Skip to comments.Meanwhile, on Al Jazeera America . . .
Posted on 10/21/2013 7:56:30 AM PDT by RetiredArmy
It has been almost two months since Al Jazeera America (AJA), the American outlet of Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera, debuted in the U.S. Viewers of the network note its impressive graphics and lack of commercials, a welcomed change of pace compared to most cable news in the States. The network also employs a host of familiar faces that help bolster AJAs image as just another news network. It remains to be seen just how radical AJA will let its coverage becomes once it grows more assured of its acceptance into the mainstream. Already AJAs Sunni sponsors have let the mask slip.
Despite a petition drive to exclude AJA from cable distribution, AJAs coverage is definitely on the rise. Last spring and summer, AJA went on a hiring spree, hiring producers, writers, technicians, and hundreds of other staffers. AJA also snapped up big news names like Joie Chen, David Shuster and Soledad OBrien, and then opened 12 American bureau offices. Broadcasting began August 20.
Of course, AJA is not just another news network. AJAs parent company, Al Jazeera, is owned by the government of Qatar, the tiny, oil-rich, Sunni Muslim state in the Persian Gulf, bordering Saudi Arabia. Qatar is ruled by Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who, despite his personal business dealings with Israel, is pro-Hamas, pro-Muslim Brotherhood and anti-Israel. Al Jazeeras news coverage has reflected those views.
In fact, Al Jazeera is so pro-Muslim Brotherhood it recently got kicked out of Egypt for instigating Muslim Brotherhood protests there. In 2008, Al Jazeeras Beirut bureau chief threw an on-air birthday party for Samir Kuntar, convicted killer of an Israeli family.
Americans learned to hate Al Jazeera in the days after 9-11, when Al Jazeera first repeated the charge that American Jews were warned beforehand of the attacks in New York, then repeatedly broadcast interviews of Osama bin Laden. Al Jazeera has even described the War on Terror as so-called, and suicide bombings as paradise operations.
Through the years Al Jazeera has had on-air personalities who were blatantly anti-Semitic. One popular Al Jazeera show, Sharia and Life, features a host who regularly criticizes Shiites, Americans and Jews.
During the height of the Iraqi war years, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld described Al Jazeera as the mouthpiece of Al Qaeda, while President George W. Bush referred to Al Jazeera as a terrorist organization. Upon the initial invasion of Afghanistan and later in Iraq, US military forces bombed local Al Jazeera offices because of the support they had given terrorists.
Now that AJA is on the air in the US, Americans will get to judge for themselves if AJA will be an independent news network covering news items important to Americans, or if AJA possesses the dispositions of its parent company.
While the networks foreign news coverage is acceptable, the viewer gets the feeling that AJA is up to something whenever the news involves Israel, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Mideast in general.
Take for example the networks coverage of the civil war in Syria. A Pew study revealed that most of the Syrian coverage by AJA was similar to most other American networks, but AJA spent much more time covering the humanitarian aspects of the story and the hardships of the rebels. And no wonder Qatar has funded the rebels.
In its domestic news coverage, AJA is clearly left-leaning. Typical of a pattern, in a recent days news broadcast, President Obama is shown speaking and blaming Republicans for the government shut-down, then the GOP response was only paraphrased in passing by the shows anchor.
Strictly as a marketing issue, this liberal domestic news slant puts AJA in the same crowded category as most other American news channels, like ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR and MSNBC, leaving Fox News alone in the right-of-center TV news coverage. Granted, AJA is only weeks old, but so far it is positioning its domestic news coverage in a pretty crowded field.
One recent episode of an in-depth news talk show on AJA, The Stream, revealed a definite anti-Israeli bias. The episode addressed the issue of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and how to get Israel to discuss peace. Special guests included members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which is a scandal in and of itself. The ISM is an organization, not of peace activists, but of para-militants who actively work with Palestinian terrorists and who call for armed force against Israel. ISM activists protect weapons-smuggling tunnels and have been photographed with assault weapons. Another group on the show calling itself Combatants For Peace (CFP) equates Israeli soldiers with Palestinian combatants (i.e. terrorists). Neither the CFP nor ISMs websites acknowledges Israels right to exist, even with defensible borders. The Stream even included a former Israeli soldier, who complained of Israeli aggression against Palestinians. He was probably trying to be Israels version of John Kerry, circa 1971.
