Three Republican Congressmen are calling for the immediate suspension of press credentials of reporters for the Al Jazeera Media News Network until it complies with the Foreign Agents Registration Act.
Michael Waltz (FL), Jack Bergman (MI) and Alex Mooney (WV) view Al Jazeera as the propaganda arm of Qatar, which funds the satellite TV network.
They cite various media reports about Qatar’s widespread spying on Members of Congress and its effort to influence US policy by leaking damaging information, including hacked contents, to the media.
In their Feb. 2 letter to House leadership, the Congressmen note that credentialed members of the House and Senate galleries enjoy unparalleled access to the US Capitol.
“While this access is necessary for the media to provide accurate reporting to the American public, it is also the kind of access coveted by foreign powers seeking sensitive information from inside Congress,” they wrote.
Al Jazeera’s various units have 136 credentialed staffers. That towers over the 82 New York Times staffers with credentials.
Waltz, Bergman and Mooney say they have no reason to doubt that most of Al Jazeera’s are legit, but that is not their case.
They wrote: “A media company with a substantial presence on Capitol Hill is the perfect front for inserting just a handful of intelligence operatives among the credentialled journalists, who would be effectively camouflaged by the presence of so many others also employed by Al Jazeera.”