A little more than a month after Al Jazeera purchased former Vice President Al Gore's progressive cable network Current TV, DLA Piper notified Congress that it is lobbying for the news channel.
The firm is advocating for Al Jazeera America Holdings I Inc. on "[i]nformational communications regarding client's cable television channel," according to lobbying registration paperwork filed with Congress on Tuesday. DLA Piper partners Ignacio Sanchez, John Merrigan, Matthew Bernstein and Mark Paoletta are handling the account. Sanchez is a co-chairman of DLA Piper's government affairs practice, and Merrigan is a co-chairman of the firm's federal law and policy group.
None of the lobbyists were immediately available for comment. An Al Jazeera representative didn't respond to a request for a comment.
Al Jazeera, which is owned by the Qatari government, is seen in more than 260 million households in 130 countries, according to the news channel. But it only reaches 4.7 million households in the United States.
"For many years, we understood that we could make a positive contribution to the news and information available in and about the United States and what we are announcing today will help us achieve that goal," Al Jazeera director general Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani said in a written statement on January 3.
Al Jazeera has used Washington lobbyists before, according to Politico, which first reported DLA Piper's lobbying engagement with the news channel. BGR Group worked with Al Jazeera at the end of the George W. Bush administration to help the news channel with its image.