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(Washington Post)   Al-Jazeera's American premier yesterday showed it to be a solid, responsible, non-polarizing and thoughtful news channel that avoids the smoke and mirrors employed by its competitors. Which is to say, it won't last long in America   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 49
    More: Sad, Al Jazeera, Americans, AJA, cable news, Al Jazeera English, Americanize, cable operators, mirrors  
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4497 clicks; posted to Main » on 21 Aug 2013 at 12:42 PM (46 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2013-08-21 01:37:21 PM
4 votes:
A couple years ago I got curious and watched a webcast of the English language version online. It was a roundtable discussion type show and they were debating the Iraq war. Even though not all the guests supported America's actions in Iraq (though some did), the discussion was extremely intelligent, even-handed and the other guests actually LISTENED when someone else was talking. It blew my mind.

In contrast to our news-tainment style were red faced blowhards shout straw man arguments at each other. We should be embarrassed at how juvenile and banal our news media is compared to the rest of the world.
2013-08-21 01:46:35 PM
2 votes:
If you think that *any* news outlet is unbiased, you're a moron.
2013-08-21 01:31:35 PM
2 votes:

Aristocles: I saw a commercial for al-Jazeera on FOXNews during O'Reilly last night... I just don't know if it will be as Fair and Balanced as FOXNews, though.... plus, what's the appeal of getting news from a Muslim outlet? Is the fact that al-jazeera is Muslim supposed to lend it more credence than non-Muslim news channels like FNC or FBN? Isn't that the same logic that Farklibs use against FOX for the interview of the Muslim novelist who wrote on Jesus Christ?

Try to be consistent, Farklibs.


hmmmm  al-jazeera presently has reputation of providing actual news (which sometimes runs counter to US narative)
unlike fox (which is known for creating stories)
and unlike the infotainment provided by the others (which movie star is in court)
2013-08-21 12:50:49 PM
2 votes:
I wonder what their thinking was in not renaming the channel as "American News Network" or something equally non-threatening? I know that branding is important and stuff, but a back-to-basics news channel might actually resonate with "folks" if it didn't have the name Al Jazeera and that funny, foreign looking logo.
2013-08-21 11:58:03 AM
2 votes:
I wonder if Fox News is worried.

/I depend on NPR and PBS for my broadcast news.
//The American commercial model for cable TV journalism has been Networked.
2013-08-22 08:27:45 AM
1 votes:
I had an interesting conversation with my neighbor yesterday and we both agree.

You can NEVER trust one source all the time. It is each individuals responsibility to KNOW the sources and always question/understand their motives.
2013-08-22 05:06:57 AM
1 votes:
"The new Al Jazeera America news channel proved itself to be what you might expect in a new mainstream news channel. It was accurate, responsible and technically polished."

Actually, that would make it the exact opposite of what we'd expect from a mainstream news channel.
2013-08-21 05:42:16 PM
1 votes:
Meanwhile...

www.fireandreamitchell.com
Partly owned, and most profits going to...


i.imgur.com
2013-08-21 04:20:09 PM
1 votes:

cirrhosis_and_halitosis: simplicimus:

So it's a battle for economic parity with Russia over Natural Gas sales? Because we're afraid NATO will fall apart? Well, maybe US fraking will finally resolve the mine gap with Russia. And I still don't consider Iran a threat against the US, but pitting Sunnis against Shia has worked well in the past for us, so there's that.

Not really a battle with Russia over sales but more control of ME gas.  Euro countries (a large part of NATO) are heavily dependent on Russia for gas and oil.  Qatar wants to build a pipeline that will end in Turkey (another NATO member).  US isn't happy about Iran building a different pipeline to Pakistan and India.  Basically, Syria and Iran are in the way of US and NATO interests.

Here is a better link:
The Geopolitics of Gas and the Syrian Crisis: Syrian "Opposition" Armed to Thwart Construction of Iran-Iraq-Syria Gas Pipeline

And fracking isn't the panacea the US government claims.  Here is a great article describing the wildly over-estimated production estimates and high costs to the environment.

