Kim's Recent Essays...
US International Broadcasting: Success Requires Independence and Consolidation.
In International Broadcasting, Even the Static Must be Credible.
America Calling China: A Strategy for International Broadcasting.
Wall Street Journal, 16 Jan 2013, letter from Robert R. Reilly: "After serving as the director of the Voice of America, I joined the civilian side of Operation Iraqi Freedom as senior adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Information in 2003. On April 9 that year the statue of Saddam Hussein was torn down in Firdos Square. I was still in Kuwait, where we had electricity, so I was able to watch the international television news coverage. Of the score of channels I fanned through, every single one was showing footage of the toppling of Saddam's statue, except Al Jazeera. It showed a procession of carts carrying baby coffins of children purportedly killed in the coalition bombing of Baghdad. Al Jazeera failed to provide any context for this moving scene by reference to the mortuary freezers in which Saddam's regime kept children's corpses especially for use in displays such as this. I had to hand it to Al Jazeera. It kept up broadcasting Saddam's propaganda until the very end. I wonder if, in his 'due diligence,' Al Gore was able to review any of this footage."
Ibid, letter from Brian Douglas: "Progressives generally think that state-run journalism is a step up from free-market bias; and, until there is an American World Service, Mr. Gore may have decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Heritage Foundation, 16 Jan 2013, Helle Dale: "The common denominator for Current TV and Al Jazeera is a profound anti-American slant. Current TV is characterized by a strident left-leaning agenda, and Al Jazeera tends to ascribe the worst imperialist motives to any U.S. foreign policy move. Gore reportedly refused to sell the network to Glenn Beck, but found the Al Jazeera leadership more compatible. Anti-Americanism is not unheard of in American mainstream media, but there are limits, also shown by the lack of audience share of MSNBC. And anti-American bias coming from a foreign broadcaster delivered in strident tones straight to their living rooms will probably turn most Americans off."
BernardGoldberg.com, 14 Jan 2013: "Of course, Gore and Hyatt – and their supporters – will say there’s a difference between Al Jazeera Arabic and Al Jazeera English. And they’re right. But what is the difference? Does Al Jazeera save the vile bigotry for its Arab audiences because it knows that kind of venom will be received well in the Arab world? ... The so-called mainstream media ... couldn’t muster even a little outrage. By and large all they did was cover the business story — Al Gore sells to Al Jazeera. The Wall Street Journal did more and so did CNN and Fox. But that’s about it."
Forward, 18 Jan 2013, Gal Beckerman: "Let’s not imagine that Al-Jazeera, until 2011 owned by the government of Qatar and still not entirely editorially independent, doesn’t have a credibility gap to overcome when presenting itself as anywhere near a serious news station. ... The English-language channel, however, has kept the Arab populism at bay. In fact, there are many American media analysts who consider it to be a reliable and useful news source, covering events — like the fall of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak — in a much more comprehensive and serious way than Western outlets. Robert Kaplan, a national correspondent for magazine The Atlantic magazine, praised the channel, writing that it 'is what the internationally minded elite class really yearns for: a visually stunning, deeply reported description of developments in dozens upon dozens of countries simultaneously.' There is every reason to think that Al-Jazeera America will continue in this direction; it’s the best chance it has at building an audience. And if it does, there is nothing to be scared of."
Right Side News, 18 Jan 2013, Cliff Kincaid: "Playing a familiar role, Al Jazeera has been airing sympathetic coverage about the Muslim terrorists and running 'exclusive' interviews with terrorist leaders from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), whose symbol is an AK-47 rifle and a black flag rising from the globe."
