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Time Warner Cable Drops Current TV After Al Jazeera Purchase

TWC “did not consent to the sale”
Media • Views: 25,447

You’ve probably heard that Al Gore’s Current TV has now been sold to Al Jazeera; but their plans to establish a foothold suffered a setback when Time Warner Cable announced last night that they were dropping Current TV from their lineup.

NEW YORK — Time Warner Cable pulled the plug on Current TV just hours after news of the cable channel’s sale to Al Jazeera became official.

“This channel is no longer available on Time Warner Cable,” read an on-screen message where Current TV used to be found.

Al Jazeera took a major step into the U.S. cable market Wednesday by acquiring beleaguered Current TV and announcing plans for a U.S.-based news network to be called Al Jazeera America. But while the new channel will soon be available in 40 million households, Al Jazeera faced a setback when Time Warner Cable — which reaches 12 million homes — announced it was dropping the low-rated Current, which occupied a spot that could have been switched to Al Jazeera America.

Joel Hyatt, who co-founded Current TV with former Vice President Al Gore, told staff in a Wednesday night memo that Time Warner Cable “did not consent to the sale to Al Jazeera.”

“Consequently, Current will no longer be carried on TWC,” Hyatt wrote. “This is unfortunate, but I am confident that Al Jazeera America will earn significant additional carriage in the months and years ahead.”

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104 comments

1 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 10:58:45am

For once, criticism of Gore is warranted, to. Al-Jazeera is at best the mouthpiece of an extremely oil-rich family. At worst, it spreads anti-Israel propaganda. I haven't particularly looked into what they think about climate change, but selling to a family that makes their living from petroleum is a highly visible action.

We need a lot more statesmen to start speaking up on climate change. Gore has done a hell of a lot of good but he's been pretty ineffective over the past few years and that he even thought Current TV with that drek Ceryk hosting a show was a politically good idea was dumb, too.

2 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 10:58:45am

I don't particularly like the precedent of my cable company so publicly editorializing on which owners should be able to broadcast to me, but I suppose precedent is the wrong word. It's surely nothing new.

Unsure of whether or not it's a good or bad thing in this specific instance.

Closing thought as always, plz to bring me my ala carte so I can starve the various media beasts.

3 Vicious Babushka  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:02:48am

Cable carriers have the total right to decide which channels they will and will not broadcast. It's a business decision.

I am sure that other carriers will see an opportunity. If not, I don't really give a crap if the Qatar princes don't get a bigger audience share than the Saudi princes who own Fox.

4 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:05:33am

Al Jazeera probably needs to produce a few pawnshop, towing adventures, peculiar family, or oddball hunting shows, to prove they really understand the American cable viewer.

5 Lidane  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:06:05am

re: #2 erik_t

Closing thought as always, plz to bring me my ala carte so I can starve the various media beasts.

YES. THIS. I'm tired of cable packages that end up being 4905724857 channels of shit that I ignore and a handful of channels I actually watch and enjoy.

Time Warner wants to dump Current over this? Fine. Their business, their decision. HOWEVER, if people want AJE, they should be free to subscribe to it at will instead of having their cable provider decide for them what they will see and what they won't.

6 darthstar  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:06:11am

Boehner giving his first speech after reelection - pointing out the oath of office isn't partisan. Never mind...I was about to say he was giving a non-partisan speech but he just went back to GOP talking points.

7 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:06:19am

re: #4 jaunte

Al Jazeera probably needs to produce a few pawnshop, towing adventures, peculiar family, or oddball hunting shows, to prove they really understand the American cable viewer.

Celeb-reality.

8 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:07:02am

re: #3 Vicious Babushka

Cable carriers have the total right to decide which channels they will and will not broadcast. It's a business decision.

It's treading a fine line, and a very broad definition of 'business decision'; I think an argument could be made that TWC has no real idea whether Al Jazeera English is a stronger or weaker broadcast product than the previous Current TV, and that this decision was made based on the new ownership rather than the new product.

In that case it's a business decision only in the context that it was a decision made by a business.

9 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:08:38am

re: #5 Lidane

Time Warner wants to dump Current over this? Fine. Their business, their decision. HOWEVER, if people want AJE, they should be free to subscribe to it at will instead of having their cable provider decide for them what they will see and what they won't.

I feel much more strongly about not personally funding the modern TLC than about funding any Al Jazeera of any flavor. The former is doing far more harm to my society than the latter ever could.

10 kirkspencer  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:08:45am

re: #5 Lidane

YES. THIS. I'm tired of cable packages that end up being 4905724857 channels of shit that I ignore and a handful of channels I actually watch and enjoy.

