Quick: What would be the biggest casualty of a merger between the Saudis and two of the West's most influential media moguls? Answer: the truth.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced this week he will launch a pro-Islamist 24-hour news network with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's privately held news service.
The deal has Bloomberg News providing five hours of financial and economic news programming throughout the day on the new "Alarab" channel, which the prince says will be "right of Al-Jazeera" — that is, even more radical. It will no doubt promote Alwaleed's notoriously anti-Israel agenda.
After 9/11, he gave a $10 million gift to New Yorkers, but with a string attached: They had to acknowledge our Mideast policies brought on the attacks. Mayor Giuliani famously told the prince to go pound sand.
Gotham's current mayor, on the other hand, has no qualms about doing business with the creepy billionaire. They seem to see eye-to-eye on many issues.
Take the Ground Zero mosque. Bloomberg gave his blessing to the outrage. In fact, to the shock of many, the mayor actually promoted its construction. His support is said to have been colored by Alwaleed, who happens to be one of the project's biggest foreign boosters.
More troubling is Alwaleed's obsession with institutionalizing Shariah finance in the West — and Bloomberg's receptiveness to the idea. Islamic banking rejects the cornerstone of Western finance: credit and interest rates. It also requires a share of profits go to Islamic charities, which often funnel money to terrorism.
With a $20 million endowment, Alwaleed has set up a Shariah law and finance section at Harvard University. Will Bloomberg help promote Shariah finance? He already is.
Bloomberg LP has opened a regional hub in Dubai with an "Islamic finance portal."...Mayor's an utter nutter. (Riddle: What's more dangerous than an utter nutter? Answer: An utter nutter who's got bazillions to burn.)