Columnist warns of new Spanish-language Islamic channels, with "no broadcasting counterweights" from the US.

Posted: 18 Jan 2012   Print   Send a link
Washington Examiner, 9 Jan 2012, Cal Thomas: "[I]n Spain, two new satellite TV stations recently signed on. They won't be airing 'Judge Judy,' but instead are broadcasting Islamic theology and political propaganda. ... One channel is called Hispan TV and its program content is produced in Iran. ... The second channel is Cordoba Television, which ... is owned by the Foundation for the Message of Islam and backed by the Saudi royal family. Its aim ... is to propagate '... the extremist Wahhabi sect of Islam.' ... During the Cold War, the United States made effective use of the Voice of America and Radio Liberty to tell the truth to 'captive nations.' There are no broadcasting counterweights to what radical Islamists are doing in Spain and Latin America. While America retreats, announcing cuts in defense spending, Islamists advance."

Actually, the United States has a sucessful international Spanish-language channel: CNN en Español. It provides the news and information that provides the anecdote to propaganda. And this for-profit, and profitable, channel does this at no cost to the US taxpaters. I think, however, Mr. Thomas is another "small government" conservative who wants to expand the size of government by adding another broadcasting bureaucracy -- one that will take sides on matters of theology.

CNN, 12 Jan 2012: "The Ecuadorian president -- who has clashed repeatedly with journalists and media in his country -- praised a reporter from Iran's new government-run Spanish-language network, HispanTV. 'Congratulations to HispanTV. I hope it helps the level of journalism in Latin America and the entire world,' he said."

CNN, 7 Jan 2012, Catherine E. Shoichet: "Last month, a film portraying the life of Mary and the birth of Jesus from an Islamic point of view beamed out over international airwaves -- in Spanish. The movie was the first program aired on HispanTV, according to a report in the Tehran Times. And the target audience was thousands of miles away from the government-sponsored broadcasting hub in Iran's capital. At a ceremony marking the station's official launch last month, HispanTV's managers said the new Spanish network aims to paint a true picture of Iran and link the Islamic republic with Latin America. Other Spanish-language channels are 'not independent and only serve the interest of the United States and certain allies,' said Mohammed Sarafraz, director of Iranian broadcasting's world service, according to Press TV. ... Stephen Johnson, who directs the Americas program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, compared Iran's efforts to use the media to improve its image abroad to the U.S.-government-funded Voice of America radio network. 'They're taking a page out of our playbook,' he said." -- Rather insulting to VOA and USIB to describe HispanTV as "out of our playbook."

Miami Herald, 6 Jan 2012, Jim Wyss: "As [Iran's President Mahmud] Ahmadinejad kicks off [his Latin America] trip, the region will have a new venue to follow him on: HispanTV — a Spanish-language television network launched by Iran last month. HispanTV, which began broadcasting on five satellites, carries news and travel shows produced in Teheran, and an eclectic list of movies. On Friday, the station broadcast a show dedicated to exposing the 'Zionist plot' to frame Hezbollah and Iran for the [1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires]. Whether HispanTV helps build support for Iran and deepen ties with Latin America remains to be seen."