Time Warner wants to dump Current over this? Fine. Their business, their decision. HOWEVER, if people want AJE, they should be free to subscribe to it at will instead of having their cable provider decide for them what they will see and what they won't.

fwiw, I think we're in the process of it happening anyway. Hulu, netflix, playon, and others are gradually showing that a good internet connection makes cable as (relatively) unnecessary as cable did to broadcast. In other words, in some places and situations you stick with them, but they're becoming the exception.

It's the playdough problem. The harder you squeeze to maintain control, the less you wind up holding.

11 Spocomptonite  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:10:33am

I have been really surprised over the years that Al Jazeera has gone from the place that the news always cites as the source that terrorists release their videos to, to becoming a source of world news on par with the BBC in my opinion.

Dropping it because ownership changed hands reeks of stereotyping about AJ's origins and geographical/cultural location. Did Time Warner drop Discovery Kids when Hasbro bought into the station and it became The Hub because Discovery and Hasbro didn't ask TW's permission? Have they ever required mergers/acquisitions to have their permission in order to be carried by them? They didn't even give them a chance to do better than CurrentTV did.

12 NJDhockeyfan  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:10:50am

re: #1 Obdicut

This guy has a pretty popular show on Al-Jazeera...

Yusuf al-Qaradawi (Arabic: يوسف القرضاوي Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī‎; or Yusuf al-Qardawi; born 9 September 1926) is an Egyptian Islamic theologian. He is best known for his programme, al-Sharīʿa wa al-Ḥayāh ("Shariah and Life"), broadcast on Al Jazeera, which has an estimated audience of 60 million worldwide.[1][2] He is also well known for IslamOnline, a popular website he helped found in 1997 and for which he now serves as chief religious scholar.[3]

Al-Qaradawi has published more than 120 books,[2] including The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam and Islam: The Future Civilization. He has also received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship,[4] and is considered one of the most influential such scholars living today.[1][5][6] Al-Qaradawi has long had a prominent role within the intellectual leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood,[7] an Egyptian political organization, but twice (in 1976 and 2004) turned down offers for the official role in the organization.[1][8]

Some of al-Qaradawi's views have been controversial in the West[9]: he was refused an entry visa to the United Kingdom in 2008,[10] and barred from entering France in 2012.[11]

As of 2004, al-Qaradawi was a trustee of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.[12] He also served as a consultant scholar for an epic movie in English on Muhammad, and a 30-part series on the second caliph ‘Umar b. al-Khațțāb.[13][14][15]

...Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Al-Qaradawi condones Palestinian attacks on Israelis. A resolution issued by The Islamic Fiqh Council affiliated to the Muslim World League in its 14th session, held in Doha (Qatar) on 11–16 January 2003 has upheld his views on the matter. Defending bombings against Israeli civilians, al-Qaradawi told BBC Newsnight in 2005 that:

"An Israeli woman is not like women in our societies, because she is a soldier."

"I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an evidence of God's justice."

"Allah Almighty is Just; through His infinite Wisdom He has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do".[18]

He supports suicide attacks on all Israelis, including women[66][67] since he views the Israeli society as a "completely military" society that did not include any civilians.[68] He also considers pregnant women and their unborn babies to be valid targets on the ground that the babies could grow up to join the Israeli Army.[69][dead link]

At the press conference held by the organizations sponsoring his visit to London, al-Qaradawi reiterated his view that suicide attacks are a justified form of resistance to Israeli occupation of the rightfully Palestinian Territories. He has also justified his views by stating that all Israeli civilians are potential soldiers, since Israel is a "militarized society." Because of these views, al-Qaradawi has been accused by Western countries and Israel of supporting terrorism.

13 Feline Fearless Leader  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:11:26am

re: #10 kirkspencer

fwiw, I think we're in the process of it happening anyway. Hulu, netflix, playon, and others are gradually showing that a good internet connection makes cable as (relatively) unnecessary as cable did to broadcast. In other words, in some places and situations you stick with them, but they're becoming the exception.

It's the playdough problem. The harder you squeeze to maintain control, the less you wind up holding.

"The more you tighten your grip the more channels slip between your fingers."

14 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:11:43am

We have laws against ownership of American broadcast channels by foreigners.

I wonder if there's a logical way to extend that protection to cable channels.

15 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:12:15am

re: #12 NJDhockeyfan

Al-Jazeera English? I doubt it.

16 NJDhockeyfan  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:13:00am

re: #15 Obdicut

Al-Jazeera English? I doubt it.

Same news company, right?

17 Targetpractice  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:13:45am

OT:

18 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:14:04am

We DON'T want to be in the place that London is, with the Iranian regime's yellow press station "Press TV" broadcasting poison 24/7 and corrupting the UK's news culture by hiring celebrities.

