The self-congratulatory multimillion-dollar Washington Post advertisement that played during Super Bowl 53 highlighted the risks that journalists undertake to report the news, but also fraudulently represented an Islamist activist as one of those journalists.
Grateful for the journalists at the @washingtonpost and around the world who do the work, no matter the risk or dangers they face.#democracydiesindarkness #SuperBowlAd https://t.co/faO74lvSs5 pic.twitter.com/37PLrNLJe0
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) February 4, 2019
The ad spot, which was narrated by Tom Hanks, features a photo of the Normandy landings during World War II, among other moments in U.S. history, including the Apollo 11 mission to the moon (which obviously did not have any journalists on board). The recurring theme is that journalists have been a part of the most ambitious, dangerous moments in our country’s history. The advertisement concludes by showcasing journalists who were captured or killed doing their job. “Knowing keeps us free,” Hanks concludes, marking the sacrifice that many journalists have made to report the news.
However, the last person represented as a journalist in the ad is the late Jamal Khashoggi, who, as I’ve written extensively, was not a journalist at all. Khashoggi was a lifelong Islamist activist and an avowed ally to Islamist terrorists and extremist organizations. He also had violent tendencies that sometimes appeared in his columns. Khashoggi hoped that Israel would “die by force” at the hands of Hamas. He continued to support al Qaeda-linked individuals and groups until his last days.
Decades ago, when he was in the good graces of the Saudi monarchy, Khashoggi was a correspondent for state-controlled Saudi media operations, but he was never a journalist who was free to report the news as he saw it. Khashoggi was an information operator, a propagandist until his last days.
Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in October after he entered a Saudi diplomatic building in Turkey. The killing of the recently hired Washington Post Global Opinions columnist, who had previously taken self-exile in the United States, provided the spark for a foreign propaganda firestorm. A spat that should have been exclusively between Turkey and Saudi Arabia was weaponized by Saudi Arabia’s enemies — mostly Qatar and Turkey — to weaken Riyadh’s foreign policy and its alliance with the United States.
Following Khashoggi’s death, the U.S. legacy media published countless anonymously sourced pieces, which came almost exclusively from foreign intelligence agencies, that claimed Khashoggi was murdered in a horrific fashion and that he was killed on direct orders from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), who is next in line to the Saudi throne. After Khashoggi’s death, the Washington Post waged an all-out information war against Saudi Arabia in defense of its departed contributor, taking to extreme, reckless lengths to do so. The Post has routinely featured op-eds from high-ranking Iranian terrorist regime officials, Houthi rebel leaders who have called for death to America and have been implicated in the torture of journalists, and Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have supported terrorist organizations.
Video surfaces of WaPo op-ed contributor chanting ‘Death to America’ https://t.co/vOZApmxpcY
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) January 2, 2019
The Houthi motto goes as follows:
"God is the Greatest,
Death to America,
Death to Israel,
Curse on the Jews
Victory to Islam"
WaPo just gave this terrorist group a giant platform. The times we live in…https://t.co/mn4ztzzvrd
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) November 9, 2018
Evidence continues to emerge that Khashoggi was not the man that the media represented him as. Not only was he an unreformed Islamist activist who was dedicated to anti-democratic ideals, we now know he was working in tandem with elements of the government of Qatar to spread its foreign policy priorities into the pages of the Washington Post.
“Text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government,” the Post reported in a piece that attempted to whitewash his collusion with Doha. Additionally, the Post report disclosed that Khashoggi’s stories were reviewed by a translator who worked for the Qatari embassy in Washington, D.C. The late Washington Post columnist had also been working with a who’s who of U.S.-based Islamist operatives on so-called “Islamic Democracy” promotion, which was largely a front for his preferred Muslim Brotherhood-aligned policies.
The $5+ million dollars spent on the Super Bowl ad could have gone to hiring real journalists — the type who willingly risk their lives every day to bring us unfiltered stories from across the globe, whether they are deployed to war zones or are citizen journalists reporting from inside totalitarian regimes. Khashoggi was not one of them. For the Washington Post to pretend that Jamal Khashoggi was a journalist disgraces the legacy of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in search of the absolute truth.