Yet another Federal discrimination suit has been brought against Al Jazeera. This time it is Shannon High-Bassalik, a former senior vice president at Al Jazeera America, who has accused the network of being biased against female employees and in favor of Arab ones.
She also accused the news channel of deliberately taking an anti-Israel positions because of anti-semitism.
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So what else is new, you are probably thinking. Of course Al JAzeera is biased against Israel. But now, at least, its own people are speaking out about it.
The complaint states, “Al Jazeera openly decided to abandon all pretense of neutrality in favor of putting the Arabic viewpoint front and center, openly demanding that programs be aired that criticized countries, such as America, Israel and Egypt.”
In the suit, High-Bassalik asserts that in a meeting in Qatar with corporate management the news producers were told that the CIA was definitely behind the 9/11 attacks. Executives also compared Israelis to Hitler and said that anyone who supports Israel should, “die a fiery death.”
“Dedicated journalists such as Ms. High-Bassalik were told that if this abandonment of journalistic integrity led people to deem them ‘terrorists, ‘ that was an acceptable risk for the Company to take, ” the suit further alleges.
Shannon High-Bassalik is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Al Jazeera responded in a statement saying, “The allegations made against Al Jazeera America are by a former employee whose conduct and performance went through a full process of investigation led by an external law firm before her employment ended, during which Ms. High-Bassalik made none of the allegations she makes in her complaint.”
New CEO Al Anstey also issued a statement saying, “You’ll hear me use the word ‘integrity’ a lot internally and externally. It is the cornerstone of everything we do internally at Al Jazeera America. Respect, transparency and the best practice of management is the only standard we will adhere to, and we expect nothing less. We will, and must, stand up to scrutiny. We must be confident, and have courage in our journalism. And we must always be correct with our facts, and honest with our viewers.”
See the full lawsuit papers here.