19 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:14:21am

re: #17 Targetpractice

OT:

@MicheleBachmann At noon today, I introduced the first bill of the 113th Congress to repeal Obamacare in its entirety.

Do we have an Official 13th Laser-Like Focus yet?

20 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:14:59am

re: #15 Obdicut

And why should we distinguish between the English broadcasting side and the Arabic broadcasting side OF THE SAME COMPANY?

21 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:15:01am

re: #17 Targetpractice

OT:

[Embedded content]

President Romney will sign it as soon as Senators Akin and Mourdock shepherd its passage in the Senate.

22 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:15:20am

re: #18 stabby

We DON'T want to be in the place that London is, with the Iranian regime's yellow press station "Press TV" broadcasting poison 24/7 and corrupting the UK's news culture by hiring celebrities.

I'd give nearly anything to trade our broadcast news media for the one in the UK.

23 dragonath  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:15:22am

I await Time Warner's decision to drop Channel One Russia and CCTV-4.

...

24 Kragar  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:15:34am

re: #17 Targetpractice

OT:

[Embedded content]

And the colossal waste of everyone's time begins anew.

25 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:15:49am

re: #22 erik_t

idiot

26 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:15:59am

re: #17 Targetpractice

"Fiftieth time's the charm."

27 Lidane  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:16:22am

re: #9 erik_t

I feel much more strongly about not personally funding the modern TLC than about funding any Al Jazeera of any flavor. The former is doing far more harm to my society than the latter ever could.

I'd rather have AJE than Honey Boo Boo any day of the week.

Of course, I don't watch much in the way of TV anymore so I'm not the right person to say anything.

28 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:16:34am

re: #25 stabby

idiot

Aren't you a dear. What do we have to compete with the BBC?

29 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:17:04am

re: #16 NJDhockeyfan

Same news company, right?

Not really, no. Owned by the same people in the end, but markedly different content. It's like saying that the piece-of-crap NY Post and it's stupid, factless stories that it puts up to get reactionary blowhards all a-flutter is the same thing as National Geographic, because they're both owned by Murdoch.

30 Lidane  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:17:27am

re: #22 erik_t

I'd give nearly anything to trade our broadcast news media for the one in the UK.

Yep. BBC News > every American cable network, IMO.

31 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:18:17am

pbs npr apr

32 Lidane  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:18:50am
33 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:18:57am

re: #30 Lidane

Yep. BBC News > every American cable network, IMO.

News just sounds better with a British accent. I sort of jest here but it does. I can't explain it.

34 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:19:23am

re: #32 Lidane

I don't think BBC would say that.

35 Lidane  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:19:33am

re: #33 HappyWarrior

News just sounds better with a British accent. I sort of jest here but it does. I can't explain it.

It also helps that they actually report news. =P

36 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:19:40am

re: #31 stabby

pbs npr apr

PBS has minimal actual news broadcasting (versus, say, talking heads).
NPR, as you may be aware, is exclusive to the radio.
APR is... annual percentage rate? Alabama Public Radio? One wonders.

37 dragonath  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:19:42am

re: #33 HappyWarrior

Aha! You've never watched Deutsche Welle, I take it?

38 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:20:23am

re: #37 dragonath

Aha! You've never watched Deutsche Welle, I take it?

German is too harsh.

39 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:20:26am

Come to think of it, BBC is biased against Israel, though less so than most of the European press, such as Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP)

40 Kragar  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:20:44am

re: #32 Lidane

[Embedded content]

Succession, not presidency.

41 Feline Fearless Leader  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:21:06am

re: #33 HappyWarrior

News just sounds better with a British accent. I sort of jest here but it does. I can't explain it.

42 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:22:11am

Elizabeth Warren sworn in:
[Link: twitter.com...]

43 NJDhockeyfan  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:23:24am

re: #29 Obdicut

Not really, no. Owned by the same people in the end, but markedly different content. It's like saying that the piece-of-crap NY Post and it's stupid, factless stories that it puts up to get reactionary blowhards all a-flutter is the same thing as National Geographic, because they're both owned by Murdoch.

I don't think that's the same thing. Murdoch is not a country...

Al Jazeera (Arabic: الجزيرة‎ al-ǧazīrah IPA: [æl dʒæˈziːrɐ], literally "The Island", abbreviating "The [Arabian] Peninsula"), also known as Aljazeera and JSC (Jazeera Satellite Channel), is a broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel, Al Jazeera has since expanded into a network with several outlets, including the Internet and specialty TV channels in multiple languages. Al Jazeera is accessible in several world regions. Al Jazeera claims editorial independence from the government of Qatar, though this has been disputed.[2]

44 Kragar  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:24:12am

re: #41 Feline Fearless Leader

[Embedded content]

45 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:24:48am
46 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:25:46am

re: #43 NJDhockeyfan

I don't think that's the same thing. Murdoch is not a country...

