Will Americans Be Able to Watch Al Jazeera America?


The problem with liberal cable channel Current TV being sold to Al Jazeera isn’t that American TV viewers might be subjected to news with a point of view. It’s news with what many elites might consider the wrong point of view that is the problem.


Why Is It Hard to Believe President Obama Would Want a Journalist in Prison?

Abdulelah Haider Shaye

Jeremy Scahill’s piece at the Nation website (“Why Is President Obama Keeping a Journalist in Prison in Yemen?,” 3/13/12) about imprisoned Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye is riveting and deeply reported. But to Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum, the story doesn’t quite add up…because Barack Obama seems like a decent guy. As Scahill reports, Shaye has “risked his life to travel to areas controlled by Al-Qaeda and to interview its leaders.” He argues that this reporting has not exactly won him friends in the U.S. or Yemeni governments: His collision course with the U.S. government appears to have been set […]


Why Hold a Journalist at Guantanamo?

Today’s New York Times report (4/25/11) on the WikiLeaks Guantanamo files provides an answer: The documents show that a major reason a Sudanese cameraman for Al Jazeera, Sami al-Hajj, was held at Guantanamo for six years was for questioning about the television network’s “training program, telecommunications equipment and newsgathering operations in Chechnya, Kosovo and Afghanistan,” including contacts with terrorist groups. The Times‘ piece is definitely worth reading, though I wish they didn’t feel the need to add this type of equivocation: The Guantanamo assessments seem unlikely to end the long-running debate about America’s most controversial prison. The documents can be […]


You Can’t Watch What You Want

The AP has a story today (6/14/10) noting the continuing problems Al Jazeera English is experiencing in getting on American television: Frustrated by its continuing inability to crack the American television market, Al Jazeera English‘s new strategy is to make itself available for free on every other possible screen. The Qatar-based news network said its 24-hour newscast has been streamed over the Internet for 18 months. The company said it will expand its presence on various smart phones, is launching an iPad application and is aggressively distributing content through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. So, a quick refresher about howour media […]


Press Freedom ‘Lip Service’ vs. ‘de Facto U.S. Policy’

Reporting that “the Obama administration has recently paid a lot of lip service to freedom of the press, particularly around the case of Iranian-American journalist Roxanna Saberi, who was released May 11 from an Iranian prison,” Jeremy Scahill asks (Rebel Reports, 5/26/09) the simple question, “If Iran Freed Roxanna Saberi, Why Won’t the U.S. Release Journalist Ibrahim Jassam?” Part of the answer might lie in a media environment heeding former Col. Ralph Peters’ recent “essay for a leading neocon group calling for future U.S. military attacks on media outlets and journalists” along with “censorship” and “news blackouts.” Of course, Scahill […]


Only English Gaza News Shut Out of U.S. Cable

Even though “Al Jazeera English is also on the cusp of a carriage deal in Canada,” Broadcasting & Cable‘s Marisa Guthrie reports (2/18/09) that the channel has “had little luck getting picked up by U.S. cable and satellite providers.” As part of an effort to “appeal to consumers via a grassroots marketing campaign that attempts to dispel long-held attitudes about the network,” AJE has “launched a website that bluntly addresses popular perceptions about the English language offshoot of Al Jazeera, the most-watched news network in the Middle East”: The site, IWantAJE.net, lets consumers send electronic letters directly to their cable […]