Meant to note: heeeeere’s Al Jazeera – aiming to be what CNN should have been

Launched today and we should all wish them luck. It’ll be nice to have a real news channel on cable. We’ll see. Should be okay as long as they keep it Wolf Blitzer free.

42 responses to “Meant to note: heeeeere’s Al Jazeera – aiming to be what CNN should have been

  1. I’m very interested to see their programming, although I may be one of about five people who will actually miss Current TV πŸ˜‰ At least Stephanie Miller in the morning!


    • did Current just fold up brat or are they createng some sort of internet or streaming operaiton?


      • I think they just folded up. I haven’t seen them reappear anywhere else. I do know that Stephanie Miller said she will be showing up on a different TV station, not saying which one yet. And Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks has expressed interest in working with Al Jazeera.


  2. We’ll see how that goes for them. I think there’s enough Americans dead-set against them that they’ll fold in short order.


    • They won’t fold jonolan. They expect to lose money for a long time but they have gagillions of oil dollars behind them, so that won’t be a problem. I do think that the simple fact of their presence might make CNN reconsider adding CNN International to US cable. It’s a far better channel than our CNN.


  3. They need to change their name for marketing sake…
    I notice the media is already refering to them as the AJAM network…


  4. I’m eager to check them out. Anything has to be better than the current crop of cable news channels.


    • I’ve been checking in Ahab and I’d say they’re still in a ‘dry run’ stage. But very very promising. The best part is that have so many people out in the field, reporting from Damascus, not Beirut!


  5. As the press officer in the Al Anbar province in Iraq, I dealt with Al Jazeera a lot. As you can imagine, my fellow soldiers absolutely hated them and found every excuse possible to arrest or detain them. I never had a single problem with the individuals that I was in contact with, including an American woman that the network had hired to act as a liason with US troops.
    Time will tell how it works out for them here.


  6. TCL is correct I believe….

    Insightful answer there guy….


  7. Bravo to Verizon for making this available. Now Comcast needs to step up but as owner of NBC, they may have another agenda.


  8. Haven’t seen it on Time-Warner. Need to look more closely.


  9. Most cable companies have enough sense not to carry them due to the simple fact that Americans don’t want the network. They’ve tried this before and write-in campaigns have consistently convinced Comcast and others to not pick them up.

    I’m also remembering the troubles that their crews had when they tried to cover things in the US before. πŸ˜‰ Poor babies just aren’t very popular in lots of the US. I suppose they could cover NYC, Dearborn, and LA though…


    • What’s your problem with them jonolan? Do you think they’ve an agenda?


      • Yeah, I think they have an agenda. Given that they’re Muslim and how they’re funded, I don’t see how they could fail to have an agenda and one that is very much not pro-American.


        • It’s owned by an emirate, Qatar, which is majority Sunni and a strong traditional US ally. We have a military base there. None of that guarantees anything . . . maybe what you call an agenda, I’d call a world view. We have one and so do other peoples. I want to hear it all. All I hear in the US TV media – except for PBS – is dumbed down ‘news’ full of kittens and forest fires and shouting partisans and the outrageous thing some pol did today. They barely touch on what’s happening around the world. There’s empty space where news ought too be. Looks like AJ America is following the example of BBC America in filling that hole.


          • It’s owned by Qatar, which is also fairly strongly Wahhabi and growing more so and who is an ally of the US only to help offset Saudi’s regional power.

            If you could read their Arabic stuff, you’d get a grimmer picture of Al’ Jazeera.

            Ironically, I was standing just outside the HQ’s door just a couple of hours ago.


  10. AJAM’s expose of Walmart’s involvement in the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, that killed more than 1100 garment workers, was terrific. AJAM traced the trail of subcontractors from Rana all the way back to Walmart. Walmart shields itself from liability by using multiple layers of subcontractors, ensuring its name is never linked directly to any offshore manufacturing site.


    • How was that objectively terrific, ojmo. All it did was muddy the waters and try to place blame upon an innocent American company who HAS to use multiple layers of subcontractors when doing work in many nations such as India or Bangladesh.

      One thing – it does show that AJAM knows it’s only financially useful audience in the US and how to pander to them.

      I know; it’s Walmart so what hurts them, right or wrong, is a good things to you. But what if it’d been Apple or some other Left-approved business?


      • Oh dear jonolan – surely you know it was US media, mainly the NY Times, that broke the Apple Foxcon scandals. It’s the left – the unions, the publications, the human rights orgs etc who have been chasing Apple’s deplorable business practices. And excuse me, but what does Apple do to qualify as a ‘left approved business’, and what does that even mean?


        • Oh please, Moe! The Left doesn’t give a flaming crap about what Apple does. Do you see them boycotting Apple or coercing various local governments to prevent Apple stores from opening like they do Walmarts.

          Hell! Steve Jobs even bluntly and publicly told Obama that Apple would re-inshore production of its devices because American workers weren’t worth their wage and the Left said little or nothing.

          As for why the Left gives Apple a free pass – I have no idea. It makes no sense to me. All I can say is that it might be a holdover from the anti-Microsoft days.


