Oh the Irony

HuffPO has this piece up about Al Jazeera English being blacked out in the U.S. but available in Canada. It’s a stick in the eye of democracy that we have such a restriction as this. The reasons, as usual, are thoroughly decrepit. Politics and money.

Now I can’t vouch for Al Jazeera. Whether they are truthful isn’t something I know of. We do have Fox though so the truth doesn’t seem to be a criteria in U.S. broadcasting.

Following are a couple of excerpts from the HuffPo article. LINK

Other than in a handful of pockets across the U.S. – including Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C. – cable carriers do not give viewers the choice of watching Al Jazeera. That corporate censorship comes as American diplomats harshly criticize the Egyptian government for blocking Internet communication inside the country and as Egypt attempts to block Al Jazeera from broadcasting.

The objections from the cable companies have come for both political and commercial reasons, said Burman, the former editor-in-chief of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “In 2006, pre-Obama, the experience was a challenging one. Essentially this was a period when a lot of negative stereotypes were associated with Al Jazeera. The effort was a difficult one,” he said, citing the Bush administration’s public hostility to the network.

“There was reluctance from these companies to embark in a direction that would perhaps be opposed by the Bush administration. I think that’s changed. I think if anything the Obama administration has indicated to Al Jazeera that it sees us as part of the solution, not part of the problem,” Burman said.

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2 thoughts on “Oh the Irony

  1. I am slow on the uptake as far as this subject goes.

    I read somewhere else over the weekend that this Al…is being blacked out here and can be seen or heard in Canada.

    The punch line might be:

    Is it published in French?

    But all of the media is consumed by Egypt and Tunisia and even Libya right now so I assume half of the info we get–since foreign journalists have been fired by so many cost cutting corporations–comes from AJ.

    I also assume that AJ publishes, from time to time, views and perspectives from Muslim fanatics. These views and perspectives would make Pat Robertson start to look good.

    I also assume that there are ‘coded messages’, maybe with the prime target being terrorist cells.

    In America, censureship does not work real well because if you cannot hear from the source, others will hear and re-communicate the messages.

    1. It’s a confusing situation Dick. The bottom line though is AJ is a news outlet like any other. None really holds claim to being void of bias in some way or another.

      I think the question is are we so afraid and so uncertain of the strength of our democracy that we find it necessary to prohibit in some way that which we fear? As the article points out Bush sought this prohibition regarding AJ. I don’t think I’m going to trust his judgement on this. Or the knee jerk reaction of any repub for that matter.

      There is no way to trust a prohibition in this way. Repubs use FOX as a conduit to spread their particular brand of fear. We know that the repubs and FOX aren’t honest brokers of the public trust in any way. I probably don’t care what AJ does or says but I’m sure not inclined to leave my opportunity to examine it to the likes of a GWB or a Dick Cheney.

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