WFAA's Jonathan Betz Defects to Al Jazeera America

Categories: Media

When WFAA's Jonathan Betz announced in May that he was leaving the station after five years to work in New York. The only question was For whom?.

"I can't say exactly where I'll be working yet, but I'll still be doing the news," he cryptically told Uncle Barky at the time. "It's a great opportunity, and I'm extremely excited."

See also

-Dallas is Getting Its Very Own Al Jazeera Bureau

Two months later, we have our answer:

That's Al Jazeera America, for those of you not up to speed on the Twitter handles of soon-to-be-launched Qatar-based U.S. news networks. Betz is one of four anchors who will help launch the network, according to a news release.

Al Jazeera's introductory bio on Betz doesn't delve into his four years in Dallas, other than to say he was a field reporter and fill-in anchor. It's much more interested in his award-winning work leading New Orleans' WWL-TV's coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The bio also somehow neglects to mention the fact that he's a Richardson High School graduate, which, as a fellow graduate of that esteemed institution, is a shame.

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holmantx topcommenter

The Pew Research Center on Thursday released its latest survey of public opinion on various professions and journalists' reputations have taken quite a hit, compared to four years ago. And everyone's losing respect for reporters, despite their age, education level and partisan leanings.

The question Pew posed to 4,006 adults was how much a given profession contributed to society. Only 28 percent said journalists contributed "a lot," putting the profession just above business executives and lawyers. Members of the military, teachers and doctors were the best-regarded in the poll.

Four years ago, journalists were more highly regarded, with 38 percent saying they contributed "a lot" to society. Women lost more respect for reporters than any other demographic group, reflected in a decline in that response from 46 percent to 29 percent. Men saw the smallest decline—just two ticks down to 28 percent.


Unlike Eric Nicholson (the author of this article), as a 1973 graduate of Richardson High School I think it is a great accolade for both the school and Jonathan Betz that he will be working for Al Jazeera America. The news agency has grown through diversity to surpass many of the news agencies that were great before this agency's time.  Now Jonathan has a chance to carry on and make another mark for himself and for the original Richardson alma mater. 

I would suggest that Eric return to his research and find the real information about a creditable news agency before he continues to show his own ignorance on the subject. Then he can come back to his own article and give Jonathan the accolades he deserves.


AJ has more credibility than CNN or MSNBC.


Is Al Jazeera the Fox News or the CNN of the muslim world?

holmantx topcommenter

It's where you get the straight scoop.  That, and the British press.

I first noticed the British accents embedded in the U.S. combat units during the 1st Iraq war, then all the Americans on the British tabloid blogs after Y2K.  Then the Brit press made a huge investment to just beat out the Americans in CONUS.  Now, articles are written why the British press put out such better coverage reporting - it's their dog-eat-dog, respect no public official press culture. 

Search the little six-year old in Saginaw who was murdered.  Or the West explosion.  The Brits are all over those stories.  And you have to go there to get the unfiltered, straight reporting.

Our establishment press is a PC group-think hell-bent on Progressive ideology, and the news consuming Public is now a place where even the Muslim scribes have got a chance (ha!).

It's why Ed Snowden went to the Guardian.

everlastingphelps topcommenter

Oh, you mean actual Al Jazeera. I thought the headline was just a cheeky way of saying that the Observer had hired him.



What article did you read?  Eric doesn't say anything about not being proud of Betz.  And he doesn't say anything bad about Al Jazeera America.


@holmantx "Our establishment press is a PC group-think hell-bent on Progressive ideology . . ." Really? Which major media corporations do you refer to make such a general statement? Now consolidated into 5 outlets controlling vast swaths of the world economy, you actually believe these owners are promulgating a progressive ideology? Really? You are cracking me up! lolzzz ~ / ~ OM 

RTGolden1 topcommenter

@holmantx And yet, in Britain itself, the age-old understanding between the government and Fleet Street still holds sway to some extent. Their coverage of events on the Homefront is not as stellar as their coverage of events elsewhere.

