Comment is Free: Al-Jazeera is not Qatar’s ‘poodle’

Mark Seddon, a journalist formerly with Al-Jazeera, responds to yesterday’s reports on US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks that suggested the Arabic arm of the broadcaster has been used as a “tool of foreign policy” by the Qatari government,

[T]he idea that al-Jazeera tempers its editorial content at the behest of the emir of Qatar, who mainly finances it, is possibly as fanciful as the WikiLeaks report that US diplomats believed their South Korean counterparts when they said that China might recognise a unified Korea under the aegis of Seoul. Conjecture does not always meet with reality. Al-Jazeera, in its swashbuckling and sometimes disorganised way, has shown itself quite adept at resisting pressure wherever it may come from.

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