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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Al Jazeera Aims to Fill Niche in RINO Media Market w/ New Digital Platform

'This show is a forum about the fight within the right over its commitment to liberalism...'

While many powerful American media companies find themselves scurrying to cancel conservative viewpoints, an unlikely foreign source said it aims to lean into the Right’s cause.

The Qatar-backed media outlet Al Jazeera recently announced plans to launch a new digital platform called Rightly, according to The Hill.

It claims it will cater to centrist Republicans who feel alienated by the radical leftist views of mainstream corporate media, but who also think right-wing-oriented alternatives like Fox News, Newsmax and One America News Network are too conservative.

Scott Norvell, a former News Corp. executive and Fox News president, will serve as Rightly’s editor-in-chief.

Washington, DC-based podcaster Stephen Kent, a public-relations veteran and Star Wars aficionado, will be its first on-screen personality.

Kent’s show, Right Now, will debut on YouTube this Thursday, seeking to promote the virtues of “classical liberalism,” which both major parties now consider anathema.

“This show is a forum about the fight within the right over its commitment to liberalism, the ethic of accommodation, and openness,” Kent said, according to NPR.

“That tradition is under attack on the left and right,” he continued. “But I can’t settle the left’s increasingly complicated relationship with liberalism. So my focus will be on the right and building the case over time for why the liberal tradition is worth defending.”

Kent’s statement linked to a recent Washington Post piece on the subject of classical liberalism. Among those name-checked in it were former Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, former US Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., and former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss.

Conservative backers of former president Donald Trump—who presently constitute the vast majority of Republican voters—are likely to refer to such GOP defectors with pejorative labels like “RINO” or “NeverTrump.”

FILLING THE VOID

The growing partisan divide has made clear to many that America is moving in the direction of a three-party system, likely unnerving those within the GOP political establishment.

A platform dedicated to promoting their views—along with Trump’s recent hints about setting up a reliable right-wing alternative—could help seal the deal, making the trial separation between the party’s conflicting forces a full-fledged divorce.

Beyond that, the realignment’s long-term impacts to the fragile political order within a deeply divided America remain anyone’s guess.

On one hand—barring the complete censorship of conservative media—Rightly’s entry into the emerging news market can only help by tempering the leftist echo-chamber, which has grown increasingly unhinged and alarmingly authoritarian since the Trump presidency.

The outlet’s niche editorial vision is apt to draw as many converts away from the ledges of the extreme Left, while filling a void for ex-Republicans already cast adrift and written off by the populist Trumpian movement.

It comes on the heels a similar effort by anti-Trumpist exiles to unify in the now all-but-defunct Lincoln Project, which was exposed as a grifting operation and a vehicle for co-founder John Weaver‘s grooming and predation of vulnerable young men.

By staking its claim in the political center, Rightly could, for better or worse, position itself to define the terms of the often acrimonious dialogue and to set the dividing line at which the two polar opposites converge.

Nonetheless, true conservatives may rightly approach the new platform with suspicion for several reasons—not only due to its ties to the corrupt Swamp, but also to the state-backed Middle Eastern outlet often used as a propagandist mouthpiece for radical Islamic fundamentalists.

A MOUTHPIECE FOR TERRORISM?

Al Jazeera first attempted to cultivate mainstream acceptance in the US media market through a strategic partnership with radical former vice president Al Gore.

But in a cable-news landscape already over-saturated with extreme leftist views, Al Jazeera America failed to draw sufficient shares from established competitors like CNN and MSNBC.

In 2013, then-CNN media critic Howard Kurtz questioned the propriety of it due to the heavy influence of Middle Eastern oligarchs at a time when fighting Islamic terrorism was becoming a growing priority for the Obama administration.

And in 2019, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Tom Cotton, R- Ark., suggested that due to its close links to the Arab state of Qatar and its advancement of Qatari interests, Al Jazeera’s current American media platform, the digital-based AJ+, should register as a foreign agent.

Among other controversial stances, the platform has been known to promote unabashedly anti-Semitic and anti-American views.

Qatar, meanwhile, is suspected of being a safe-harbor and springboard for Islamic terrorists such as the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

Nonetheless, the oil-rich nation has used its vast wealth as a powerful influence-peddling tool in the Western world.

One Florida court case even raised accusations—yet to be disproved, although quickly disavowed—that the Qatari government was a key backer of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

According to under-oath testimony, Omar was considered to be the “jewel in the crown” of compromised Qatari assets within the US government.

Twitter users already expressed their skepticism that the new center-right platform would be anything more than another front in Qatar’s strategic PR push.

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