Republicans have seized on a new line of attack against Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign for Georgia’s Sixth District, questioning his documentary work for the Al Jazeera TV network.
Former Johns Creek councilman Bob Gray, who has increasingly targeted Ossoff, launched a web ad this week with footage of the Democrat in Han Solo garb while in college. In white text, the words “HE EVEN WORKED FOR AL JAZEERA” flash across the screen.
Ossoff’s campaign said in a statement the investigative film company he has led since 2013 has produced films for Al Jazeera and other clients around the world. It added that Ossoff “condemns partisan attacks that appeal to fear and stands by his work as a journalist and businessman.”
Al Jazeera is owned by Qatar, the energy-rich Arab nation, and is now one of the largest TV news gathering organizations in the world.
It has been accused of being a propaganda outlet for the Qatari government and of having an anti-Western bias, though in 2013 the network pumped money and resources into hiring Western-trained journalists to cover American news objectively for a U.S.-based outlet. That network shuttered in 2016.
Ossoff has come under increasing attacks from many of the 11 Republicans and four Democrats in the April 18 special election to represent the district, which spans from east Cobb to north DeKalb. Republicans have held the seat for decades, but Donald Trump’s struggles in the district – he won the territory by a one-point margin – give Democrats hope of flipping it.
With his “Make Trump Furious” campaign, Ossoff claims to have raised more than $3 million in campaign cash and has locked down support of national political figures and many local party leaders. But Republicans have mobilized a counteroffensive, including a $1.1 million attack ad campaign that depicts the 30-year-old former Congressional aide as inexperienced.
Here’s the Ossoff campaign’s full statement on Al Jazeera:
"Jon Ossoff's company has produced films and video content for multiple clients and news organizations around the world, including Al Jazeera, since Jon became its CEO in 2013. In the last six months, the company's productions have appeared on or have been acquired by the BBC (UK), RTL (Netherlands), DR (Denmark), TVN (Poland), SVT (Sweden), and TIM (Italy), in addition to Al Jazeera (Qatar).
Under Jon's leadership, the company's investigations have resulted in the arrest of foreign officials stealing U.S.-taxpayer-funded aid and quack doctors who mutilate women, as well as exposed atrocities committed by ISIS in Iraq, including sexual slavery. Founded in 1991, the company has produced documentaries for dozens of international broadcast clients and was on the team that produced the Oscar-nominated film "Blood Diamond."
Its productions for CNN have won two Emmy Awards. Jon condemns partisan attacks that appeal to fear and stands by his work as a journalist and businessman."
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