Sort of a 'don't foul your own nest' philosophy.


@holmantx What holmantx wrote.  American establishment media is such a lickspittle for their fellow secular progressives in & out of gov't. 



Hell-bent on Progressive ideology?  I think not.  Then we'd actually have intelligent debate on pertinent issues.  There's a lot of things wrong with the establishment media, but institutional Progressive-ism isn't one of them.

The rest of your post is spot on.  

holmantx topcommenter


The American Public: "I want the TRUTH!"

msm: You can't HANDLE the TRUTH!"

well, somebody can't but it ain't us.


@CornyDoggy @harashopuckThe bio also somehow neglects to mention the fact that he's a Richardson High School graduate, which, as a fellow graduate of that esteemed institution, is a shame.

Perhaps I misread Eric's 'shame' statement:

If his statement was that it is a shame that Betz joined Al-Jazeera then I am correct.

If it was that he was saying it is a shame that Betz graduated from RHS and this was not mentioned in the article then I read it incorrectly.

holmantx topcommenter

@gregmarcydagama @holmantx

For worshiper and former Newsweek editor Evan Thomas, Obama was divine: “Obama’s standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of God.” TV pundit and presidential historian Michael Beschloss ranked the newly elected Barack Obama as “the smartest guy ever to become president.”

For a press that had exposed Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the Monica Lewinsky affair, and had torn apart George W. Bush over everything from the Iraq War to Hurricane Katrina, this hero worship seemed obsessive. The late liberal reporter Michael Hastings summed up a typical private session between President Obama and the press during the 2012 campaign: “Everyone, myself included, swooned. Swooned! Head over heels. One or two might have even lost their minds. . . . We were all, on some level, deeply obsessed with Obama, crushing hard.”

Sometimes the media and Obama were one big happy family — literally. The siblings of the presidents of ABC News and CBS News are both higher-ups in the Obama administration. The White House press secretary’s wife is a correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America.

When Obama’s chief political aide, David Axelrod, went to work for MSNBC, Obama jokingly called it “a nice change of pace, because MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.” Nor was Obama shy about rubbing in his subjects’ hero worship: “My job is to be president; your job is to keep me humble. Frankly, I think I’m doing my job better.” In Africa recently, Obama advised his traveling press corps to “behave,” then compared them unfavorably with the more polite and compliant media of an increasingly authoritarian South Africa.

Four hundred reporters even formed their own off-the-record shared email chat group, JournoList, to strategize attacks against Obama’s political opponents. (paid for by Obama for America) read like some sort of secret-police operation, asking readers to report any criticism of Obama as it compiled “Attack Files” in blaring black and red headers.

When President Obama kept open Guantanamo Bay or expanded the Bush war on terror, he was described as “anguished” and “torn” as he broke his earlier promises. Bad news like unemployment spikes or flat GDP growth was customarily editorialized with adverbs like “unexpectedly” — as if Obama’s setbacks surely were aberrant and would quickly subside. In one of the 2012 presidential debates, the moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, was so exasperated that Obama seemed to need help that she jumped in to challenge Mitt Romney.

Obama rightly assumed that when the Benghazi scandal surfaced during the 2012 campaign, the press would largely ignore it. Likewise, he knew that the politicization of the IRS would not warrant headline news. Ditto Fast and Furious and the NSA mess.

But then a Faustian thing happened. This year it was also revealed that the Obama administration had monitored the communications of Associated Press reporters on the suspicion that they were publishing leaks. For the first time, outrage arose: Liberal presidents were not, in Nixonian fashion, supposed to go after liberal reporters.

holmantx topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @holmantx





Obamacare collapse


If you want to know what’s going on, you have to go overseas. 

Count the number of pieces in the Dallas Morning News every day that are bought from the New York Times.  Half the paper.

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