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Readers Blog

All That Jazeera

Do you wish that you had instant access to Arab propaganda  24/7?  If you have ATT U-verse  cable service, soon you will!   Yes, the Arab satellite TV network Al Jazeera  (AJ) , owned by the government of Qatar, has bought Current TV and will be available  here  on Channel 189 in a few weeks.  (1)

Al Jazeera  (Arabic for The (Arabian) Penninsula)  was founded  by the Emir of Qatar in  November, 1996, to  provide Arabic programming throughout the Middle East.  In 2006, Al Jazeera English  (AJE) was launched to provide an Arab viewpoint  to English-speaking  TV viewers in both the Middle East and Europe, plus internet  viewers worldwide.  The new service,  to be known as Al Jazeera America  (AJA), will  draw  40% of  its programming from  AJE and the other 60%  will be produced in the United States.  AJA intends to hire 300 new employees in the US and open  news-bureaus in major American cities.

Current TV was founded by former Vice President Al Gore and Attorney Joel Hyatt in 2005 to provide a liberal voice on cable TV.  It failed to generate sufficient revenue to continue operating.  

In the tightly-censored Arab world, Al Jazeera has been a breath of fresh air;  unlike  other state-controlled  Arab media , AJ  has aired controversial material, including  the first appearances of  Israeli politicians on Arab TV.  AJ has been honored for its coverage of the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the Arab Spring revolutions, especially the one in Egypt.  But AJ  has an explicitly Arab viewpoint: it maintains a news bureau in Gaza and gives  priority to "Palestine" news, as though it were always the most important news of the day.   AJE is known to have a  more conciliatory tone toward the West than its Arabic affiliate.

I hope that many qualified Jewish journalists will apply for jobs with Al Jazeera America, if only to test  AJA's compliance with American anti-discrimination  laws.  But even if the network  has a diverse staff  and gives some voice to diverse opinions on the Middle East,  I am sure that the dominant view will be pro-Palestinian and pro-Muslim;  I am also sure that American Muslims will be its main audience.   

Gerald S Glazer 

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(1) Wikipedia 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Talkbacks

solitarius | Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:49 a.m. (report)

Mr Glazer suggests that a Jewish journalist should apply to Al Jazeera to test its fairness in reporting, but this was already done a few years ago by David Marash, and Al Jazeera failed the test.

http://www.cjr.org/the_water_cooler/dave_marash_why_i_quit.php?page=all

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solitarius | Jan. 9, 2013 at 9:44 a.m. (report)

Mr Glazer has missed the main problem with this purchase.

All Gore, the champion of anti-global warming and thus anti-fossil fuels that he claims causes global warming, sold his station to a company that is funded by oil revenue. Al Gore just made hundreds of millions of dollars off of oil, yet he goes around the world telling you not to use oil and its products in order to save the world.

Mr Gore has failed to alert you to the biggest hypocrite in the history of the world: Al Gore.

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