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Rotana board discusses News Corp tieup [edited]


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Jul 31, 2010
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First: Rotana Group meets to discuss latest developments regarding their alliance with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp

While Jon Stewart recently criticized Fox news for questioning the possibility of the "ground zero mosque" receiving funding from Alwaleed bin Talal even though bin Talal also owns 7% of News Corp, this seems trivial in comparison to the fact that Murdoch personally closed a deal to invest 70 million dollars in bin Talal's Saudi based Rotana Group. While some have argued that corporations can't pick and choose investors, Murdoch certainly can pick and choose where he invests, and who he invests in. Fox News reported that bin Talal may have ties to terrorism and "funds radical Madrassas" around the world (Fox and Friends, 8/23) but failed to mention that on the very next day, top officials from bin Talal's organization and Rupert Murdoch's organization would be meeting in the Middle East to strengthen their strategic alliance.

This comes on top of a slew of false attacks against Park51. Editorials falsely claim that the mosque would begin construction on September 11th, which was a completely fabricated claim. This lie was echoed by conservative pundits around the country.

All of this on top of the fact that Park51's description clearly differentiates it from a mosque: "Besides the Muslim prayer space, the Initiative's plan includes a 500-seat auditorium, theater, performing arts center, fitness center, swimming pool, basketball court, childcare services, art exhibitions, bookstore, culinary school, and a food court serving halal dishes." All of these facilities, including the prayer space intended for Muslims, can be used by people of any faith. And the mosque is an estimated 6 and a half Lower Manhattan blocks away from the nearest tower that fell on 9/11.

Despite all these facts, Fox News mentioned the mosque an estimated 555 times from August 15th - August 22nd, even though polls show that Americans aren't very interested in the issue. A Time Magazine poll showed that 74 percent of Americans said the issue will have absolutely no effect on how they vote in November. The same poll showed that 50% of Americans think the mosque would serve as a symbol of religious tolerance, even if they still found it personally offensive. In the most recent Pew Research Poll, 5% of Americans said this was the story that they were following most closely.

If Americans aren't the ones demanding exhausting coverage of this story, who is?
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