How do you practically divorce state ownership from personal ownership in an absolute monarchy?

Honestly curious.

47 lawhawk  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:26:06am

re: #45 jaunte

I want sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads. I wont settle for anything less.

And it'd be a damned sight more probably than repealing Obamacare.

48 lawhawk  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:26:55am

re: #43 NJDhockeyfan

Murdoch isn't a country, but News Corp is part owned by a Saudi Prince. That's a direct equivalent to AJ.

49 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:28:16am

re: #46 erik_t

How do you practically divorce state ownership from personal ownership in an absolute monarchy?

Honestly curious.

Unfortunately we can't make a law against "broadcasting controlled by a rich moron"

50 dragonath  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:28:40am

re: #47 lawhawk

I want sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads. I wont settle for anything less.

Image: epic-wow.jpg

51 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:29:03am

But we do have laws against foreign ownership.

Unfortunately Murdoch became an American citizen in order to skirt that law.

52 Killgore Trout  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:29:07am

re: #48 lawhawk

Murdoch isn't a country, but News Corp is part owned by a Saudi Prince. That's a direct equivalent to AJ.

I don't think the Saudi family has any editorial control over Fox News.

53 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:29:09am

re: #49 stabby

Unfortunately we can't make a law against "broadcasting controlled by a rich moron"

Nah, if we could, Rupert Murdoch wouldn't be where he is. Nor would Silvio Berlusconi.

54 Ghost of Tom Joad  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:29:26am

re: #39 stabby

Come to think of it, BBC is biased against Israel, though less so than most of the European press, such as Reuters and Agence France-Presse (AFP)

If you're comparing to media in the states, everything will tilt somewhat against Israel.

55 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:30:04am

re: #43 NJDhockeyfan

I don't think that's the same thing. Murdoch is not a country...

So what? W'ere talking about whether different branches of the same media empire are the same thing. They're not, unless you're politically motivated to treat them the same.

I mean, we can see the corruptive influence of Murdoch in most of the media outlets he owns-- how the Wall Street Journal has been more and more full of right-wing economic idiocy-- but that doesn't mean that the Journal is the NY Post.

What is going to be shown here in the US is not stuff featuring that guy. Al Jazeera English does a pretty good job on reporting outside of issues that involve Israel. They've had very good reporting on Syria. Even their reporting on stuff like US drone strikes is very mild and middle-of-the road.

[Link: www.aljazeera.com...]

56 NJDhockeyfan  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:30:06am

re: #46 erik_t

How do you practically divorce state ownership from personal ownership in an absolute monarchy?

Honestly curious.

It's completely different. Murdoch has bought those news companies and magazines as an investment but I don't think he is calling National Geographic and telling them what to publish. Government owned newspapers are basically the mouthpiece of those governments themselves.

57 stabby  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:30:09am

re: #54 Ghost of Tom Joad

They're less fair than that.

I got to go to work, bye.

58 lawhawk  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:30:57am

re: #51 stabby

We have laws limiting how consolidated a media market can become. Gutting those rules would allow someone like News Corp or TWC or anyone else for that matter buying up and eliminating competition in the market.

And that would be bad overall.

59 Sionainn  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:31:47am

re: #25 stabby

idiot

WTF is wrong with you?

60 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:32:32am

re: #56 NJDhockeyfan

It's completely different. Murdoch has bought those news companies and magazines as an investment but I don't think he is calling National Geographic and telling them what to publish. Government owned newspapers are basically the mouthpiece of those governments themselves.

Who's talking about Murdoch? You contend, I think, that ownership by the Qatari royal family is not as bad as ownership by the Qatari government.

Could you please explain to me the practical difference, as the Qatari royal family is in absolute control of the government?

61 Kragar  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:32:56am

State Dept. slams Fox News ‘credible journalist’ for ‘asinine’ question about Clinton’s health

“Toria, can you expand on why Secretary Clinton can’t testify on Thursday about this?” the Fox News correspondent asked department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, according to a transcript. “It seems that she has not been available to testify on the Benghazi situation on some very key dates, including the Sunday after 9/11 and now this Thursday.”

“As we put out on Saturday, she is still under the weather,” Nuland calmly explained. “She was diagnosed as having suffered a concussion, and her doctors have urged her to stay home this week. So it’s on that basis that she’s asked for the committees’ understanding… But it was her intention to be there. If she had not been ill, she would be there.”

