Al Jazeera America Faces New Anti-Semitic, Sexist Claims in Lawsuit

Al Jazeera Amercica Lawsuit: New Anti-Semitic,
Courtesy of Al Jazeera America

A former Al Jazeera America exec is taking legal action against the channel, with a fired employee saying she witnessed those at the channel forgo “journalistic objectivity” to “advance a pro-Arabic/Middle Eastern agenda, often at the expense of Jewish people.”

The suit is being filed by Shannon High-Bassalik, who was formerly the senior vice president of programming and documentaries at Al Jazeera America. High-Bassalik also accused the network of discriminating against female and non-Arabic employees.

“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,” the channel said in a statement on Thursday.

“Al Jazeera values and respects all of its employees, and has zero tolerance of any form of discrimination,” the statement goes on.

The suit was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, and also alleges that management at the channel pushed a 9/11 conspiracy theory that the CIA was behind the 2001 attacks. High-Bassalik was fired from AJAM in February.

This new lawsuit is only the latest complaint for the troubled network. Al Jazeera America dismissed another lawsuit filed by an employee earlier this year. Former senior vice president of outreach Marcy McGinnis said she resigned to escape the “culture of fear,” and former executive vice president of corporate communications Dawn Bridges and former vice president for human resources Diana Lee also left the company, with High-Bassalik saying in her complaint that the “discriminatory and hostile work environment” drove them out.

Former CEO Ehab Al Shihabi stepped down last month amid the growing turmoil. The suit is filed against him as well as AJAM.

New CEO Al Anstey also issued a statement on the matter on Wednesday: “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.”

Matthew Luke, AJAM’s former director of media and archive management, said sexism and anti-Semitism were common in the newsroom in the complaint he filed after he was fired in February.

In the new suit, High-Bassalik brings up several examples in which she allegedly witnessed sexism in the newsroom, and said when female employees complained, Al Shihabi said they “were simply being emotional… asking them why they ‘didn’t love me anymore.'”

High-Bassalik used to work at NBC News and CNN, which first reported news of the lawsuit.

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  1. maliban says:

    Another example of the zio-mafia attacking anyone who opposes the pro-israheil line?

    to identify the truly sick racists google: chief rabbi of israel
    says goyim exist only to serve jews, goyim life worth same as a donkey.
    netanyahu says this chief rabbi was the greatest mind of this generation.

    • Israeli citizen says:

      So what if some stupid mad rabbi said that? Any country have its own mad stupid religious pepole.. Most Isrealis dont belive “goyim” (non Jews) are in any way diffrent (and surely not less!) than Jews, thats a total bullshit.

      Israel is not religious at all, I am 16 years old and from my whole class (35 pupils) only 2 pepole belive in any god.. all the rest are complete atheists. Pepole around the world think we belive we are the “chosen” or that “god” gave us this land and such a stuff, and this is very far from the truth. There are, however, some groups in the Israeli society which saparete themselves by will from the rest of the society, and are very religious and belive all those bullshits. Those are about 20% of the Jewish population of the country. Not little at all, I have to agree. But the rest of society is very secular and liberal, and for evidence stand the fact that as I said, from the 35 pupils of my classroom 33 are atheists, and It is unreasonable that my class is by chance very diffrent from the rest of society.

      As for the subject:

      Yes, I am so deeply suprised Al Jazeera is not objective.

  2. horrible harry says:

    Cable stations are not licensed in the US. Sorry, EK.

  3. EK says:

    Suspend their broadcast license and investigate their business and journalistic practices before, if ever, re-instating them.

  4. USS Liberty says:

    Al Jazeera America could have been a hugely successful network. They hired top Western news talent that gave them instant credibility. But then they filled management with incompetent Qatari bozos who thought that they were still sitting in Doha smoking shisa and ordering around Indian slaves. And this is the predictable outcome.

  5. hmmm says:

    Probably, all other american tv channels will be closed if the same suite applied for channels speaking pro israel….

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