The Al Jazeera network is launching a new digital platform purportedly for American conservatives called “Rightly.” Its first video offering, “Right Now with Stephen Kent,” debuts on Thursday, February 25. The often controversial Qatari-government-funded network is touting its upcoming content as being developed for audiences that existing mainstream media leaves underrepresented.
Al Jazeera, which has faced accusations that it is a propaganda outlet, apparently has concluded that it will have more success with the right than the left. The ratings-challenged, liberal Al Jazeera America channel, which started off as Al Gore’s Current TV before it was purchased, shut down in April 2016 after about three years.
Al Jazeera has tapped former Fox News exec, Scott Norvell, as Rightly’s editor in chief. In a statement, Norvell outlined what those who tune in can expect.
“With Rightly, we are hoping to create a platform that amplifies the voices of an array of personalities that more accurately reflects the racial, cultural and generational diversity of center-right politics in America than existing outlets.
“We aim to bring new Americans, young Americans, and Americans of color together and present conservative ideas that transcend the barriers which identity politics aim to put between us.”
Lead-off hitter Kent, a podcaster and author, is being described as a millennial rising star who brings something new to the table.
“This show is going to be about searching for a home if you’re someone who doesn’t feel represented in the current political climate. The majority of Americans want a sane political conversation rooted in humility and openness,” he explained.
“We’re going to do just that by hosting weekly conversations on the state of the right and have some fun doing it.”
This announcement comes as both Newsmax and OAN are making inroads in the media-consuming conservative cohort.
Behind the scenes, not everyone is thinking Rightly is the right approach. “Privately, some Al Jazeera staff expressed dismay at the launch of Rightly, wondering how it squared with the network’s previously stated commitments to giving voice to marginalised communities,” the U.K. Guardian claimed.
In the meantime, social media users are raising questions about the venture’s credibility. Here is a sampling:
So Qatar has a new “conservative” media outlet in the US. Would love to have a chat with @Stephen_Kent89 about who his Islamist funders are, and exactly what kind of ROI the Qataris think they’re getting from him. pic.twitter.com/tPOQ5F2MJx
— David Reaboi (@davereaboi) February 24, 2021
There is so much conserving going on right now
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) February 23, 2021
Oh, this will do SO well – American conservatives are dying to listen to an Al Jazeera-backed service.
— NastyWomanKathyA11. WEAR A MASK!! (@KathyA11) February 24, 2021
gonna face some issues when people find out “Rightly” is an Al Jazeera product
— Daniel Moritz-Rabson (@DMoritzRabson) February 23, 2021
Right about the same time that the people on the left realize that they are easy targets and news companies are taking advantage of their fears and psyches just to make money off of that.
— Skacey (@Skacey) February 23, 2021
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