Skip

The Frenzy on Fox will be glorious...
January 2, 2013 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Al Jazeera has purchased Al Gore's Current TV, giving them a much wider American audience. However, the deal suffered an immediate casualty when Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation's second-largest cable TV operator, announced it is dropping Current TV due to the deal. "Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement.
posted by dejah420 (76 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was courageous of Time Warner...
posted by Windopaene at 7:54 PM on January 2, 2013 [18 favorites]


Collender said there are no rules against foreign ownership of a cable channel — unlike the strict rules limiting foreign ownership of free-to-air TV stations. He said the move is based on demand, adding that 40 percent of viewing traffic on Al-Jazeera English's website is from the U.S.

I'm sure Rupert Murdoch will breathe a sigh of relief.
posted by empath at 7:55 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


The death of the cable oligarchy can't come soon enough.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:55 PM on January 2, 2013 [31 favorites]


I keep hearing that Vanguard is really good. I should check it out sooner or later.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:59 PM on January 2, 2013


If Al Jazeera renamed itself America's Freedom Network it would be on every cable system in the US. But instead it doesn't have a chance.
posted by birdherder at 8:01 PM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


But Current hasn't been anything great. Relying on free materials from eager hopefuls isn't a sustainable business plan. Al Jezzera is owned by Qatar and will be re-branding Current into Al Jezeera America. They're paying for access, not Current's product.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:01 PM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


If Al Jazeera renamed itself America's Freedom Network it would be on every cable system in the US.
No it wouldn't, it's balanced and informative.
posted by fullerine at 8:06 PM on January 2, 2013 [27 favorites]


Well, Current has been at turns great and questionable. I've liked quite a bit of what they've offered across the years, and just wish they could find a format and schedule which they will stick with long enough for me to find a groove with them and care about what they offer on more than an abstract level.

But yeah, this isn't about AlJ feeling like Current is a good outlet for them in the US and them wanting to keep the parts that work and change the parts that don't. This is about AlJ wanting a platform which is carried in the US more full-time than their current scattershot availability.

Maybe the good bits on Current will find another platform. I'd welcome that.

(I actually welcome more foreign-sourced news to the US, and so I'm not overwhelmingly upset about this news. Our nationalistic myopia is astounding, and all it takes is a little while looking at something even as seemingly US-mainstream as BBC America or BBC World News to realize that "the story" as told on most US news sources isn't "the whole story". Sadly, most in this country never even take that much time...)
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Excuse me Mr. Hand, but if Al Jazeera bought it, isn't it their current TV and Al Gore's former TV?
Either way, great, now Al Gore is going to come to our house with his cartoonishly big ass and sit on our couch to watch our TV.
We could get him a new TV. What'd the old one cost?
*RsTFA*
$500 million?
We got that, right? Metafilter could raise that. Then it'd be MeFiTV. Which would be cool.
I'll donate my couch. Not the one the cat sits on, the other one with all the change in between the seat cushions. Gotta be worth $80 million right there. We could have a bake sale or something with Boing Boing. No problem.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:07 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If Al Jazeera renamed itself America's Freedom Network it would be on every cable system in the US.

I think "America's Freedom Network" would be too blatant an attempt. But going from "Al Jazeera" to, say, "Al Jones" or "Al Johnson" would be the ticket. Heck, the network could create an incredibly realistic "Al Jones", a composite "everyman" sort of character, to be the official face of the network! And no one would know there was actually a nefarious, turban-wearing hater-of-our-freedoms behind the reassuring American, good ol' "Al".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:11 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


And, yet, they somehow still carry the Russian propaganda mouthpiece.
posted by schmod at 8:18 PM on January 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


So does my local PBS station, along with "propaganda mouthpieces" by a lot of other countries.

I fail to see how filling some of your programming minutes with news offered from other sources is a bad thing. Even if it's propaganda, it's propaganda originating outside of US borders, which means it's something other than the fish-don't-know-they-swim-in-water all-encompassing propaganda we live with all the time here through a myriad of outlets.
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


I really used to like News World International, the Canadian cable news network that Gore bought and replaced with Current.
posted by rfs at 8:23 PM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]




I think "America's Freedom Network" would be too blatant an attempt.