In an email obtained by The Washington Post and published on Wednesday, Clinton Senior Advisor Philippe Reines took a much snarkier tone with Fishel.

“We owe you an apology,” Reines wrote. “I’m almost embarrassed to even admit this – but somehow your question at today’s Daily Press Briefing was somehow completely mauled and transcribed in the release.”

“I just called them and read them the riot act for putting such misleading, accusatory, and absolutely asinine words in your mouth. Because after what we and her doctors explained over the weekend regarding her health, you couldn’t possibly have been insinuating the ulterior motives that question implies. No way. No credible journalist would do that without any basis whatsoever.”

Reines continued by pointing out that there was no way “an informed reporter” would compare testifying before Congress with appearing an Sunday morning talk shows as Fishel seemed to do by asking why Clinton had “not been available to testify” in an interview on Fox News on the Sunday after the attacks instead of United States Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice.

“I don’t know Chris Wallace all that well, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t place his television show on par with one of the three branches of our government,” Reines insisted. “And therefore, saying that this has happened on multiple ‘key dates’ is simply a blatant lie and grossly misleading to the public.”

“Anyway, our sincere apologies,” he concluded. “If you send us what you really said, I’ll make sure it’s properly reflected.”

62 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:33:18am

re: #60 erik_t

To be fair, I was talking about Murdoch. I should have just said News Corp, because obviously the other investors have the same right-wing theocratic mentality that Murdoch approves of.

63 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:33:30am

re: #59 Sionainn

WTF is wrong with you?

A mind with between zero and one tracks, it appears.

And all I wanted to know is: what's an apr?

:(

64 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:33:37am
65 Ghost of Tom Joad  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:33:59am

re: #59 Sionainn

WTF is wrong with you?

Some of the folks here are pretty much turning this into a "Muslims under your beds!!! Booga Booga!!!" discussion.

66 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:34:15am

re: #62 Obdicut

To be fair, I was talking about Murdoch. I should have just said News Corp, because obviously the other investors have the same right-wing theocratic mentality that Murdoch approves of.

Yes, I spoke carelessly and I will try to do better.

My latter question remains.

67 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:34:19am

re: #64 jaunte

[Embedded content]

This is really cool. Totally expect we'll see our first openly Atheist senator in my lifetime. Country's a changing and for the better.

68 Ghost of Tom Joad  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:34:52am

re: #64 jaunte

[Embedded content]

Awesome.

69 NJDhockeyfan  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:35:15am

re: #60 erik_t

Who's talking about Murdoch?

Sombody mentioned him.

You contend, I think, that ownership by the Qatari royal family is not as bad as ownership by the Qatari government.

I said no such thing. What are you talking about?

Could you please explain to me the practical difference, as the Qatari royal family is in absolute control of the government?

???

70 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:35:24am

re: #67 HappyWarrior

our first openly Atheist senator

Hey now, wait a minute.

71 leftynyc  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:35:25am

Apologies if this had already been posted:

[Link: www.motherjones.com...]

The GOP's Anti-Muslim Wing Is In Retreat
Why Republicans finally seem to be distancing themselves from the Muslim-bashers in their midst.


A very interesting read/

72 Lidane  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:35:27am

re: #64 jaunte

Awesome.

73 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:35:55am

re: #25 stabby

idiot

How is that idiotic? There's a lot of people who prefer the British media to ours. And you know why, it's because their media actually seems to care about actual news. Our media is too obsessed with the latest celeb gossip.

74 jaunte  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:36:45am

Mazie Hirono
[Link: hirono.house.gov...]

75 Destro  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:37:04am

re: #1 Obdicut

For once, criticism of Gore is warranted, to. Al-Jazeera is at best the mouthpiece of an extremely oil-rich family. At worst, it spreads anti-Israel propaganda. I haven't particularly looked into what they think about climate change, but selling to a family that makes their living from petroleum is a highly visible action.

We need a lot more statesmen to start speaking up on climate change. Gore has done a hell of a lot of good but he's been pretty ineffective over the past few years and that he even thought Current TV with that drek Ceryk hosting a show was a politically good idea was dumb, too.

TWC carries RT. Russia Today. A mouthpiece for Russia and Putin which also makes money from oil and petroleum products but there is a Russian ex-pat community here that likes the channel so they get a pass. There is an anti-Arab bias in the NYC community and al-Jazeera does not get a pass. Simple as that.

This is just more evidence that the USA is a faux land of the free speech nation where self censorship is practiced.

76 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:37:10am

re: #70 jaunte

Hey now, wait a minute.

Haha, I know. But hey. We did swear in the first openly gay Senator today. But I agree with your gist. It's tough to be an Atheist and even a skeptic of organized religion in general in this country and get anywhere in elected politics.