Right Side News, 17 Jan 2013, Cliff Kincaid as interviewed by Ryan Mauro: "The taking over of an American cable channel by Al-Jazeera is tantamount to giving American broadcast facilities during World War II to 'Tokyo Rose' and 'Axis Sally.' Tokyo Rose was the name given to an American broadcasting on Tokyo shortwave radio, while Axis Sally was 'The American voice of Nazi Germany' and was broadcasting on Berlin radio. Both of them, incidentally, were apprehended and prosecuted for treason and sent to prison. The purpose of the broadcasts was to demoralize the American side in the war. In Al-Jazeera's case, the channel, through the acquisition of Current TV, is seeking to establish a more permanent base on U.S. soil, in order to undermine the U.S. war on Islamic terrorism and provide support for President Obama's embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood. We are not at war with Qatar, which owns Al-Jazeera, but we are at war with thejihadists being supported by Qatar, Al-Jazeera and the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar openly supports Hamas and Hezbollah and protected 9/11 mastermind and bin Laden lieutenant Khalid Sheik Mohammed from apprehension by U.S. authorities. [Congressional] hearings should examine why Al-Jazeera's current broadcasts into the U.S. are not being labeled by cable and satellite providers as foreign propaganda under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and why public television stations are turning their broadcast time over to Al Jazeera and other foreign channels, in violation of Federal Communications Commission rules."
World Tribune, 15 Jan 2013, Cliff Kincaid: "The Al Jazeera story on [Chuck] Hagel was titled, 'Obama defeats the Israel Lobby.' The author, MJ Rosenberg, is identified as a former 'Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network,' the George Soros-funded group. But if Al Jazeera likes Hagel, the feeling is mutual. The Washington Free Beacon has posted a clip from the Al Jazeera interview, in which Hagel agrees with the observation from a viewer that America has an image as 'the world’s bully.' He clearly enjoyed the appearance on the Qatar-owned propaganda channel and thought nothing about bashing his own country. At the very least, as the favorable coverage of Hagel shows, the new 'Al Jazeera America' network that is supposed to replace Al Gore’s Current TV will be extremely left-wing in its political orientation, possibly further to the left than MSNBC."
American Thinker, 16 Jan 2013, Andrew G. Bostom: "Fox's well-paid media personalities behave hypocritically when they ignore the morally cretinous Saudi/Rotana/Al-Risala dealings of their owner Rupert Murdoch, while lashing out at Al Gore's sale of Current TV to Qatar's Al-Jazeera English."
Portales (NM) News-Tribune, 19 Jan 2013, Wendel Sloan: "After much research, including watching Al Jazeera online, I hope providers don’t repeat the knee-jerk reactions of myself and Time Warner. I found the English version to be professional and objective, with in-depth stories from around the world. Sure, we’d prefer the U.S. be portrayed as always being welcomed with open arms, but that’s not reality."
Daily Maverick (Johannesburg), 15 Jan 2013, J. Brooks Spector: "[T]his whole bet might really pay off for Al Jazeera. American TV watchers, and especially news junkies, might well decide an Al Jazeera America news programme was just the thing to get yet another view beyond the usual suspects. If that happens, the lucrative advertising market the US represents could turn their gamble into a profitable venture. Success in America would also mutually reinforce Al Jazeera’s expansion globally, even if it also encourages more energy and investment by other international broadcasters into their own footholds in the American market. Moreover, if there was a big international story it could jump on hard and fast, American viewers might well tune in to it the way they did with CNN and its coverage of events leading up to the first Gulf War. ... In any case, if it all works out as everyone plans, American television viewers may be the ultimate beneficiaries as they get to see the world, and how others see them, through yet another set of eyes. And that wouldn’t be such a bad thing."
Al Arabiya, 19 Jan 2013: "[C]ommentators expressed surprise that Al Jazeera chose to invest so much in a TV network with so few viewers, when it could instead have chosen to build up its already popular Web-streaming service in the United States. 'Congratulations, cable guys! You’re in a business that’s so valuable that even a failed network with partial distribution and no audience is worth some $500 million,' wrote media commentator Peter Kafka on the AllThingsD website. 'Al Jazeera would have been a perfect candidate to bypass cable and go digital-only.' And so the issue of why Al Jazeera spent $500 million on Current TV is not the only question. For its fate also rests on whether the U.S. public will watch Al Jazeera America on their TV screens, or whether they already get their fix of the broadcaster’s shows via the Web."
See previous post about same subject.