You mean like Patriot Radio?
posted by professor plum with a rope at 8:34 PM on January 2, 2013


One problem Al Jazeera is that it was labeled as the Pravda of Al Qaeda in Iraq by Rummy (and he did so because many saw it that way).
posted by professor plum with a rope at 8:35 PM on January 2, 2013


..."Al Jones", a composite "everyman" sort of character...

Hmm... I dunno. Max is just a *shade* too... Aryan, you know what I mean? Needs to be a guy with a bit more body fat. And he needs to appear at least half the time in a baseball cap, and be seen, in his moments of relaxation, holding a Budweiser. And I don't mean no commie Czech Budvar, neither!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:37 PM on January 2, 2013


Does anyone know how much they paid?
posted by elwoodwiles at 8:40 PM on January 2, 2013


Just what we need: conservatives equating liberalism with jihad.

They're wrong, but it doesn't make any sense to load their gun for them.
posted by BentFranklin at 8:50 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


And I'm kinda disappointed in the level of discourse in this thread. I mean, someone should've said "AlGoreZeera" by now.

I kid, I kid...
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:10 PM on January 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Back in the day, Current had some really interesting content in its viewer-submitted "pods." I'm sure the emergence of YouTube made that model untenable, but they did a pretty good job of curating their content. As it evolved more into dedicated half-hour blocks of programming, there were still a few shows worth watching (especially the aforementioned Vanguard, but InfoMania and the Rotten Tomatoes also had their moments). Once I saw them basically trying to out-lefty MSNBC with Olbermann, Granholm, Uygur, etc. I realized they were pretty much dead, but I think if they had retained some of their focus on independent/user-submitted content (at least in the off hours) I think they could have lasted longer.

Glad I'm not a Time Warner customer, or I'd be calling to cancel tomorrow morning.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:13 PM on January 2, 2013


hippybear: "So does my local PBS station, along with "propaganda mouthpieces" by a lot of other countries. "

RT is more like Voice of America than PBS, although that might be doing VoA a slight disservice -- some of RT's news coverage is profoundly bizarre.
posted by schmod at 9:18 PM on January 2, 2013


I'll accept that, but RT is carried on my PBS station(s) at various times.

I think you're confusing a media carrier with a media voice.

In any case, PBS here can also be counted on to carry any number of what for a lack of a better term I will call "outwardly focussed voices" from a variety of nations.

What this has to do with the fact that the-old-Current also carries (-ied) them and what that says about them as a channel is lost on me.
posted by hippybear at 9:24 PM on January 2, 2013


This is so incredibly racist and evil. Do Americans who are so afraid of Al Jazeera even understand what is is? Have they ever tried to watch some of it, anywhere? It's basically BBC with a tan. Fucking idiot cable companies.
posted by Jimbob at 9:32 PM on January 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


Just what we need: conservatives equating liberalism with jihad.

Oh, I'm sure they'll never do that! I mean, the single largest investor in News Corp after Rupert Murdoch himself is Prince Alwalid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, and conservatives don't seem to mind that one bit! So surely they'll take this with their usual grace and equanimity.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:33 PM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


"Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement.

Um, that's not what that page says (maybe the page was updated?)
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:38 PM on January 2, 2013


Sorry, it is in there. It's just not the main focus of the article.

Never mind.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:39 PM on January 2, 2013


Although I do really think TWC's move is anything more than a cynical nationalistic "fuck you we're not having a channel that sounds Arabic on our network", it may be worth reading this article on DW interviewing an ex-AlJ journalist.
posted by Talez at 9:42 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


But there may be a culture clash at the network. Dave Marash, a former "Nightline" reporter who worked for Al-Jazeera in Washington, said he left the network in 2008 in part because he sensed an anti-American bias there.