The show featured furrowed brows and hand-wringing about how to get both sides to stop talking past each other, and how to open a dialogue. A stream of viewer tweets across the bottom of the screen confirmed that the viewers were of the same mindset. There was also some talk of Israels occupation and the need to boycott Israels products in order to foster peace talks.
AJA also maintains a website to supplement its on-air overage. Recently, the website reported on a study that calculated the number of deaths from the Iraqi war to be over 500,000, dramatically higher than estimates from most other studies. The website also included a letter from an inmate and hunger-striker at Guantanamo, complaining of the force-feeding he has to endure to keep him alive. Poor guy!
So what is a news-watcher to do? When it comes to foreign news coverage, most of the important news involves Middle East matters, a subject where AJA is pretty biased. For domestic news, so far AJAs coverage is similar to the coverage of several other networks.
But beyond these questions, what is the point of Al Jazeera even coming to America? Why would the Emir of Qatar go through the hassle and expense? One theory could be that AJA is some sort of pan-Arab pride project. And it is true that most significant regions of the world have at least one major news network. Some have also speculated that AJA is just a vanity project on the part of the Emir of Qatar, which is possible.
One other theory, and it is speculative but worth pondering, is that AJA may be getting into the American mainstream, slowly getting accepted, so that if there is another 9-11, a war involving Israel, or some other mass terrorist event, AJA will be there to share its pro-Al Qaeda or anti-Israel side to American viewers. Kind of an embedded news network, ready to propagandize at a moments notice. Given Al Jazeeras past loyalties to Al Qaeda and positions against the US and Israel, it is certainly possible.
When Al Gore sold Current TV to Al Jazeera, he is reported to have said that Al Jazeera gives a voice to those who are not typically heard, and speaks truth to power. Actually, in the event of a war involving Israel or another large-scale terrorist attack against Americans, AJA will be a vehicle for arguing against speaking truth to terrorist powers. It may in fact be terrorized Americans who will be forced to speak truth to AJA.
On the other hand, TIME and Newsweak are probably a bit more sympathetic to islam than Al Jazeera.
AJ may look good now, but they will skew the news just like the rest of the MSM.
Cable companies infuriate me, the way they design packages. I would have to pay more for National Geographic Explorer, but I can get this crap and 100 shopping and reality TV channels in my basic package at no additional charge.
Americans are extremely susceptible to TV based propaganda as demonstrated by the past several decades. Al Gorezeera will shape their minds now. One may as well select their Muslim names now before all the good ones are taken. I’ll go with Mohammed bin Muhammed al-Mohammed.
Yes, Al Jazeera is owned by the enemy. But so, apparently, are almost all the other news outlets.
Same with DirecTV. But as I understand it, DirecTV in their contracts with the owners of the various channels, has to take like 8 lousy channels that no one watches just to get the two or three they really want. Thus, they also have to put them in the prime packages as part of the contract to give those channels more exposure. That is what it said on a “crawler” on several of my channels back when DirecTV and the cable channel owners were fighting over a new contract. But, I just use that favorites channel selector and pick only those channels I want and then that is the only channels that appear when I pull up the guide to select a channel. Al J is a new channel that appeared and I immediately deleted it off my guide. When new channels come on line they automatically appear on your fav guide to let you know. But this one I canned without even checking it out. I KNEW what it was. I was still on AD back during Gulf War 1 and I remember their crap very well.
I’ve long since cut my tv feeds, both sat providers here have siignificant arab and communist control.
Standard programming used to be film , national geographic, history channel and the like with no marketing, now its pure crap. And you never get a whole movie without 4 hours of blended political propaganda and stupid sales routines.
