Qatar spending large amounts on influencing US right-wing media

Washington Times had neglected to report who had sponsored the content, according to the Examiner. (Shutterstock)
Updated 25 June 2019

Qatar spending large amounts on influencing US right-wing media

  • Tim Constantine has used his position at the Washington Times and on his radio show to praise Qatar

LONDON: Qatar is spending large amounts of money on gaining influence with right-wing US media outlets, according to a report in the Washington Examiner.

Following the publication of a sponsored “special section” of articles in the Washington Times earlier this month, which lavished praise on Qatar, the Examiner found the Times had neglected to report who had sponsored the content.

Qatari money being pumped into gaining influence within US media outlets is not a new phenomenon, but its attempts to sway conservatives is a departure from its usual targeting of left-wing voters, through platforms like its social media channel AJ+, which is linked to far-left US groups like the Young Turks.

Of 25 articles published by the Washington Times, five were penned by columnist and Republican talk radio host Tim Constantine, who has consistently used his position at the Washington Times and on his radio show to praise Qatar and its role in the Middle East, with a May 2018 article calling the country a “model of progress” for the rest of the region.

NUMBER

$15 million — the amount Brookings Institution think tank received from Qatar in 2013, and at least $2 million in the past 12 months.

But the Examiner’s report showed Constantine did not mention he had just visited Qatar, where he was hosted by the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lolwah Al-Khater, who he has invited as a guest onto his radio show.

Just a few days after the articles in the Times were published on June 4, the paper featured an article by Jassim bin Mansour Al-Thani, Qatar’s media attache, who used a column to criticize Saudi Arabia and its allies.

Elsewhere, the report highlighted that the Brookings Institution think tank received up to $15 million from Qatar in 2013, and at least $2 million in the past 12 months. In return, the institution releases academic studies highlighting Doha’s attempts to “start a dialogue” with terror-linked groups and downplaying its close financial ties to such organizations.

Further attempts to win over right-wing elements in the US has seen Qatar offer “cash and travel invitations” since 2017 to leading US Jewish organizations like the Zionist Organization of America, which was heavily criticized for accepting funding from Qatar.


Frankly Speaking: Arab News premieres first talkshow with former PM of Pakistan

Updated 28 November 2020

Frankly Speaking: Arab News premieres first talkshow with former PM of Pakistan

  • Hosted by veteran journalist Frank Kane, program will interview movers and shakers, world policymakers
  • Each episode of the program is 20 minutes, with occasional additional reporting and interviews to be included throughout

LONDON: Arab News, the region’s leading English-language Middle East newspaper, is proud to announce its latest video product: “Frankly Speaking,” a recorded show that will interview and challenge movers and shakers, world policymakers and influential deciders on topics relating to the Arab world.

Hosted by veteran, award-winning journalist and senior Arab News business columnist, Frank Kane, who has interviewed influential business leaders and key politicians from around the world including Emirati tycoon, Khalaf Al-Habtoor, president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Borge Brende, and Anthony Scaramucci, the former communications adviser to US President Donald Trump.

Each episode of the program is 20 minutes, with occasional additional reporting and interviews to be included throughout.

 

 

“Frankly Speaking” will be available on Arab New’s YouTube channel and on the program page on the Arab News website.

Commenting on the launch, Arab News Editor in Chief Faisal J. Abbas said: “As the leading English language news source on Saudi Arabia and Middle East, it was only natural for Arab News to expand its video offering and we are very proud to present 'Frankly Speaking' as our first product for our followers worldwide.”

“While editorial integrity can only be proven, the combination of the credibility of both the Arab News brand and the long experience and interview style of Frank Kane will ensure that each episode provides an intellectually stimulating debate and plenty of material for further discussion,” he said.

 

 

The first episode of “Frankly Speaking” launches on Saturday at 5 p.m. Riyadh time (2 p.m. GMT) and will feature former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who will talk about his own recipe for change in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia’s reforms, the difference between Islamabad’s relationship with Iran and with Saudi Arabia, as well as his views on Israel.