Fracking - Britain's Next Revolution


Strange bedfellows indeed. Sunnis getting friendly (or at least less hostile) towards Israel? The US turning its back on Iraqi Shia? All we need now is the Kurds and the clusterf*ck will be complete.
Esn
2013-08-21 03:48:49 PM
1 votes:

ShadowKamui: simplicimus: Esn: simplicimus: Now I admit I am baffled as to the allegations that the US is supporting the Syrian rebels.

Um, the CIA has been providing arms to the rebels for quite a while, yes. The New York Times wrong a long article about it a while ago. The general perception is that the US is deeply involved but is pretending not to be. The reality may be that the US is somewhat involved but finds the situation getting away from it and is conflicted about what to do - but the CIA's history of this sort of stuff isn't helping to quell the rumours any.

But what threat does the Syrian Government pose to the US or its interests? If it's because we want to have another proxy war against Russia, and the CIA hasn't learned anything from their efforts in Vietnam and Russia occupied Afghanistan, they need to be disbanded.

Syria is BFF w/ Iran, that's why the US is getting involved.  Russia is just along for the ride cause they sell a bunch of stuff to Assad and know they lose all those contracts if not-Assad takes power.


Both the Saudis and the Israelis hate Iran, and both are strong U.S. allies. It's a bit of a quandary for the U.S. because it means that they're stuck between supporting Iran (thereby pissing off their closest Middle East allies) or supporting Al Qaeda (thereby pissing off their own population). So far they've been inching towards the latter option, but not very enthusiastically. The other option is to do nothing, which seems to only succeed in pissing off both sides and making the U.S. look weak (because everyone's used to the U.S. interfering somehow, so if they don't do anything both sides assume that they're helping the other side).

As for Russia, it may not be just about money. Last month the Saudis tried to bribe Russia to stop supporting Assad in exchange for billions in arms contracts and Putin refused. Probably at least in part because he doesn't trust Saudi Arabia much - you know, that was one of the countries that the old USSR refused to have diplomatic relations with.
2013-08-21 03:38:20 PM
1 votes:

cirrhosis_and_halitosis: simplicimus:

But what threat does the Syrian Government pose to the US or its interests? If it's because we want to have another proxy war against Russia, and the CIA hasn't learned anything from their efforts in Vietnam and Russia occupied Afghanistan, they need to be disbanded.

Syria isn't a threat but they won't play ball with US interests.  Much like Iran.  Russia is an ally of both and have their own interests to protect.  And China is aligned with Iran.  Toss India and Pakistan into the fray and you have the ingredients for a giant mess.

US-Russia "New Cold War": The Battle for Pipelines and Natural Gas


So it's a battle for economic parity with Russia over Natural Gas sales? Because we're afraid NATO will fall apart? Well, maybe US fraking will finally resolve the mine gap with Russia. And I still don't consider Iran a threat against the US, but pitting Sunnis against Shia has worked well in the past for us, so there's that.
2013-08-21 03:16:40 PM
1 votes:
Just listened to a well-done discussion of this on the podcast for On The Media.
I recommend it if you want to learn something about this.

My take: it's unfortunate that, to find something quality, you have to look outside the US. Whereas once America stood for integrity and innovation and honesty, it's now synonymous with excess, inefficiency, and bias.

Here's the link to the show.
2013-08-21 02:46:28 PM
1 votes:

Esn: simplicimus: Now I admit I am baffled as to the allegations that the US is supporting the Syrian rebels.

Um, the CIA has been providing arms to the rebels for quite a while, yes. The New York Times wrong a long article about it a while ago. The general perception is that the US is deeply involved but is pretending not to be. The reality may be that the US is somewhat involved but finds the situation getting away from it and is conflicted about what to do - but the CIA's history of this sort of stuff isn't helping to quell the rumours any.


But what threat does the Syrian Government pose to the US or its interests? If it's because we want to have another proxy war against Russia, and the CIA hasn't learned anything from their efforts in Vietnam and Russia occupied Afghanistan, they need to be disbanded.
2013-08-21 02:26:42 PM
1 votes:
Bright House in Tampa intentionally dropped Current TV before it became AJA.
Bright House in Orlando never had Current TV and has no intent to offer AJA to anyone.
Century Link Prism and Comcast Xfinity both offer the channel in Orlando, but only in their highest, most premium price tier.