They were bashing conservatives within 5 minutes, they will be accepted by the leftist MSM
One may as well select their Muslim names now before all the good ones are taken. Ill go with Mohammed bin Muhammed al-Mohammed.
Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi.
Many here would recognize him better as Alexander Siddiq, Dr. Bashir from “Star Trek: Deep Space 9”.
To paraphrase another fictional character, “We’re gonna need a bigger business card.”
Losers hiring losers. They were fired for a reason.
I’ll take Mohammed Gounar al-Eunabraw
Oh, really now! What makes them right-of-center? Because they acknowledge that a conservative viewpoint actually exists? Or because they actually make an attempt at balance?
I think I would actually be better off with just FR for news, ESPN.com for football, and Netflix for all other “watching.” I mean, I’m paying for channels I don’t watch, don’t want, and can’t understand, from a cable company with terrorist ties.
What’s not to like about no TV?
Here at the farm we’ve watched Al Jazeera for years. They’re no more warped than CNN,MSNBC, ABC-— (take your pick) or Deutsche Welle, CCTV9 ( Chicom TV). Even tho you know they have an axe to grind they pick up domestic stories that others don’t, frequently give more detailed video of events. It’s all part of staying in touch with the rest of the world and not depending on one ingrowndumbass to feed you info.
The “domestic stories” Al Jazeera picks for American tv are known as “come-ons”. They serve as a kind of bait for the gullible in that they lure people in with relatively straight reporting (and often tear-jerk results).
Then people let their antennae down and continue to assume that other stories are just as straight and balanced as the “human interest” ones.
Therein lies their plan. Put out the crumbs for Hansel and Gretel to follow, and lure them into the woods and then the house, where they will be lost and then rescued by Al Jazeera’s charms and propaganda.
An old communist tactic which the Moslems have appropriated with get skill and lots of money.
I work for DTV and this is precisely the case. We are not content creators, we are content PROVIDERS. Our influence over WHAT is sent over the wire is next to zilch. If someone complains about their kid seeing what would accurately be called porn 30 years ago on a ‘regular’ channel, literally the best we can do is tell them about parental lockouts. Not to mention the repeats. Yes, we know about them, there was even a drinking game created over them. No, we can’t do jack, salesman talking points notwithstanding. No, Cox or Time-Warner aren’t any better, so save yourself a headache.
Corporate and our lawyers are in a constant battle just to keep the creators and broadcasters from pulling a fast one and then making us come hat in hand to fix the gaps in our channel lineup in some or all markets while our customers call in breathing fire. And Lord help us all when it’s time for our various packages to be re-negotiated. The squabbling over who gets into what packages and at what price is enough to drive a man to drink.
You had better believe the situation drives us agents looney. We know we have to bundle crap and it drives us as nuts as it does our customers. The reason we can’t let people buy channels like a salad bar is because so people would have a dozen channels in their package and we couldn’t make a profit.
I patently refuse to push crap like AJ or the porn channels even with the juicy incentives for the latter. If someone ASKS about them, obviously I’m required to sell it and I have done so. But as both a good citizen and a Christian I won’t advertise them...and as I was recently in the top 10 agents on the entire site, I think my stand is being rewarded quite well.
BTW, Pac-12 has refused to be either a la carte or pay-per-day like everyone else from the NFL to the NBA to the NHL. Apparently THEY are just too special. Please harangue them for their bull-headedness if you get a chance.
I’ve been a reader of AJ’s online English news for a few years. I imagine the downsides of Al Jazeera are well know here, but to touch on the upsides. As long as the story doesn’t involve the USA or Israel, it’s a great place for news on Africa and the Middle East and often covers stuff you never hear about from a US based media outlet.
Do they bother to report the stories of their murdering thug religion of murder, rape and bombing killing Christian men, women and children by nailing up the doors of their churches and burning them to death????? Are THOSE stories posted there? I doubt it. NOT in a context that the murdering thugs of Islam did the murdering to kill Christians. They would have to put some other type of deal on the article to make it look like outlaws of some type did it, or a tribal thing. But not the murdering thugs of Islam killing Christians.