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Al Jazeera USA a ‘homeland threat’

By Sunny Hundal
January 9 2012




The ink on Al-Jazeera’s deal with Current TV in the US has barely dried but the backlash is already under way.

In case you missed it, the Doha-based Al Jazeera announced just after New Years’ Day that it was buying Al Gore’s channel for an undisclosed sum (estimated at around $400m).

The key reason is distribution: Current TV currently has access to nearly 60 million American homes, while Al-Jazeera was having trouble getting distribution via US cable providers.

But Al Jazzera USA, as the channel will now be known, wasn’t welcomed by all.

First, Time Warner Cable, which serves 12 million households in the US, said it would immediately take Current off air. It later released another statement saying it would consider a deal with Al Jazeera USA under the right terms.

Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, who said the network was “anti-American” (more than Russia Today, which is already carried across the US?), at least conceded he was “not for censoring al-Jazeera”.

Other organisations were worried that – gasp! – anti-Israel voices may be heard in the United States

Abraham Foxman, from the Anti-Defamation League said:

Al Jazeera, whose major broadcast focus is in the Arab world, has a troubling record and history that is very disturbing, particularly in its Arabic language broadcasts. It has exploited and exaggerated the Arab-Israel conflict in a heavy-handed and propagandistic manner, and always at the expense of Israel, while giving all manner of virulent anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic extremists access to its airwaves.

However, in its English version lately Al Jazeera has toned down its anti-Israel propaganda. Yet it continues to be of great concern. We will be watching and monitoring the broadcasts as they become available to a much wider audience in the United States.

A hard-right group called Accuracy in Media (rather like ‘fair and balanced’ at Fox) went further. In an article titled ‘Terror TV Pays Al Gore $100 Million for U.S. Media Access’, it raged against the decision.

Al-Jazeera, once considered the voice of Osama bin-Laden and known for anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric, has announced the purchase of Al Gore’s low-rated cable channel, Current TV, in a transparent attempt to buy access to the U.S. media market for operatives of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood.

AIM originally raised awareness on the issue in 2006 with the documentary, Terror Television: The Rise of Al-Jazeera and the Hate-America Media, and was instrumental in defeating the channel’s efforts to seek carriage in U.S. markets.

It called Al Jazeera a “Homeland Security threat” and, according to, is calling for a Congressional probe into the “controversial operations of foreign propaganda channel” now.

Expect much more rage and froth in coming weeks.

Originally published by Liberal Conspiracy 

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