A group of Congressmen has written to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, arguing that Arab TV satellite company Al Jazeera — established and funded by the Government of Qatar — should be required to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The Justice Dept. last August required RTTV America, which is funded by Russia, to file under FARA.
The letter quotes Qatar’s US ambassador calling AJ “one of Qatar’s most valuable political and diplomatic tools,” and an outlet “used as a chip” to shape Qatar’s relations with other governments.
The Congressmen are troubled that AJ’s content “undermines American interests with favorable coverage of US State Dept.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.”
They told Sessions that AJ’s “record of radical anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Israel broadcasts warrants scrutiny from regulators to determine whether this network is in violation of US law.”
American citizens “deserve to know whether the information and news media they consume is impartial, or if it is deceptive propaganda pushed by foreign nations.”
New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D) and New York’s Lee Zeldin (R) organized the letter signed by 16 other Congressmen and Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R).
AJ has a TV presence in US DC, New York, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles. Its broadcasts are accessible on social media.
It’s PR unit has not yet commented on the FARA letter.