Politico, 12 Feb 2012
, Anna Palmer: "Al Jazeera isn’t just looking to make headlines in the U.S. news market, the broadcasting company has hired a lobbying firm to make headway on Capitol Hill. The media company Al Jazeera America Holdings , which recently bought Al Gore’s progressive cable news station Current TV, has brought on DLA Piper. The firm has been making the rounds in Washington, educating lawmakers about the company’s plans to be based in New York City and open bureaus across the country. ... The firm’s lobbying registration states that the firm is providing 'informational communications regarding client’s cable television channel.'"
WorldTribune.com, 14 Feb 2013, Cliff Kincaid: "DLA’s top lobbyist on the Al Jazeera account is a Republican, Mark R. Paoletta, who used to work for President George H.W. Bush. ... Al Jazeera critic Jerry Kenney points out that these discussions are being held 'behind closed doors' and that Congress is getting only one side of the story. 'This is proof of why we need public hearings into Al Jazeera,' he said. ... The term 'informational communications' is a euphemism for making sure that Congress does not stand in the way of the deal. The lobbying activity suggests that the thousands of telephone calls to Congress about stopping the deal, or at least investigating the transaction, are having some impact and that Al Jazeera is starting to get worried."
Politico, 14 Feb 2013, Dylan Byers: "Naomi Wolf, the author and activist, is in early-stage talks with the global news network Al Jazeera, POLITICO has learned. Wolf, who currently writes a column for The Guardian, confirmed the news late Thursday night but stressed that the talks were in the earliest stages and that no job offer was on the table. ... "It's notable and kind of sad that non-U.S. based news sites are able to run pieces of mine that don't as easily find a home in American publications. As an American who cares about civil liberties, it's good for all of us that the Guardian and Al Jazeera are doing the work they're doing,' she said. 'It is good for civil society in America.'"
ShowbizSpy, 6 Feb 2013: "Ann Curry is in talks with Al Jazeera America. The former Today show co-host has been approached by Al Jazeera America about the possibility of working for the soon to be launched U.S. branch of the Qatar government owned company."
Al Jazeera English, The Stream, 12 Feb 2013: "On Tuesday, a writer for the Washington Post mistakenly reported that former governor of Alaska and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was hired as a host for the upcoming Al Jazeera America channel. The article, which has since been corrected, cited claims from The Daily Currant that Palin had been tapped for a key role in the new network. Writer Suzi Parker did not notice, however, that The Daily Currant is a satirical site."
The Daily Caller, 12 Feb 2013, Nicole Lafond: "Aides to former Democratic Vice President Al Gore have failed to respond to a recent Al-Jazeera [Arabic] TV broadcast, in which a top imam affirmed the Death Penalty for anyone who quits Islam. ... Western critics of Islam highlighted a recent broadcast of the network’s regular 'Shariah and Life' show, which has an estimated audience of 60 million viewers worldwide. The show’s host is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent Sunni Islamic cleric."
Pierce County (WI) Herald, 13 Feb 2013, letter from Jennie Hanson: "I’ve lived in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for six years. At first I, too, was skeptical about Al Jazeera, but soon learned that Al Jazeera English is considered worldwide to be an outstanding news station. ... Al Jazeera is best compared to BBC. It recognizes there is a great, big world 'out there' and reports from all corners of the globe. There is no Hollywood fluff, no nonstop coverage of one big story for days on end or talking heads’ extremist viewpoints passed off as 'news.'"
The Guardian, 10 Feb 2013, Bob Garfield: "Trrrrrrrinnnng. Al-Jazeera calls. Yes, calling you. You are being offered a job funded by the Emir of Qatar, a petro-rich sheik. Al-Jazeera is one of the most significant news organizations of the past 20 years, covering the Arab world with a degree of depth and scope unprecedented in the region, where otherwise redlines abound for national media in every country. It does a pretty good job covering the rest of the world, too. But to repeat, it is bankrolled by petro-royalty in a country that is nobody's idea of a liberal democracy."
