence and sympathetic to terrorists." And Iraq's new government temporarily closed the network's offices in Baghdad, saying that Al-Jazeera incites insurgents by showing video of attacks and statements from Osama bin Laden and his deputies.

But Rushing, who will appear on a global, English-language news channel the network hopes to start by spring, considers his decision to work for Al-Jazeera noble, not seditious. "I've given my entire adult life to the health and well-being of this nation," Rushing says. "I wouldn't do anything to threaten that.

"What the Marines trained me to do was to represent the best of what America stands for to a foreign audience. That's exactly what I'm going to do."
And if you saw Control Room the whole thing is even odder. Truth stranger than fiction, indeed!

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