By Cliff Kincaid
Apparently on the defensive over its unorthodox entry into the U.S. media market, Al Jazeera has hired a high-powered lobbying firm on Capitol Hill to stave off an investigation of the curious transaction with former Democratic Vice President Al Gore.
The firm, DLA Piper, represented Al Jazeera in the acquisition of Gore’s Current TV, has an office in Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera, and is also active in the “Islamic financial services industry” in the Middle East.
“Al Jazeera America is assembling a K Street team to advocate for its cable news channel,” reports The Hill. Current TV was purchased from Gore and other prominent Democrats, including Richard C. Blum, husband of Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. Gore reportedly got $100 million out of the $500 million deal.
But DLA’s top lobbyist on the Al Jazeera account is a Republican, Mark R. Paoletta, who used to work for President George H.W. Bush.
The term “K Street” refers to Washington, D.C.’s expensive lobbying industry, a sure indication that Al Jazeera realizes it has to deploy huge sums of cash from its owner, the Emir of Qatar, to make sure its takeover of Gore’s Current TV does not run into snags.
The Emir of Qatar, a multi-billionaire, runs a dictatorial regime that postures as America’s friend in the Middle East but which supports the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups such as al Qaeda, Hamas and Hezbollah.