Variety, 9 Feb 2013, Nick Vivarelli: "In the U.S., Al Jazeera English will feature 'more U.S. news than foreign,' according to Al Jazeera U.S. spokesman Stan Collender, who characterized the new entity as 'a completely new all-news channel.' Some 60% of the news content will be produced in the U.S., and the remaining 40% will come from Al Jazeera English."
GOPUSA, 4 Feb 2013, Cliff Kincaid: "[A]n aide to Rep. Michael McCaul, newly appointed chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, says he does not want the 'agenda' of the committee driven by the hundreds of Americans calling his office at 202-226-8417 and requesting an investigation of Al Jazeera’s terrorist ties."
Huffington Post, 2 Feb 2013, Danny Shea: "Can Al Jazeera make it in America? Former CNN/US president Jon Klein thinks so, as he told HuffPost Live host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin Friday. ... 'So you hire Matt Taibbi, and now you have an American who casts a critical eye. Hire half the staff of "60 Minutes," and now you have Americans who are telling these stories,' Klein said. 'That part of it is not the difficult part of it. The difficult part is what they've already mastered, which is doing the substantive reporting.'" With video.
Policymic, 2 Feb 2013, Sabith Khan: "While the U.S struggles to win 'hearts and minds' in the Middle East, I think letting Al Jazeera operate freely and with little interference will boost American credibility more than setting up failed propaganda machines such as Alhurra TV. I believe Al Jazeera’s recent expansion is a positive move and will do America a lot of good, both politically and in terms of increasing the diversity of perspectives. It would also perhaps help many Americans learn the value of questioning authority – something that seems to be absent in the media landscape here. While there are no laws restricting foreign ownership of a cable channel, this expansion of Al Jazeera and the resulting push back can be seen as a negative consequence of globalization in reverse – something that American businessmen and politicians are not appreciating very much. While American firms are present around the world and CNN and Alhurra TV (the propaganda network set by the American administration in the Middle East) post-Iraq War continue to operate with relative little interference, the same freedom has not been given to Al Jazeera. This is rather unfortunate."
Huffington Post, 29 Jan 2013, Nikolas Kozloff: "Fatigued by CNN's centrist mediocrity and predictable rancor between MSNBC and Fox, the U.S. public just might be ready for a more fearless cable voice. Perhaps, Al Jazeera America can succeed by rising above the fray and appealing to a more thoughtful constituency which is post-partisan in nature. ... If it is shrewd, Al Jazeera America might frame [its] debates in a manner that is inherently radical but not overtly politicized. In the event that network programming avoids shrill theatrics while incorporating decent production values, then Al Jazeera America just might gain traction."
Huffington Post, 23 Jan 2013, Nida Khan: "If there were ever any doubt as to the magnitude of the dumbing down of our society, one need only look at the case of CNN. CNN international -- globally respected and recognized for its extensive reporting, coverage and analysis -- is in stark contrast with CNN domestic. Aside from one hour dedicated to international news, CNN domestic has lost sight of many of the core principles that brought viewers to tune in decades ago. ... As long as they remain committed to their ideals of substantive newsgathering, as long as they don't water down their coverage, as long as they remember to prioritize disseminating information before corporate dollars and as long as they are not afraid to continue pushing the envelope, Al Jazeera America could finally offer a tangible bridge between 'us' and 'them.' Now imagine that."
OpEdNews.com, 23 Jan 2013, Danny Schechter: "Al Jazeera can't rest on its laurels or even its current Third World-oriented programming mix. It can't be seen just as a better BBC with more Arabic flavoring or show how well it can cover an uncovered serving crew of haircuts and info pretension. An Al Jazeera America needs to plug into and resonate with American sensibilities and our mix of opinion from A to Z, not just A to B."
See previous post about same subject.