I generally don't pay much attention to the channel, ever since they "reported" back in '01 that Jews were warned in advance against going to work in the Twin Towers on 9/11, and never saw fit to retract the statement. I see no reason to give antisemites my pageviews or viewership.

Do they actually have an anti-American bias, or is that an anti-Arab neo-con talking point?
posted by zarq at 9:47 PM on January 2, 2013


I hope folks who subscribe to Time Warner will call tomorrow to express to the company the complete and utter lack of a need to be protected from Al-Jazeera - a network available to most of the rest of this big world we live in.

I know I will.
posted by mediareport at 9:50 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do they actually have an anti-American bias, or is that an anti-Arab neo-con talking point?

I watched AlJ News regularly for about a year, and didn't see any blatant anti-American bias present... I did see a lot of news coverage of a sort which wouldn't possibly appear on US media, but that isn't really anti-American so much as it is Other.
posted by hippybear at 9:54 PM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Zarq, I assume you haven't watched any Fox/20th Century Fox/News Corp media in the last decade either because of the stupid things they've said and never retracted?

I had no idea about the Jews/911 thing, but I'll tell you quite simply that between them, the BBC and Al Jazeera have been showing the other cable news channels how it should be done for years.
posted by Jimbob at 10:03 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


What hippybear said. Unless you consider "news about places other than America" to be anti-American, then it's not anti-American.
posted by Jimbob at 10:04 PM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


From the BBC coverage: 40% of Al Jazeera's English-speaking online audience is in the US. The WSJ says it was 60% during the Arab Spring.

Can anyone dig up Al Jazeera ratings numbers for the handful of US cities where it already airs? Given that Time Warner is using Current's low ratings and the change in ownership as an excuse to drop the channel, it'd be interesting to see how the company does when it actually gets a chance to compete. Surely Nielsen tracks it in DC and NYC?
posted by mediareport at 10:34 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Zarq, I assume you haven't watched any Fox/20th Century Fox/News Corp media in the last decade either because of the stupid things they've said and never retracted?

I try to avoid anything related to Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch like the plague. Unless I have no choice, say, for work. (I only include a link to them in an FPP if it's the best source available)

I also make no apologies for avoiding watching a network that saw fit to broadcast antisemitic filth as fact.
posted by zarq at 10:38 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks hippybear. Your explanation was helpful.
posted by zarq at 10:39 PM on January 2, 2013


Try the English-language web site, zarq. It's a good way to dip into their international news coverage, which I think you'll find is at least as nuanced, thoughtful and informative as any other international news outlet you read regularly. I've found it to be true, anyway.
posted by mediareport at 10:43 PM on January 2, 2013


Okay. Thanks.

Now that I think of it, I actually did spend a lot of time on their site last year, poring over the Wikileaks Israel / Palestinian papers. They had the most easily accessible and best-organized interface.
posted by zarq at 10:47 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Came home tonight to find Current gone. Poof. Gone. So, let's see, idiots hunting ghosts, idiots hunting bigfoot, hillbillies, toothless rednecks, more hillbillies, angry idiots on Fox News, infomercials, home shopping channels, sports, fake wrestling, channels in languages I don't speak, channels devoted to religions I don't believe in, movies that have been on like 300 times in the last week, reality shows about idiots getting drunk and making out... All still there, planted firmly on my dial. I have no use for any of them, and some of them make me kind of sick. But they ain't going away, ever. Current? A channel I actually watched? Somebody else decided that I don't get to see it anymore.

Why the fuck are we stuck with these channel "packages" that the cable companies decide? I mean, if I can't watch HBO without paying a lot more every month, whatever, it's a premium channel. That makes sense. But why am I not presented with a big menu of channels to choose from, and I get to pick, like 30 of them? 30 channels, all devoted to things I actually want to see! Good god, I'd never leave the house...
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:51 PM on January 2, 2013 [18 favorites]


Everybody wants that kind of a la carte packaging, UH. Except, of course, the channels themselves. Because most of them would go out of business.

