According to a report by Yahoo! News' John Cook, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal -- the second-largest shareholder of Fox News' parent company News Corp. -- has deep funding ties to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the "principal planner" of the Islamic community center in lower Manhattan.
You'd think that alone would give pause to the screeching heads on Fox News that repeatedly try to tie Rauf "by way of lengthy and often confusing chains of causation and association" to terrorism.
The opponents of the proposed Cordoba Initiative Islamic center planned for lower Manhattan are fond of suggesting, by way of lengthy and often confusing chains of causation and association, that its principal planner Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is connected to terrorism. "The imam has been tied to some shady characters," Fox Business Channel's Eric Bolling recently said, "so should we worry that terror dollars could be funding the project?" Blogger Pamela Geller, who has become a regular talking head on cable news channels to denounce the mosque, has noted Rauf's involvement with a Malaysian peace group that funded the group that organized the Gaza flotilla under the headline, "Ground Zero Imam Rauf's 'Charity' Funded Genocide Mission."
On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart skewered these antics as a "dangerous game of guilt by association you can play with almost anybody," and proceeded to tie Fox News to Al Qaeda by connecting Fox News parent News Corp's second-largest shareholder, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, to the Carlyle Group, which has done business with the bin Laden family, "one of whose sons--obviously I'm not going to say which one--may be anti-American." But Stewart didn't need to take all those steps to make the connection: Al-Waleed has directly funded Rauf's projects to the tune of more than $300,000. If Fox newscasters can darkly suggest "terror dollars" are sluicing into the Islamic Center's coffers via "shady characters," then are Al-Waleed, and News Corp. leader Rupert Murdoch, by the same logic, also terror stooges? (The "Daily Show" video appears after the jump.)
Indeed, as none other than Rupert Murdoch's New York Post reported last May, the Kingdom Foundation, al-Waleed's personal charity, has donated a total of $305,000 to Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a leadership and networking project sponsored jointly by two of Rauf's organizations, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative. Al-Waleed owns a seven percent, $2.3 billion stake in News Corporation. Likewise, News Corporation owns a 9 percent, $70 million stake--purchased in February--in Rotana, Al-Waleed's Saudi media conglomerate. Put another way: Rupert Murdoch and Fox News are in business, to the tune of billions of dollars, with one of the "Terror Mosque Imam's" principal patrons.
Fox News had no comment. An e-mail to Al-Waleed's Kingdom Holdings was not returned.
Cook's entire piece is well worth a read, especially if you want to see Geller spin the lack of outrage based on Fox News' ties to al-Waleed.