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The logo of Al Jazeera Media Network is seen at the MIPTV, the International Television Programs Market, event in Cannes in this photo.
DOHA: Many people here believe the influential Jewish lobby, which controls the US media, is trying to scuttle Al Jazeera Network’s plans to launch a TV channel in America that would be beamed into 40 million homes.
Time Warner Cable, known for its pro-Jewish leanings, has dropped Current TV from its network after it was acquired by Al Jazeera group.
Al Jazeera bought Current TV from Al Gore and partners and announced plans to convert it into an American channel called ‘Aljazeera America’ and said it would focus on American as well as international news.
With the acquisition of Current TV, Al Jazeera network became the first Arab media organisation to own an American channel with plans to reach an incredible 40 million US homes.
Al Jazeera network already has a presence in the US as its English-language arm, Aljazeera English (AJE), is aired there, but its reach is limited to 4.7 million households.
Time Warner Cable, one of the largest cable networks in the US with a subscriber base of between nine and 12 million, is controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and Murdoch is widely known for his pro-Zionist leanings.
Its move to remove Current TV from its network means that the proposed Al Jazeera America TV station could reach only 28 to 31 million US households.
Although Time Warner has denied the decision is politically motivated and said it is rather dictated by considerations like low ratings of Current TV and its contract, which had an ‘change of ownership’ clause, many believe it’s actually part of a Jewish plot.
“The chances that the influential US Jewish lobby might be involved in Time Warner’s decision to remove Current TV from its network after its acquisition by Aljazeera cannot be ruled out entirely,” said an analyst.
An American blogger, talking about Time Warner’s move, said: “The average American has no idea how Zionists control our mass media. From top to bottom, they dominate and they direct our attention and control the conversation and, above all, censor world news so we are kept in the dark about many things”.
Viewed in this context, there are many Americans who are backing Al Jazeera’s plans to have a TV channel in their midst to challenge the “monopoly” of the Zionists over their media.
Apparently unaware of Time Warner’s move, a Qatari, commenting on a local social networking site, said, “Al Jazeera must tread with caution as the American media are entirely controlled by Jews”.
Gary Wasserman, who teaches at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar, writing in Washington Post, said: “The announcement that Al Jazeera is buying Al Gore’s Current TV network can be expected to run into what pundits call ‘a serious image problem’”.
“Allowing the Qatar-based, Arab-owned network to be seen in 40 million US households may be more than our fragile citizenry can bear,” he added.
With its alleged positions against US foreign policies and wars, Al Jazeera is just too left to be allowed access to our fearful public, Wasserman said, referring to the general criticism against Al Jazeera in his home country.
“So what,” he asked. “Al Jazeera is also an outlet of professional journalists, generally well-informed and seeking to at least appear balanced”. The network may present Arab voices, but its coverage includes more of the world than this parochial image allows, said Wasserman.
Al Jazeera will be running its American operation under a separate US-based news channel with its own staff. “Much of the paranoia about Al Jazeera rests on a somewhat antiquated motion of media ownership.”
“There may be winners on both sides,” Wasserman wrote. “We Americans do brag about our marketplace of ideas. The US audience may gain access to the perspective of a respected international network covering stories from the regions of the world — sub-Saharan Africa… and South Asia—that our national media has largely ignored.”