U.S.-Funded Arab TV’s Credibility Crisis, 60 Minutes/ProPublica Joint Investigation Finds Anti-Israel Rhetoric On U.S.-Funded Al Hurra TV – CBS News
(CBS) America has been struggling with its image in the Middle East for decades but, after Iraq, Arab opinion plummeted. The Bush administration felt it had to act fast to explain America to the Arab world. So it began spending about $100 million a year on a U.S. government news channel in Arabic. It’s called “Al Hurra,” meaning “The Free One.”
As correspondent Scott Pelley reports, Al Hurra’s symbol is a herd of unbridled horses, and for American taxpayers it’s been a wild ride.
60 Minutes has been looking into Al Hurra in a project with ProPublica, a new, non-profit news organization dedicated to investigative journalism. With so much at stake at Al Hurra, we were surprised to find what it’s putting on the air. Some of it has supported terrorism and denied the Holocaust; insiders say Al Hurra has been undermined by loose financial and editorial controls, while its executives try to manage 24-hour news in a language most of them don’t understand.