77 Killgore Trout  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:37:14am

re: #58 lawhawk

We have laws limiting how consolidated a media market can become. Gutting those rules would allow someone like News Corp or TWC or anyone else for that matter buying up and eliminating competition in the market.

And that would be bad overall.

I was just reading up on some new changes to hos the FCC is going to regulate media ownership.
How to fix the media ownership debate

the Federal Communications Commission, where I used to work, will soon issue new regulations governing when media companies can buy TV or radio stations or newspapers in the same communities. Progressives have, with good reason, traditionally fought against relaxing ownership rules and Free Press, the media reform group, is attacking the FCC for planning to “gut” crucial public interest safeguards, allowing dark forces (a.k.a. Rupert Murdoch) to grab more power.

I’m normally wary of media concentration, but look at what this supposed “gutting” would actually do: a newspaper and a TV station in the same town would be allowed to merge if the station is number five in the ratings or worse and if it is also in one of the top 20 markets in the country and if there would still be at least eight media voices left in the town. Not exactly radical stuff.

78 Ghost of Tom Joad  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:38:52am

re: #73 HappyWarrior

How is that idiotic? There's a lot of people who prefer the British media to ours. And you know why, it's because their media actually seems to care about actual news. Our media is too obsessed with the latest celeb gossip.

IMO our media is way too slanted in the way it reports things (if we're talking political/country/world actual news). Either it's reported with a heavy bias (Fox), or they MBF the shit out of it (CNN etc.)

79 dragonath  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:39:52am

Speaking about foreigners becoming citizens of another country

Depardieu, in tax fight, gets Russian citizenship

...proving that money is more important than civil rights to some people.

80 Destro  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:39:56am

re: #11 Spocomptonite

I have been really surprised over the years that Al Jazeera has gone from the place that the news always cites as the source that terrorists release their videos to, to becoming a source of world news on par with the BBC in my opinion.

Dropping it because ownership changed hands reeks of stereotyping about AJ's origins and geographical/cultural location. Did Time Warner drop Discovery Kids when Hasbro bought into the station and it became The Hub because Discovery and Hasbro didn't ask TW's permission? Have they ever required mergers/acquisitions to have their permission in order to be carried by them? They didn't even give them a chance to do better than CurrentTV did.

Ditto.

81 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:40:59am

re: #75 Destro

TWC carries RT. Russia Today. A mouthpiece for Russia and Putin which also makes money from oil and petroleum products but there is a Russian ex-pat community here that likes the channel so they get a pass. There is an anti-Arab bias in the NYC community and al-Jazeera does not get a pass. Simple as that.

This is just more evidence that the USA is a faux land of the free speech nation where self censorship is practiced.

No, self-censorship is not the same thing as not having free speech. Comparing government oppression of speech to a cable network not carrying a particular channel or show or whatever is deeply stupid. Some idiots were saying the same thing about people trying to get Rush Limbaugh off the air after his 'slut' comments.

You make a perfectly good point that they carry Russia Today, and that that shows that they're not dropping this because it's a government-owned organization. I completely agree it's because of the Muslim association.

82 HappyWarrior  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:41:33am

re: #78 Ghost of Tom Joad

IMO our media is way too slanted in the way it reports things (if we're talking political/country/world actual news). Either it's reported with a heavy bias (Fox), or they MBF the shit out of it (CNN etc.)

True. My big problem is the sensationalism though. It makes our citizenry ignorant of what's going on in the world around us. One less report about what so and so did and one more report about what's going on in say Syria would do wonders. I do agree with your point though about bias.

83 erik_t  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:41:39am

re: #69 NJDhockeyfan

I'm distracted and should probably bow out.

For clarity: It seemed to me that you were contending that there's a major difference between Murdoch's ownership of News Corp and the Qatari government's of Al Jazeera, since the latter is government rather than personal. Since that government is an arm of a person, de facto and de jure, I'm unclear as to the practical difference and had been hoping to have you explain why this difference matters, in this specific case of an absolute monarchy.

I now get back to work, since I evidently can't really carry an argument at this point. Case in point: I have had to backspace through 'Quatari' at least twenty times in this thread.

84 Killgore Trout  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:45:03am

Uhhh....really?
Note explains why Current sold to Al Jazeera: Shared values.

Here is a note that Hyatt sent to Current employees Wednesday afternoon explaining their reasoning. Interesting to note how Hyatt points out the journalistic strengths of A-J as well as the underlying values it shares with Current.
...

