Congress recently approved new legislation that would force foreign-owned media organizations such as Qatar’s Al Jazeera to register as a foreign agent under U.S. law.
The legislation, included in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, would mandate that foreign-owned media organizations register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, a move that would shine greater sunlight on these organizations’ ties to foreign governments, The Washington Free Beacon Reported.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the NDAA will force all foreign media outlets – including Al Jazeera – to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a law that requires individuals and organizations to disclose that they’re aiming to shape public opinion in favor of a foreign entity. Russia’s RT America was required by the Justice Department to register as a foreign agent under the law in 2017; YouTube already forces each Al Jazeera video to disclose that they are funded by the Qatari government.
Proponents of the legislation argue that media outlets such as Al Jazeera have tried to hide their agenda behind the guise of objective journalism. Al Jazeera, for instance, recently faced intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill for running a secret, months-long spy operation on American Jewish activists and their allies in Congress on order from the Qatari government, Free Beacon Reported.
“The Department of Justice’s recent designation of Russia’s RT America as a foreign agent, as well as the questionable practices of Al Jazeera and China Central Television, strongly suggest the presence of a subversive threat in the United States,” Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement back in March when Al Jazeera was first being investigated by Attorney General Sessions.
Cruz continued: “Qatar’s Al Jazeera, which the State Department has indicated is state-controlled, produces content that is anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Israel, while promoting positive coverage of terrorist organizations such as Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah and Hamas.