So you get situations like ESPN, which costs something like $5 per month per subscriber, which gets passed on to us. But the big majority of cable watchers almost never watch any ESPN. So why can't we get a package without ESPN and get $5 a month knocked off our bills? Because ESPN viewers are sports fanatics and sports fanatics will switch providers to whichever television carrier gives them ESPN. So ESPN leverages that following and requires the carriers to include ESPN in the basic package despite being hugely expensive per subscriber and watched by a small minority.

The other sports networks are also quite expensive. If you have cable, something like $10 a month of your bill is likely various sports networks even if you never watch sports. It's bullshit, but providers can't offer the basic packages without ESPN or ESPN walks, and takes the subscribers with them.

For comparison, most channels cost the carriers something like twenty cents. Hugely popular network might cost a bit under a dollar. So ESPN costs you around 25x as much as most channels.
posted by Justinian at 11:15 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


FWIW I get something like 250 channels plus a bunch of misc channels carrying music and pay per view and so on. I've never had 90% of them on for more than two seconds as I scrolled by. The great majority of my viewing is on 15 or so channels, and the bulk of that majority is on 5-7 of those. But I'm still paying for the 225 channels I haven't even turned on.
posted by Justinian at 11:19 PM on January 2, 2013


A channel I actually watched? Somebody else decided that I don't get to see it anymore.

Which is why you call up the cable company and cancel your service, and you cite this channel's removal as why. Enough people do that, and that channel will be back, and they'll probably give you several months credit to get you back.

Enough people complain online, and well, nothing happens. You have *one* weapon, a small one, true, but it's real. It's your money. Stop giving it to them, and tell them explicitly why you are doing so.

Why the fuck are we stuck with these channel "packages" that the cable companies decide?

A lot of it is the channel providers. You want to have ESPN? You're going to have 11 other ESPN channels, or you're not going to get to show ESPN -- oh, and you better have most of them as part of the basic package. As a matter of fact, you'll be showing Disney and Disney XD, or whatever they call it, or you're not going to get to show ESPN, since ESPN was bought by ABC, who was bought by Capital Cities Communications, who was bought by WDC.* ESPN is huge. Some 60% of the cable audience wants it. Do you want to be the cable provider without ESPN?

I'd actually like to have ESPN and ESPN2, since too many games I'd be interested in end up only there. But I'm not willing to pay Comcast for the privilege, even with 60 channels of utter shit thrown in as a bonus. There was a time that Discovery was worth watching, now, iTunes gives me Mythbusters, and I can ignore the rest of the utter dreck, because if there's anything that sucks more than The Discovery Channel of 2012, I don't want to know what it is.

By the way, let me use this window to make a slightly related plea. Dear BBC, let me pay the license fee and watch your stuff. Love, eriko. PS -- there are enough of us here that if you do so, you won't have to worry about the budget cuts, and can go back to telling Cameron to FOAD.


* And that's why there's an ESPN Zone restaurant on the Boardwalk in DisneyWorld.
posted by eriko at 11:23 PM on January 2, 2013 [11 favorites]


eriko: The weird thing is the numbers show that nowhere near 60% of the cable audience watches ESPN. The carriers just need to be able to advertise that they have it or people jump ship even though they mostly don't watch it.
posted by Justinian at 11:35 PM on January 2, 2013


which I think you'll find is at least as nuanced, thoughtful and informative as any other international news outlet you read regularly.

Except for the OpEds, which can be at least as dumb as anything in the Daily Mail.

I consume a LOT of media, both for work and on my own, and I was home recently, reading my usual roundup of news sites. My mother saw me reading AJE and noted: "They know you're reading that."

So yes, at least by some Americans, it is viewed as the "propaganda arm" of those nefarious Middle-Easterners.

The death of the cable oligarchy can't come soon enough.

So let me tell you about what Intel has been up to...
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:41 PM on January 2, 2013


PS -- there are enough of us here that if you do so, you won't have to worry about the budget cuts, and can go back to telling Cameron to FOAD
Which is a large part of why the BBC isn't allowed to sell you a license.
posted by fullerine at 11:45 PM on January 2, 2013


Well, I've gone to TimeWarner's contact website to congratulate them on their cowardice. I don't expect it will help, but it briefly made me feel a little better.
posted by Guy Smiley at 12:15 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I keep hearing that Vanguard is really good. I should check it out sooner or later."

I made two really big posts with the first four seasons all put together with synopses and everything a while ago that you might want to check out.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:03 AM on January 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Current was interesting in it's original format of short 5-10 minute documentaries.

As for Time Warner, I'm sure their ownership of CNN has nothing to do with their decision.
posted by o0o0o at 1:10 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


schmod: "And, yet, they somehow still carry the Russian propaganda mouthpiece."

Which I still find preferable to the US propaganda mouthpieces. At least it's different propaganda for a change.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:22 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Which is why you call up the cable company and cancel your service, and you cite this channel's removal as why."

Honestly, while still I liked Current, it had become quite a bit less interesting than it was back in the viewer-created content glory days, or the Current 2.0 Infomania/Rotten Tomatoes era. They recently settled into a mix of the same damn 4 or 5 movies over and over, the same 2 or 3 episodes of Vanguard, and stiff but well-meaning and generally watchable lefty talk shows. It was a good enough channel to watch, sometimes. (We don't have DVR, so we're still flipping around restlessly during commercials like it's 1998 or something.) So I'm not gonna boycott Time Warner over it, especially not when all the shows I like are starting to come back from winter break! I want the service Time Warner provides. I just want it to be much better, and I want consumers to have more of a say in what we get. That's what I was pissed about, really... Losing Current is annoying, but it's more what that loss represents (some dipshit exec making choices about what I can and can't watch, again) that bothers me.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:28 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I generally don't pay much attention to the channel, ever since they "reported" back in '01 that Jews were warned in advance against going to work in the Twin Towers on 9/11, and never saw fit to retract the statement.

Umm, did you see that yourself, or was that reported by third parties? At the time Al Jazeera only had its Arabic channel up and running (the English edition only started broadcasting in 2006) and there was a lot of shit flying around back then about the outrageous things it supposedly set, usually by warbloggers who had difficulty parsing English, let alone other languages.

It's basically BBC with a tan.

Literally, as its roots lie in the Arabic television channel the BBC had set up in a joint venture with a Saudi media company. That station was slightly too critical about the Saudi royals, got its plug pulled and from the ashes Al Jazeera was created.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:06 AM on January 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


Thanks, Blasdelb. No time better than the present!
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:30 AM on January 3, 2013


I think "America's Freedom Network" would be too blatant an attempt. But going from "Al Jazeera" to, say, "Al Jones" or "Al Johnson" would be the ticket.

Don't forget Al Gore.
posted by romanb at 4:43 AM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


"reported" back in '01 that Jews were warned in advance against going to work in the Twin Towers on 9/11

Umm, did you see that yourself, or was that reported by third parties? At the time...

For what it's worth, the Anti-Defamation League's 2003 report on 9/11 conspiracy theories doesn't mention Al Jazeera.

The claim was made, without source or details, in "Censorship in Pashto and Arabic", a New York Times opinion piece from 2001 October 10.
posted by stebulus at 5:40 AM on January 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


I first heard of Al Jazeera from this 60 Minutes segment in May 2001. It paints a very different picture of the network than you normally get in the US.
posted by TedW at 5:46 AM on January 3, 2013


TedW, the operative word in your post is probably "May."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:02 AM on January 3, 2013


Except for the OpEds, which can be at least as dumb as anything in the Daily Mail.

Hell, Op-Eds in the NYT can be at least as dumb as anything in the Daily Mail - and with Friedman, regularly are. That's why I specifically mentioned news coverage. Al Jazeera isn't perfect, and certainly shouldn't be held up as a perfect exemplar of anything, but it features on a daily basis solid reporting about subjects US outlets tend to avoid, ignore or minimize, and helps counter the jingoistic filtering that's an inherent part of US coverage. Any thoughtful international news reader should be checking it at least weekly. I honestly don't see how anyone could disagree with that.

As for Time Warner, I'm sure their ownership of CNN has nothing to do with their decision.

*smacks forehead*

Duh. Thanks for that. It helps explain the decision, for sure.
posted by mediareport at 6:07 AM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


If Al Jazeera renamed itself America's Freedom Network it would be on every cable system in the US.

I think "America's Freedom Network" would be too blatant an attempt. But going from "Al Jazeera" to, say, "Al Jones" or "Al Johnson" would be the ticket. Heck, the network could create an incredibly realistic "Al Jones", a composite "everyman" sort of character, to be the official face of the network! And no one would know there was actually a nefarious, turban-wearing hater-of-our-freedoms behind the reassuring American, good ol' "Al".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:11 PM on January 2 [3 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

****

Kind of what Norquist and for that matter Fox are already doing.....?
Seriously, my town has a station which offers Al Jazeera as a REGULAR BROADCAST CHANNEL, not as cable. Does my heart good to see the logo right on The AVE of my town full of Muslim hating bigots!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:14 AM on January 3, 2013


I don't have cable, but I watched Infomania online and liked it a lot. Since it went away I haven't bothered checking out anything Current has done. It looks like Hulu is trying to do some Current-esque stuff with the shows they keep trying to show me (the ones where they talk about last night's TV and Kevin Smith does something I think). I can see why it's an untenable model; the stuff I dug scratched an itch somewhere between The Daily Show and America's Funniest Home Videos, and YouTube can do that pretty well on its own.
posted by NoraReed at 6:22 AM on January 3, 2013


I gave up watching news on TV long ago. I have AlJ bookmarked and find their coverage indispensable, especially in concert with multiple other international news sites.

I'm sick to death of a culture which condemns hate crimes (such as the recent subway killings) yet has a knee-jerk reaction to this. We foster the very behaviors we decry.
posted by kinnakeet at 7:12 AM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Umm, did you see that yourself, or was that reported by third parties?

It was 11 years ago. I honestly don't remember. I don't speak Arabic, so it was probably conveyed through a third-party source.
posted by zarq at 7:54 AM on January 3, 2013


Zarq, I have a lot of Arabic speakers in my circle, including some in palestine, and none have ever said anything like that conspiracy theory being on Arabic al jazeera, and it never aired on English that I can find. Only drudge report. I think, perhaps, you have been taken in by neo con propaganda.
posted by dejah420 at 8:30 AM on January 3, 2013


The Atlantic has a couple of pieces on why cable bundles work the way they do, and why they're not going away anytime soon.
posted by Rangeboy at 8:31 AM on January 3, 2013


TWC really is a piece of shit. I'm served by TW and our local schedule never even got Current (or at least not on basic cable). Nix also on even a single Spanish-language basic channel. If there were alternatives that didn't involve buying a dish, I'd switch and if I didn't get cable for free, basically (the price of basic cable is rolled into my condo fee; canceling won't save me any money), there's no way I'd pay for it.

I've followed Al Jazeera on twitter and occasionally watched it online. Maybe I'd change my mind if I saw more of it, but my impression from those encounters is that while Al Jazeera is undoubtedly staffed by people with whom I would disagree on a variety of issues, it generally doesn't seem less professional or more insane than the big players in the US media. I'm certain that it's no worse than FOX, at least.

On the bright side, this purchase probably makes it less likely that Olbermann will disrupt his sunset-picture tweeting with a return to television.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:44 AM on January 3, 2013


dejah420: I think, perhaps, you have been taken in by neo con propaganda.

I've been searching for a primary source video or article online and have come up with nothing. Which is kind of blowing my mind, to be honest. You would think that if the video existed, Al Jazeera's neo con pundits would never have let it fade away.

In the 90's and very early 2000's, I was much more 'pro-Israel' than I am now, religiously following nutballs like Farah from WND, Drudge and LGF back before Johnson became more enlightened. I could easily have swallowed some of their propaganda back then and never questioned it.

Will continue searching online, but thanks dejah, and the rest of you who responded.
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on January 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Al Jazeera's neo con pundits would never have let it fade away.

Typo: Not 'pundits.' 'Critics.'
posted by zarq at 9:13 AM on January 3, 2013


The former vice president confirmed the sale Wednesday, saying in a statement that Al-Jazeera shares Current TV's mission "to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling."

Looks like Al isn't planning on running for office any time soon.

It seems that Orwell had some insight after all. He got the editing of history wrong, though. All "they" need to do is control the current input. He doesn't need to hire Winston Smith to go back and change the dictionaries. Unless it has something to do with a clothing malfunction, we don't remember anything that happened before the last superbowl, and anyhow, we change the language to mean whatever they want it to mean: freedom fries and enhanced interrogation come to mind.

Small tendrils of sanity seem still to exist in the US. Maybe they will survive long enough to bear fruit. I guess that depends on their short term profit margin.
posted by mule98J at 9:24 AM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


What are you on about?
posted by MartinWisse at 9:29 AM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


TWC really is a piece of shit.

I was trying to figure out why you hate The Weather Channel so much. Still don’t know what RT is.
posted by bongo_x at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2013


Huh, it never is explained in the thread; RT is Russia Today, a bizarre mouthpiece of the Putin administration that is often surprisingly prescient though mostly in a stopped clock kind of way.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:11 AM on January 3, 2013


Whoa, I thought it might be Rotten Tomatoes, which is mentioned, but I wasn’t understanding the connection or the conversation about it.

Acronyms should be used sparingly.
posted by bongo_x at 11:25 AM on January 3, 2013


If anyone wants to stick it to Time Warner Cable for shafting CurrentTV/Al Jazeera:

You can get a ≈$80 Roku box and then just add the Al Jazeera English private channel.
24-7 global news. No monthly fees. Decent image quality. Almost no ads.

Cut the cable cord!

It's not just that AJE covers the Middle East/Arab Spring thoroughly; they also cover Africa, South America and Europe far better than any American network or cable news channel does these days.

(and if you want to get a sense of what Al Jazeera Arabic & other arabic-language stations are broadcasting, LinkTV's MOSAIC is indespensible) (but seems to be on a holiday break of some sort right now)
posted by warreng at 11:59 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


The easiest way to beat the cable companies is to work for them, get cable for free (or discount), only watch what you want, and laugh. I'm going to miss the Young Turks. My cable company had Current two channels up from MSNBC, so I'd toggle between both. Cenk is more hardcore, and sometimes I need that. Al Jazeera buying Current, times are really changing. I love the move. America needs to be force-fed diversity. Nice move AG.
posted by Flex1970 at 12:12 PM on January 3, 2013


I was trying to figure out why you hate The Weather Channel so much.

Lots of reasons.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:19 PM on January 3, 2013


Even Picard, Kirk and Sulu are confounded by the terribleness of Time Warner cable.

(Our TW service does suck, but they will never compete with the 24/7 horrorshow that was Verizon. Nothing could compete with how much Verizon sucked. Having a tracheotomy without anesthetic could not compare with the suckiness of Verizon.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:54 PM on January 3, 2013


The death of the cable oligarchy can't come soon enough.

In my parents' city (a mid-sized city in Canada) the cable company was feeling some pushback from federal regulators about the absurd channel packages they forced on their customers. So the company "offered" a la carte pricing for a few months -- while conveniently neglecting to advertise it or even mention it to their customers.

When nobody used the service (since nobody knew it existed until after the trial was over) they were able to go to the regulators and say "Sorry guys, we tried it out but there's no demand out there for custom cable packages. Back to the status quo!".

In conclusion, cable TV is the biggest racket in world.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:45 AM on January 4, 2013


« Older Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. National...   |   So I voted for an axe-murderer Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post