When considering the several suitors who were interested in acquiring
Current, it became clear to us that Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current: To give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the important stories that no one else is telling. Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.
...
All of this is compelling, but what really convinced Al and me that Al
Jazeera would be a great home for the people of Current was their publicly stated Values and Core Capabilities. Their mission includes the
following: Diversity (“bringing stories from the underreported communities, societies and cultures from across the globe), Journalistic
Integrity (“committed to the uncompromising pursuit of truth and the
ideals of journalism”), and A Voice for the Voiceless (“promoting the
basic human right of the freedom of expression for people everywhere”).

Heh

85 Destro  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:45:08am

re: #81 Obdicut

No, self-censorship is not the same thing as not having free speech.


It ialmost the same if A) a monopoly and B) we have limited media outlets these days thanks to consolidation.

86 Charles Johnson  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:45:49am

re: #81 Obdicut

I completely agree it's because of the Muslim association.

It could be, but I can also see an argument that it's not appropriate for Al Jazeera to expect to take advantage of contracts and deals that they never negotiated. I don't think it's unreasonable for TWC to say "wait a minute, our deal was with Current TV."

87 Lidane  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:47:25am

OT, but cue the wingnut freakouts:

88 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:47:39am

re: #85 Destro

No, self-censorship is not the same thing as not having free speech.

It ialmost the same if A) a monopoly and B) we have limited media outlets these days thanks to consolidation.

But we don't. We have limited traditional media outlets, but more and more people are getting their news from un-traditional sources. I completely agree that the government should have a role in regulating media companies to prevent monopoloy-- as it should in any industry, but especially with the press-- and that it's failed to do so, but it is not the same as the government literally criminalizing certain forms of speech.

Blurring the difference for hyperbolic effect is a bad thing to do, and risks people being more tolerant of government censorship since you're comparing it to something that's not intrinsically bad-- self-censorship.

It's also self-censorship of newspapers not to print the names of the victims of rape or child abuse. It's not an inherent negative.

89 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:48:58am

re: #86 Charles Johnson

It could be, but I can also see an argument that it's not appropriate for Al Jazeera to expect to take advantage of contracts and deals that they never negotiated. I don't think it's unreasonable for TWC to say "wait a minute, our deal was with Current TV."

You're right that I don't know how the hell stuff operates at that level. Maybe it's purely for business reasons, but I would have thought they then would have negotiated for a different deal, rather than outright dropping them. Maybe it's because they're largely dissolving the content, and TWC will wait to see what they produce.

90 Destro  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:50:37am

re: #81 Obdicut

No, self-censorship is not the same thing as not having free speech. Comparing government oppression of speech to a cable network not carrying a particular channel or show or whatever is deeply stupid. Some idiots were saying the same thing about people trying to get Rush Limbaugh off the air after his 'slut' comments.

You make a perfectly good point that they carry Russia Today, and that that shows that they're not dropping this because it's a government-owned organization. I completely agree it's because of the Muslim association.

Regarding how self censorship works:

[Link: www.iol.co.za...]

Beware self-censorship, says Du Preez

May 3 2001 at 09:40pm

By Melanie Gosling

In the apartheid era the media were muzzled by censorship laws. In the democratic South Africa the threat to press freedom is self-censorship by journalists who feared being labelled unpatriotic or racist.

91 Killgore Trout  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:54:54am

In other media news: Andrew Sullivan is leaving Daily Beast and setting up a new paysite venture. I think he's a nut but I wish him luck.

92 Obdicut  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:55:42am

re: #90 Destro

That's nice. Did you have a point you were trying to make there?

Self-censorship can be bad, it can be good, it's contextual, and it is not in the least bit the same as the government arresting you if you print something something they don't like.

93 Gus  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:56:04am

Al Gore makes 100 million dollars from selling Current TV to big oil, OPEC nation owned, Al Jazeera. Film at 11.

94 watching you tiny alien kittens are  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 11:58:47am

Rep. Paul Broun, one of the two men to just vote for Allen West for speaker of the house instead of Boehner has an article up at NRO where he calls for Lowering the debt ceiling...

Today, I introduced a unique bill that goes in a completely different direction than everything else we’ve been hearing out of Washington. It would force politicians to start practicing what they’ve been preaching by lowering the debt ceiling from $14.3 trillion back down to $13 trillion. Admittedly, this is not your run-of-the-mill kind of law, but it would make it imperative for Congress to think outside of the box and come up with ways to pay off a portion of our debt while drastically cutting back spending. Since 1996, the national debt has increased by an inexcusable $8.79 trillion. I firmly believe that this calls for emergency measures to reduce the debt.

What is it with these people and their "destroy the economy now to prevent it from happening later" brand of economic voodoo? Sure lets not just cut $1.2 Trillion out of the 2013 spending to "balance the budget," lets make it a $2.5 Trillion cut. I'm sure the government can find a way to operate on the $1.1 Trillion left over.