What can you do?  Oh well.
Esn
2013-08-21 02:18:16 PM
1 votes:

simplicimus: Now I admit I am baffled as to the allegations that the US is supporting the Syrian rebels.


Um, the CIA has been providing arms to the rebels for quite a while, yes. The New York Times wrong a long article about it a while ago. The general perception is that the US is deeply involved but is pretending not to be. The reality may be that the US is somewhat involved but finds the situation getting away from it and is conflicted about what to do - but the CIA's history of this sort of stuff isn't helping to quell the rumours any.

Also, Israel is giving medical treatment to wounded rebels in the Golan Heights, and Saudi Arabia, a very close US ally (you can tell because they never get criticized on the US news channels) is heavily supporting the rebels, as is Turkey (a NATO member).

Geotpf: Esn: Geotpf: Now, I suspect this is more a propaganda thing to promote Islam, Qatar, and the Middle East in general than an actual attempt to make money

The two are not mutually exclusive, you know... it's called marketing, and good marketing can lead to better trade relations.

In this case, the two are, in fact, mutually exclusive. AJA is having trouble getting on American cable companies' lineups because it is AJ and for no other reason. No viewers = no advertising revenue = no money.


By "marketing" I mean marketing the culture and the people. Trying to make Arabs less scary for Americans. Public relations. Do you think it would work if they just changed their name? Wouldn't they get accused of underhanded subterfuge even more, "trying to hide something", etc.?  It doesn't seem to me like they have much choice other than trying to do what they're doing now.
2013-08-21 02:08:31 PM
1 votes:

Esn: Geotpf: I don't get either RT or AJA.  For my daily foreign government sponsered propaganda needs, I'm stuck with CCTV, which, frankly, is pretty bad.

Also, do you get BBC? Because that's no less "foreign government sponsored propaganda" than the others.

From what I've seen, RT is taking the role that "Voice of America" used to take in the Soviet Union - they invite American dissidents and academics who don't get to speak on the mainstream news channels. Russia is very clearly trying to use the old American playbook that worked so well in breaking apart the Soviet Union.


I get "BBC America", although that's mostly, possibly entirely, fictional entertainment programing.  RT, AJA, and CCTV are mostly or entirely news and documentaries, and all three have obvious political stances (although AJ's is actually a bit less pronounced).
2013-08-21 02:07:27 PM
1 votes:

squidgod2000: Surfed around for 15 minutes to find AJAM only to discover it's 4:3 standard definition with horrible audio.


i.imgur.com

That's quite a Champagne Problem you have there.
2013-08-21 02:02:36 PM
1 votes:

Esn: Geotpf: Now, I suspect this is more a propaganda thing to promote Islam, Qatar, and the Middle East in general than an actual attempt to make money

The two are not mutually exclusive, you know... it's called marketing, and good marketing can lead to better trade relations.


In this case, the two are, in fact, mutually exclusive.  AJA is having trouble getting on American cable companies' lineups because it is AJ and for no other reason.  No viewers = no advertising revenue = no money.
2013-08-21 02:02:19 PM
1 votes:

Itstoearly: If you think that *any* news outlet is unbiased, you're a moron.



But if you think that this is a reason to equate Al Jezeera with Fox News, you're even dumber.
2013-08-21 02:02:13 PM
1 votes:
IdBeCrazyIf:  Which astounds me why people think its a totally 100% slanted news agency, it's like you do realize they piss off everyone over there as well right?

