Thursday, August 22, 2013

EXTRA: Al Jazeera’s U.S. take not cutesy enough for “American” masses

Al Jazeera’s U.S.-oriented television channel (meant to help cleanse the Qatar-based network of claims that it is radical Islamic in nature) is up and running, and isn’t anywhere near as radical as the ideologues of our society will want to believe it is as their justification for not watching the channel.

A news alternative, for some of us
Yes, it is likely a label that will stick, and may harm the channel’s chances of success – apparently since some cable television operators already are going out of their way to cut off access to the channel.

MEANING THAT SOME people who would be willing to give it a try will not even be capable of viewing it.

In my case, that isn’t true. I found the Al Jazeera America channel on Tuesday without much trouble (Channel 107, Comcast) and have tuned in on occasions.

In fact, as I write this Thursday, my television is tuned to the channel – which is airing a report (Slavery: A 21st Century Evil) about conditions in Haiti and how some children live in ways that aren’t much different from slavery.

Not exactly the kind of report that’s going to get much airtime (if any) on any U.S.-based network. Some people are going to get bored by such subject matter. While some ideologues are going to get squeamish at the subject matter because, deep down, they’re going to realize they’re the descendants of the people who would have defended the concept as being within the “letter of the law.”

I ALSO JUST saw a promo for a program to air Thursday night by Ali Velshi where he claims to have read the entire 900-page document related to President Barack Obama’s health care reform initiatives. “Can Congress claim the same?,” he asks. Probably not!

They’re more likely to tell us about the latest reports about how Kim Kardashian is trashing Katie Couric (I still don’t understand why, although personally I could care less).

I have heard Al Jazeera people describe their new news channel as a serious news report perhaps along the line of National Public Radio on television. If there’s a better description, it is the British Broadcasting Co., which devotes serious amounts of time to the happenings of nations around the globe. I have heard quite a bit during my tune-ins on Al Jazeera America about the latest happenings in Egypt.

Although I also felt a similarity between the Al Jazeera programming and that I have seen on the news programs put together by the Christian Broadcasting Network (the channel operated by Pat Robertson).

THEIR REPORTERS OFTEN are willing to venture into underdeveloped countries and report on misery in the world – provided they can find a Western-oriented Christian to come in and try to resolve the problem.

Those stories may also get airtime on the new network – albeit without the hero coming in to save the day!

Personally, what I have most noticed about this network is the fact that a lot of faces I used to see on CNN or the other networks are now employed here – evidence to the fact that this network has created jobs within the news business.

Which is more than we can say these days about U.S.-based newsgathering organizations. Who’d have thought Al Jazeera could wind up being a boost to the U.S. economy? Albeit one that could turn to a blow if they fold a year from now.


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