Hmm...after we fund the military and DHS there won't be anything left for government salaries or anything else. I'm sure Congress will be fine with not getting paid anymore, after all it is for the good of the country, right?

95 Destro  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 12:00:25pm

re: #86 Charles Johnson

It could be, but I can also see an argument that it's not appropriate for Al Jazeera to expect to take advantage of contracts and deals that they never negotiated. I don't think it's unreasonable for TWC to say "wait a minute, our deal was with Current TV."

re: #89 Obdicut

You're right that I don't know how the hell stuff operates at that level. Maybe it's purely for business reasons, but I would have thought they then would have negotiated for a different deal, rather than outright dropping them. Maybe it's because they're largely dissolving the content, and TWC will wait to see what they produce.

This is not a business decision based on some Current TV contract with TWC because earlier attempts by al-Jazeera to get a channel on American cable were rebuffed across the board.

This article is from 2011....

[Link: www.huffingtonpost.com...]

UPDATE: Al Jazeera English has launched a campaign to persuade cable providers to carry the network by bombarding the companies with requests from AJE converts and longtime fans. Scroll down for details.

* * * * *
WASHINGTON - Canadian television viewers looking for the most thorough and in-depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt have the option of tuning into Al Jazeera English, whose on-the-ground coverage of the turmoil is unmatched by any other outlet. American viewers, meanwhile, have little choice but to wait until one of the U.S. cable-company-approved networks broadcasts footage from AJE, which the company makes publicly available. What they can't do is watch the network directly.

Other than in a handful of pockets across the U.S. - including Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C. - cable carriers do not give viewers the choice of watching Al Jazeera. That corporate censorship comes as American diplomats harshly criticize the Egyptian government for blocking Internet communication inside the country and as Egypt attempts to block Al Jazeera from broadcasting.

I was living in Europe during the Iraq war and al-Jazeera by far had the best and most accurate and most uncensored coverage of that war in English. It put the ra ra ra news coverage of American and British news (including the BBC) to shame.

96 Killgore Trout  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 12:04:51pm
97 Vicious Babushka  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 12:10:25pm

re: #96 Killgore Trout

Al Jazeera English
Obama: America's 'first Jewish president'?

I am totally bookmarking that and sending it to every wingnut who tells me that "Obama hates Israel"!

98 sattv4u2  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 12:18:12pm

re: #86 Charles Johnson

It could be, but I can also see an argument that it's not appropriate for Al Jazeera to expect to take advantage of contracts and deals that they never negotiated. I don't think it's unreasonable for TWC to say "wait a minute, our deal was with Current TV."

Al Jazeera itself is available on Time Warner in the New York City market as well as on Direct TV, Channel - 375 and The Dish Network, Channel - 9410 as well as other US outlets

The decision for TWC to carry it on other cable areas will most likely be looked at again once AJ takes control of Current and presents TWC with their projected programming schedule

[Link: www.aljazeera.com...]

99 stanchaz  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 1:36:40pm

WANT ACTION?
Want Current-TV BACK on Time-Warner Cable in NYC?
GOOGLE "311 NYC online cable TV complaints".
THEN fill out the online complaint form against Time Warner Cable.
They WILL respond if enough of us complain.
Don't let Time-Warner CENSOR what you watch on cable.
COMPLAIN---LOUDLY!

100 wrenchwench  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 1:42:18pm

re: #99 stanchaz

You registered 13 months ago to post that?

/

Greetings, hatchling.

101 Charles Johnson  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 2:08:36pm

re: #96 Killgore Trout

Al Jazeera English
Obama: America's 'first Jewish president'?

That's not what it sounds like, though - they're quoting the title of a New York Magazine article in that headline.

102 sliv_the_eli  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 2:26:26pm

re: #97 Vicious Babushka

I am totally bookmarking that and sending it to every wingnut who tells me that "Obama hates Israel"!

He's a self-hating Jew.


//

103 Shvaughn  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 5:19:33pm

There's some cognitive dissonance in this thread between the near universal praise for the BBC and the outrageous outrage directed at the concept of a state-owned news media outlet.

Is BBC America an evil government plot?

104 Shvaughn  Thu, Jan 3, 2013 5:20:39pm

re: #96 Killgore Trout

Al Jazeera English
Obama: America's 'first Jewish president'?

I don't get what point you're trying to make by this link.


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 Frank says:

Whoever we are, whereever we're from, we should have noticed by now our behaviour is dumb, and if our chances are expected to improve, it's gonna take a lot more than trying to remove, the other race, or the other whatever, from the face of the planet altogether -- Dumb All Over, You Are What You Is