That's precisely why Fox and some others are rushing to try and cement the conditioning of public perceptions. For most Americans, their exposure to Al Jazeera has been very limited. I remember the first time I saw it in AZ and asked the shop proprietor about it (middle eastern restaurant). He told me about the channel and said (paraphrasing) 'its got some good stuff, but sometimes it goes off the deep end.' We had a good laugh about it.
2013-08-21 02:01:47 PM
1 votes:
The derp on the RT website would rival anything seen on US websites.
e.g.
"Why isn't RT reporting on khan al asal masacre by US sponsered terrorists. RT is owned by zionists "

Now I admit I am baffled as to the allegations that the US is supporting the Syrian rebels. Does the Muslim Brotherhood have some deep affection for the US?
But the Russian comments get weirder (from my US perspective, cause these 3 nations are such good friends)
...Isra el is not only arming the rebels via the Saudis, but also providing them with the chemical agents via Georgia ..
2013-08-21 02:01:29 PM
1 votes:
Goddamnitsomuch. My AJE channel was replaced by some other random thing with shiatty production values. Surfed around for 15 minutes to find AJAM only to discover it's 4:3 standard definition with horrible audio.

Now I'm stuck Chromecasting the AJE feed to my TV through a proxy server in Europe because it's farking region-locked now.

I like Al Jazeera and I would have been a lot happier if it had never been Americanized.
Esn
2013-08-21 02:01:03 PM
1 votes:

Gosling: Esn: From what I've seen, RT is taking the role that "Voice of America" used to take in the Soviet Union - they invite American dissidents and academics who don't get to speak on the mainstream news channels. Russia is very clearly trying to use the old American playbook that worked so well in breaking apart the Soviet Union.

State-sponsored news organizations are a bit tricky. It all depends on whether the state is hands-on or hands-off in terms of operation. If they're hands-off, it'll probably be the best news organization in the country, because the profit and ratings pressures are zero and the reporters can just focus on doing their job properly. If the state is hands-on, the result is straight-up propaganda.


Well, my sense of RT is that their instructions were basically to "rock the American ship as much as possible" while doing it in language that the natives could understand. So, basically what Voice of America did.

RT was originally much more about Russia when they started, then they switched to being more America-focused and found more local voices. Even if they were locals who'd been critical of the Russian government in the past (like Mark Ames - who used to have an English-language newspaper in Moscow which got shut down by the Russian state a few years ago).
2013-08-21 02:00:44 PM
1 votes:

KidneyStone: CrazyCracka420: Oh wow, just hooked up the cable line running to my house to my tv two days ago (I pay for cable internet, not tv) and realized I get broadcast as well as basic cable channels.  Scrolling through them I saw Al-Jazeera yesterday, assumed they'd been carried in the USA for years, but apparently I just have good timing.

/been w/o cable tv for about 5 years

That's very illegal and if the cable company detects it they will run you through the wringer.

I did the same thing years ago and asked a buddy (who worked for the cable co) about it. He told me employees get a cash reward for reporting such things ($1500 IIRC). He also said it's very easy to detect. I started paying for it the next day.


You're incorrect.  I pay for cable internet. They have two cables running to my house, one upstairs, one downstairs.  It's 100% legal to plug in your coaxial cable from the cable company to your tv, in order to access the local broadcast channels.  It is illegal for cable companies to scramble or block the broadcast channels. It's not illegal for them to scramble their cable channels (as they do with all the non-basic cable channels), but they don't scramble the basic cable channels for multiple reasons that I've heard, either because it also blocks other signals (used for carrying broadcast channels or internet traffic), or because it's too expensive to do, so they only focus on the more premium cable channels.

It's illegal to run a line from the cable box to your house if you're not paying for cable internet.  It's not illegal to run that coax line to your tv.
2013-08-21 01:56:31 PM
1 votes:

Apik0r0s: Israel-Firsters are apoplectic about this. I wonder why.


AJ has always been very good about talking to a wide variety of Israeli sources, both governmental and NGOs'. That's part of why other governments get pissed off at them.
2013-08-21 01:56:15 PM
1 votes:

a_real_human_being: I believe the also "debuted" in America a few years ago


You're thinking of Al Jazeera English, which was just English-language Al Jazeera.

This new one is US-based Al Jazeera.
2013-08-21 01:55:07 PM
1 votes:

Aristocles: Don_cos: Summercat: /...the heck is a neo-liberal, anyhow?

Neo means young or new.  So he is saying "new liberals" as opposed to "old liberals."

Yes, I think the original post was referring to, what I call, "Post-Modern Liberalism" as opposed to Classical Liberalism.


