Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp — the parent company of Fox News — making him the largest shareholder outside the family of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. Alwaleed has grown close with the Murdoch enterprise, recently endorsing James Murdoch to succeed his father and creating a content-sharing agreement with Fox News for his own media conglomerate, Rotana.
Last weekend, at the right-wing Constitutional Coalition’s annual conference in St. Louis, Joseph Farah, publisher of the far right WorldNetDaily, blasted Fox News for its relationship with Alwaleed. Farah noted correctly that Alwaleed had boasted in the past about forcing Fox News to change its content relating to its coverage of riots in Paris, and warned that such foreign ownership of American media is “really dangerous.” ThinkProgress was at the speech and observed attendees of the conference murmuring and shaking their heads in disapproval.
The Saudis get demonized from every point on the US political spectrum. The writer of the above at the liberal Think Progress blog then points out:
With the Citizens United Supreme Court decision essentially freeing corporations to spend unlimited amounts in campaigns, theoretically Alwaleed can pressure the American corporations he owns stock in to spend millions — or even billions — of dollars attacking candidates he opposes.
Problem here is that the Saudis sometimes appear in American political discourse as a proxy for ‘scary Muslims,’ and so I see these kind of comments as skewing dangerously close to anti-Muslim fearmongering.