Can We Conclude Al Jazeera Is Worthless Now?

It was Al Jazeera that ran with that report about Peyton Manning taking performance-enhancing substances, after all…

An Indianapolis anti-aging clinic supplied quarterback Peyton Manning with human growth hormone, a performance-enhancing drug banned by the NFL, a pharmacist who once worked at the clinic asserts in a new special report from Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit.

The report, “The Dark Side,” is the result of a monthslong investigation in which Liam Collins, a British hurdler, went undercover in an attempt to expose the widespread nature of performance-enhancing drugs in global sports. As a cover story, Collins tells medical professionals tied to the trade of performance-enhancing drugs that he is hoping for one last shot at glory at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Manning is just one of many high-profile players the report names and raises questions about.

Manning hotly denied the report

“The allegation that I would do something like that is complete garbage and is totally made up.  It never happened.  Never.  I really can’t believe somebody would put something like this on the air.  Whoever said this is making stuff up,” Manning said in a personal statement that was released through the Broncos.

He’s not alone, either. Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard are also implicated in the story and they deny it to the hilt as well.

“It’s inexcusable and irresponsible that Al Jazeera would provide a platform and broadcast outright lies about Mr. Howard and Mr. Zimmerman. The extraordinarily reckless claims made against our clients in this report are completely false and rely on a source who has already recanted his claims.”

Say what? Recanted?

Yep.

An Al Jazeera America investigation saying that Peyton Manning used illegal performance-enhancing drugs came under attack Sunday after the report’s source recanted his allegations.

Charlie Sly, the source behind the Manning allegation cited in the investigative report, “The Dark Side,” posted a video late Saturday saying that he had been videotaped without his knowledge or consent by Al Jazeera’s Liam Collins, a former British hurdler.

“The statements on any recordings or any communications that Al-Jazeera plans to air are absolutely false and incorrect,” Mr. Sly said on YouTube. “To be clear, I am recanting any such statements and there is no truth to any statement of mine that Al Jazeera plans to air. Under no circumstances should any of those statements recordings or communications be aired.”

Why would Sly have lied to Al Jazeera to begin with? Here’s his explanation…

Mr. Sly told ESPN’s Chris Mortenson that he was purposely dropping famous names and giving false information to Mr. Collins in order to “determine whether this guy was legitimate or just trying to steal some knowledge about the business.”

Mr. Sly said he was a pharmacy intern in 2013 at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis, where Mr. Manning received treatment for an injury in 2011. The Al Jazeera report identifies Mr. Sly as a pharmacist.

“When I was there, I had never seen the Mannings ever. They were not even living there at that time,” Mr. Sly said. “Someone who worked there said they had been there before. That was the extent of any knowledge I had. I feel badly. I never saw any files. This is just amazing that it reached this point.”

It seems a shocking journalistic lapse for Al Jazeera to have run with this documentary when the targets of its accusations are as prominent as they are and have such goodwill – not to mention top-level representation – and the source is so thin as to vanish at the first suggestion of controversy.

Doesn’t speak well of Al Jazeera’s credibility. Knowing as we do that this is just an American subsidiary of a state propaganda network from a country that’s a center of both civilizational and violent jihad, one wonders what credibility that network ought to be given in the first place.

For our part, we’re going to say this is one more example of how people hostile to our culture and society – whether they be Islamists from the shores of the Persian Gulf or leftists from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean – are using media propaganda to diminish our morale.

We don’t need to tolerate it.



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