Jesus Almighty Christ, you're all sitting here with the most comprehensive collection of information in human history literally at your fingertips and you can't type a simple term into a box?
neoliberalism - a political orientation originating in the 1960s; blends liberal political views with an emphasis on economic growth.
2013-08-21 01:50:11 PM
1 votes:

IdBeCrazyIf: They have their slants at times, but the reporting is pretty damn solid and because of their contact network they often are able to get into areas other news agencies struggle to get into for on ground reporting.


At the same time other than Qatar there isn't a single Middle Eastern country their reporters haven't been kicked out of. They have an amazing talent for pissing people off.
2013-08-21 01:49:52 PM
1 votes:
I don't have cable, so I watch the digital OTA channels, and al-Jazeera was one of my favorite news shows.  Now I can't get it any more, and I miss it.  Very good journalism.
2013-08-21 01:48:29 PM
1 votes:

Mr. Coffee Nerves: The office's resident Fox News aficionado said he sent an email to Comcast demanding AJA never be put on his cable system so as to, and I'm not joking, "protect our Freedom."


Some of us have contacted our cable providers to ask for its inclusion, and will keep doing so. Its good to have multiple sources. I've also asked for the CBC as well. I miss getting CBC news in Michigan.
2013-08-21 01:46:44 PM
1 votes:
I would really like to see a neutral news network.  You can't get real news without that particular station's slant.

I lean conservative, but for the most part, I think NPR has fairly balanced reporting.

/My right wing friends think I am nuts
//My left wing friends think I am nuts
2013-08-21 01:43:56 PM
1 votes:

JudgeItoBox: All I know is they killed the Al-Jazeera English stream on my Roku. As an American, I am so unused to the idea of "This video cannot be viewed from your location" messages.

And since I live in good ol' Bumfark, Iowa, I'm sure my cable company has gotten more letters and calls akin to Mr. Coffee Nerves office mate's than ones with any desire to see Al-Jazeera America on their lineup.


Especially when the top News apps on the Roku are Fox News and *****cough **** choke ****The Blaze ?!?
2013-08-21 01:42:59 PM
1 votes:

Esn: From what I've seen, RT is taking the role that "Voice of America" used to take in the Soviet Union - they invite American dissidents and academics who don't get to speak on the mainstream news channels. Russia is very clearly trying to use the old American playbook that worked so well in breaking apart the Soviet Union.


State-sponsored news organizations are a bit tricky. It all depends on whether the state is hands-on or hands-off in terms of operation. If they're hands-off, it'll probably be the best news organization in the country, because the profit and ratings pressures are zero and the reporters can just focus on doing their job properly. If the state is hands-on, the result is straight-up propaganda.
2013-08-21 01:42:15 PM
1 votes:
Funny to see so many get upset over a news outfit from the Mid-East operating in the US, didn't the NYT and CNN count?

Israel-Firsters are apoplectic about this. I wonder why.
2013-08-21 01:40:40 PM
1 votes:

CrazyCracka420: Oh wow, just hooked up the cable line running to my house to my tv two days ago (I pay for cable internet, not tv) and realized I get broadcast as well as basic cable channels.  Scrolling through them I saw Al-Jazeera yesterday, assumed they'd been carried in the USA for years, but apparently I just have good timing.

/been w/o cable tv for about 5 years


enjoy it while you can.  All the cable companies are switching to "cable box required" services for all but the most basic channels.

/Dealing with this at work
//screw the cable companies!
Esn
2013-08-21 01:40:06 PM
1 votes:

Geotpf: I don't get either RT or AJA.  For my daily foreign government sponsered propaganda needs, I'm stuck with CCTV, which, frankly, is pretty bad.


Also, do you get BBC? Because that's no less "foreign government sponsored propaganda" than the others.

From what I've seen, RT is taking the role that "Voice of America" used to take in the Soviet Union - they invite American dissidents and academics who don't get to speak on the mainstream news channels. Russia is very clearly trying to use the old American playbook that worked so well in breaking apart the Soviet Union.
2013-08-21 01:30:18 PM
1 votes:

AirForceVet: I wonder if Fox News is worried.



