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Why did a Texas high school eject an Al Jazeera reporter from a football game? The real story exposed!

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Recently you may have seen reports in the news about a Borat-style incident featuring a Brazil-based Al Jazeera employee named Gabriel Elizondo who was recently denied permission to film a high school football game in Booker, Texas.  Apparently Mr. Elizondo has been traveling around the states trying to gauge the American mood on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, etc.  No sooner had he shown his Al Jazeera business card than the high school superintendent, a Mr. Michael Lee,  told him to leave the school premises, denying Mr. Elizondo permission to film or conduct interviews.

As Elizondo put it on his blog:

“Ten miles. Sixteen kilometers. That’s how deep I got into Texas before being asked to leave.”

Elizondo and the high school superintendents both have different versions of what went down, and I direct you to this site for a decent discussion of both points of view.  Early coverage of the incident at least tended to focus on the stupidity of Texans, how they don’t understand free speech and what precisely Mr. Lee meant when he said “I think it’s rotten what they did.”
Mr. Elizondo reports the exchange on his blog:

“I think it was damn rotten what they did.”

“I am sorry, what who did?” I say, not sure exactly if he was calling me rotten, the terrorists rotten, Al Jazeera rotten, or all of the above.


Well, I don’t know for sure but could it be that Mr. Lee is referring not to Elizondo, or the terrorists, or even the English language version of Al Jazeera but rather the Arabic version which in 2008 broadcast a birthday party for Samir Kuntar a Lebanese ex-member of the Palestinian Liberation Front who in 1979 killed a 4 year old Israeli girl by smashing her head against some rocks before crushing her skull with the butt of his rifle?



Now I don’t know about you but I’d certainly say that qualifies as a rotten thing to do. And just because you say one thing on the English version of your network, and a different thing in the Arabic version, well, it doesn’t remove the overwhelming stench of rottenness that exudes from Al Jazeera.

Oh wait, I just read a little bit more of Mr. Elizondo’s blog and it doesn’t seem Mr. Lee was talking about the birthday party for man who killed a little girl by bashing her skull against a rock, as he continued:

The people that did this to us,” he says back to me with a smirk, still glaring uncomfortably straight at my eyes.

I mean, Mr. Lee is not related to the family who were murdered by Mr. Kuntar, neither Einat Haran the four year old whose brains Mr. Kuntar dashed upon a rock, nor her two year old sister who died from suffocation as her mother tried to hide her from Mr. Kuntar, nor for that matter Danny Haran, the father of both little girls who Mr. Kuntar shot in the back in front of his daughter (that’s the one whose brains he was about to smear upon a rock, not the one who suffocated) and whose body he then tossed in the sea, to make sure he drowned.

So it seems unlikely that Mr. Lee was referring Mr. Elizondo’s employer Al Jazeera as rotten, for holding a birthday party for the killer of a four year old girl. Although he would have been perfectly justified to do so, of course.

Phew! I’m glad we cleared that up.

Daniel Kalder is an author and journalist originally from Scotland, who currently resides in Texas after a ten year stint in the former USSR. Visit him online at www.danielkalder.com
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2 Responses to “Why did a Texas high school eject an Al Jazeera reporter from a football game? The real story exposed!”

  1. Mr. Elizondo doesn’t come off well on his own blog post. He was just going to show up unannounced to film a HS football game, and became offended because the school superintendent was suspicious?

    Anyone can have business cards printed up.

    And then, somehow, the fact that there’s a gun show scheduled for Sept 10-11 is supposed to mean something *I*M*P*O*R*T*A*N*T* about how this small Texas town is commemorating the anniversary of the Sept 11th attacks? Would Mr. Elizondo have every small town in America drop everything on that day? What would be an appropriately righteous thing to do?

    What a pompous jerk.

  2. Indeed. In the UK, where people are very scared of kiddie-fiddlers, he would have been arrested for showing up at a school with a camera and no permit. The tosser.

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