A few months back “The Daily Show” memorably mocked a segment on “Fox & Friends.” The segment saw the hosts discussing the shady dealings of a Saudi prince who they believed to be giving money to the organization behind the proposed community center and mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.
Jon Stewart’s take was to point out that the man, Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, is the second largest shareholder in News Corp., which owns Fox News.
Today, The New York Times spoke to Al Waleed, who said he does not believe the Islamic center should be built, citing the feelings of the 9/11 victims families, as well as its proximity to a strip club.
But he also weighed in on the “Fox & Friends” and “Daily Show” segments:
“It’s funny, it’s like a joke. I take these things very lightly,” he said.
Al Waleed and News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch have been business partners for decades, with the prince backing Murdoch when John Malone tried to make a play for the company in 2005.
Murdoch has since invested some $70 million in Al Waleed’s media company Rotana, and is working with the Prince’s company to launch a new, Arabic-language news channel to compete with Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya.