Friday, July 18, 2014


My husband, John Cullum, and I have been watching Al Jazeera America news on TV. It seems to have fewer and shorter commercials. Watching NBC or CBS with their usual four to six commercials, often a repetition of what we just saw, gets us grumbling. "I hate this."

We've enjoyed watching Al Jazeera America. When I blogged about Al Gore ("Our Almost Next President,",) I learned that he'd sold his "Current News" channel to the owner of Al Jazeera Arabic & English -- Gore is now completely out the picture. The owners are primarily Islamists, who have certainly expressed negative views of America.

January 2014, when Al Jazeera America was formed and Time Warner Cable included it its listings, and made it available to Americans on a local channel, there was a big hullabaloo. Articles in the New York Times, and UK Guardian said that Al Jazeera was providing subtle, and insidious anti American commentary.

Whoa -- we've have been watching it just at dinner time. Most of the newscasters are clear speaking and previously worked for BBC and American Channels. Not a word have we heard that couldn't have been broadcast on NBC or CBS.

Okay, we have watched only for a brief time. The presentation of news on Al Jazeera America is somewhat less interesting than American news which dramatizes with headlines -- sells news with titles like Scandal, Trouble, Conflict. But Al Jazeera America covered Christie, Benghazi, Republican anti-Obama debates, Putin's doings; today's news is their news -- immigration, and Gaza-Israel.

The fact is, warnings about Al Jazeera news being offensive wouldn't impress us -- it would inspire us to have a look. John and I like or dislike things based on what we feel, and what we feel is based on a lot of things that make us what we are -- cautious, liberal, curious grownups, who are not unwilling to learn something new. 

So will you watch Al Jazeeera America? Why not take a look and see what you feel. We feel okay about peeking in on the island where this supposedly scary guy is reposing.  


Carola said...

I have seen it and I agree with you--responsible, detailed world news.

Anonymous said...

Can be any worse than watching Fox News.

Unknown said...

I had a great comment for you, but when I hit Preview, it disappeared. I don't have time to reconstruct.

Unknown said...

Hi Em, it is good to get a balanced view on the world as long as you remember whoseviews they are. Pr,paganda is fed to us from all sides, theirs, yours and ours in the UK.

Anonymous said...

There's no doubt the guy is scary. A foothold in America. I hope people are keeping a close watch on this. Not everyone is as openminded and ungullible as you and John.

Cara Lopez Lee said...

News media always tends to have a slight bias toward the interests of its own cultural milieu, but that's because we're all more versed in what we know. I find value in learning how other people from other cultural viewpoints view the events of the world. I haven't watched much Al Jazeera, except for a few stories that get passed around on social media. However, even if their news was slanted in a direction that offended me, I believe that typically it can't hurt now and then to find out what someone who disagrees with my world view is thinking.

Linda Phillips said...

I have watched Al Jazeera America and found it as you have described. The thing is, I am a creature of habit.

I like Chris Hayes and Lawrence O'Donnel, both on MSNBC. I also get a lot of my news online from various sources.

Al Jazeera is a bit too bland for me and since I DVR most of my shows, I usually scan through the commercials anyway.

Unknown said...

I don't want my news to be "pretty". I want it real-warts and all. I don't want my news "slanted". I want it real- whereupon I will process my own slant. I don't want my news to entertain. I want it real and I will get my entertainment from Broadway actors, ballet dancers,.acclaimed authors,et al.
Em and all, I look at Al Jazeera America as being neither good nor bad, but ,as a necessity in keeping perspective against the dictated spoon fed pablum of the agendas of news magnates worldwide. AND THEN....we can then turn to the real news media...and find out what is really happening, right this very instant, by the very human beings it is happening to. Thank you Twitter!
And then, if you so elect, knowing their agendas,you can turn on your tvs tomorrow night and watch "their" versions (of what is happening right this instant) and graciously decline their kool aide- as the world has already passed them by.