Oh hell yes. They've already got their "news analysts" kicking the smear campaign into first gear
Esn
2013-08-21 01:27:39 PM
1 votes:
Al-Jazeera, just like Russia Today, brings much-needed balance to American cable news. All news sources are biased in some way or other. The more honest ones will tell you upfront what their "blind spot" is. The most dishonest ones pretend to be neutral.

An informed society is one that receives its news from many different biases, so all the blind spots are covered.
2013-08-21 01:24:28 PM
1 votes:

MyRandomName: Mr. Coffee Nerves: The office's resident Fox News aficionado said he sent an email to Comcast demanding AJA never be put on his cable system so as to, and I'm not joking, "protect our Freedom."

I can make up stories too.


No need to tell us. You've made that painfully obvious over the years.
2013-08-21 01:22:19 PM
1 votes:

CrazyCracka420: Oh wow, just hooked up the cable line running to my house to my tv two days ago (I pay for cable internet, not tv) and realized I get broadcast as well as basic cable channels.  Scrolling through them I saw Al-Jazeera yesterday, assumed they'd been carried in the USA for years, but apparently I just have good timing.

/been w/o cable tv for about 5 years


That's very illegal and if the cable company detects it they will run you through the wringer.

I did the same thing years ago and asked a buddy (who worked for the cable co) about it. He told me employees get a cash reward for reporting such things ($1500 IIRC). He also said it's very easy to detect. I started paying for it the next day.
2013-08-21 01:20:51 PM
1 votes:
Had AJA for a few hours yesterday on Dish. Gone now. Still have RT, so there's that.
2013-08-21 01:02:57 PM
1 votes:
All I know is they killed the Al-Jazeera English stream on my Roku. As an American, I am so unused to the idea of "This video cannot be viewed from your location" messages.

And since I live in good ol' Bumfark, Iowa, I'm sure my cable company has gotten more letters and calls akin to Mr. Coffee Nerves office mate's than ones with any desire to see Al-Jazeera America on their lineup.
2013-08-21 01:01:53 PM
1 votes:

jayhawk88: I wonder what their thinking was in not renaming the channel as "American News Network" or something equally non-threatening? I know that branding is important and stuff, but a back-to-basics news channel might actually resonate with "folks" if it didn't have the name Al Jazeera and that funny, foreign looking logo.


Part of it is branding, and part of it is journalistic ethics.  They are letting you know who they are, so you can determine for yourself if their news needs interpreting.

If anything, al Jazeera is more of a threat to the neo-liberals than to the conservatives.  They don't sanitize their reporting, and it's hard to maintain the Pollyanna bs neo-iiberal line in the face of real consequences.
2013-08-21 12:59:20 PM
1 votes:
Oh wow, just hooked up the cable line running to my house to my tv two days ago (I pay for cable internet, not tv) and realized I get broadcast as well as basic cable channels.  Scrolling through them I saw Al-Jazeera yesterday, assumed they'd been carried in the USA for years, but apparently I just have good timing.

/been w/o cable tv for about 5 years
2013-08-21 12:55:12 PM
1 votes:
Subby clearly is a troll for the Dems. They endorsed Hillary for President, and turned to Mr. Insane himself, John "I'm Programmed" McCain, then in the first five minutes got in their licks against Glenn Beck.

Article III, Section 3
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

In a properly organized Nation they would be shown the door, while on fire ..
2013-08-21 12:48:30 PM
1 votes:
Don't let the last 20 years of Islamic propaganda paid for by oil companies throw you off.
2013-08-21 12:47:50 PM
1 votes:
I've watched AJ before and welcome them trying to crack into the American market. They have their slants at times, but the reporting is pretty damn solid and because of their contact network they often are able to get into areas other news agencies struggle to get into for on ground reporting.

I mean because really there is only so much Richard Engel can cover since he has to lug around those 80 pound brass balls.
2013-08-21 12:14:38 PM
1 votes:
The office's resident Fox News aficionado said he sent an email to Comcast demanding AJA never be put on his cable system so as to, and I'm not joking, "protect our Freedom."
2013-08-21 11:36:23 AM
1 votes:
 
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