          • The Left doesn’t give a flaming crap about what Apple does.

            We may, for once we may actually agree on an issue. The courtier class that now inhabits the Left gives precisely a rats ass about the public and their welfare.


      • There is, or once was, a strong tradition of muckraking in this country, and if Al Jazeera is willing to pick up the torch, I support them. Wal-Mart is just one of the many large US corporations, including Apple, which claims not to use sweatshop labor, but in fact does. Americans might not be so ready to drop their dollars at Wal-Mart (or other stores, like Gap) if they learn how the cheap clothes they buy there are actually produced.

        BTW, I’m also mystified by all the Apple worship. As far as I can tell, it’s just another cult.


        • @Ojmo

          Americans might not be so ready to drop their dollars at Wal-Mart (or other stores, like Gap) if they learn how the cheap clothes they buy there are actually produced.

          That is quite a qualified “might”. How else is a consumerist culture supposed to continue to stumble forward if consumption is anything other than reckless?

          Changing norms that have been embedded in society is a tricky business as best.


          • Mighty qualified … πŸ˜‰

            Of course you’re right, there’s little hope of changing Americans’ spending habits. Yet certainly the horrendous working conditions of the people who manufacture these goods can be improved; that Al Jazeera report showed 13 and 14 year-old kids working 12 hour days for US $30 a week.


            • There’s no real chance of improving those working conditions within the next century or so, ojmo, with the exception of China. In the other countries these aren’t considered bad working conditions or bad pay. Indeed, they’re often far better than the alternatives.

              Also remember the differences in economies. US $30 / week will keep a family going in some areas.

              The Arbourist is right, though like most ignorant, Western Leftists, she’s focused on only one side of the trade route; changing norms that have been embedded in society is a tricky business as best.


              • These aren’t bad working conditions?

                Dhaka Savar Building Collapse


              • Don’t consider it in your own cultural framework. Consider in their cultural framework and try to think about their perceived alternatives and their expectations and acceptable risks, ojmo. And yes, I know that’s hard.

                I’ve traveled the world, mostly to what Westerners would consider hell holes, and in the course of that I learned – with much pain and grief ( Yes, ojmo, my heart can and does ache at times ) – that they’re not like us as we are now. What we consider so horribly bad they shrug off because it’s an improvement over what they had and most things better aren’t going to be available any time soon.


                • [Don’t consider it in your own cultural framework]

                  Are you now advocating multiculturalism, jonolan? I guess there’s hope for you yet! πŸ™‚

                  Of course, the real cultural framework is neoliberal capitalism and the actual, as well as perceived, alternatives are “work or starve”.


                • ojmo,
                  I’m advocating an honest acceptance of foreign cultures for what they are. That doesn’t seem to equate with the normative definition of “multiculturalism.” I also strongly advocate the acceptance of global economic realities, which are far more than than merely “work or starve,” though that’s a simple, proper truth in and of itself.


                  No, within a time span measured in generation, we can’t improve their working conditions except through reenacting the old Colonial model by force but with better foresight.

                  Think about what would happen to those “poor, oppressed workers” if your dream came true and, through propaganda, the MSM convinced people to shun all those companies using that sort of labor. There’d be no kindly and compassionate result from that, though I’m sure the MSM could then be used to salve your consciences.


                • The language you use is as old as empire, and “honest” it’s not; it characterizes others as less than human in order to justify inhuman treatment by their “civilized” oppressors. You could spend decades in eastern countries and never learn to perceive the people who inhabit them as more than mere savages.


                • No, ojmo; you’re so very wrong. Mine is not the language of empire; yours is. Yours is merely a variant of The White Man’s Burden. Worse, you equate the acceptance of difference, especially uncomfortable difference, with the feelings of superiority.

                  I do think the peoples of the East, as you quaintly put it, are savages because they are savages in many ways by our standards. I also know that they think we’re savages and, in many ways by their standards, we freaking are and more dangerous savages from their point of view than they are to us.

                  Also, do not believe for a second that, just because I accept that “empire” is the only way to impose changes upon these peoples, I want us to do so. I don’t, not even for a second. We in the West cannot remake the East – or anywhere else – in our image and have to accept that our values won’t be shared by them in ways that we can really understand.


            • @ojmo

              Yet certainly the horrendous working conditions of the people who manufacture these goods can be improved;

              Of course we would want them improved, we empathize other people and their plight. On a basic level if our media was actually about ordinary people and their interests we would have tones of stories about the working conditions in America and around the world.

              Media could be such a powerful tool in promoting solidarity and empathy but instead peddles toothpaste and cynicism. The (vast majority of) media of today promotes nothing crass spectacle and carefully managed illusion for people tailored to keep them atomized, ignorant and powerless.

              Al Jazeera report showed 13 and 14 year-old kids working 12 hour days for US $30 a week.

              I’ve been following Al Jazeera for years now and I think that their reporting and news gathering is competent and worth an individual’s time. They have a different set of constraints to work within and it is evident in the content they provide.


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