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COMPETITION! It's the name of the game! Al Gore sells Current TV to Al-Jazeera, nets reported $100 million
January 3, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Al Gore sells Current TV to Al-Jazeera, nets reported $100 million

Published January 03, 2013

It's Emir-acle!

Former Vice President Al Gore has made himself a much, much richer man by selling his little watched cable channel Current TV to the Emir of Qatar-funded Arab news channel Al-Jazeera.

Gore netted $100 million with his 20 percent stake in the network when it was sold for a reported $500 million on Wednesday.

Al-Jazeera plans to euthanize the struggling, seven-year-old Current TV and turn it into Al-Jazeera America by adding five to 10 new U.S. bureaus beyond the five it has now. More than half of its content will be U.S. news, and the network will have its headquarters in New York, according to a rep.

But while Al-Jazeera will now be available in millions more American homes, it will not be seen on the nation's second-largest TV operator, Time Warner Cable, as they dropped Current TV immediately after the sale became final.

"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.

Time Warner Cable's move is a sign that Al-Jazeera will have an uphill climb to shed its reputation as a purveyor of propaganda, but the acquisition of Current TV instantly boosts its reach in the U.S. nearly ninefold, to about 40 million homes.

But even if it’s part of their cable plan, will people tune in?

“There are still people who will not watch it, who will say that it’s a ‘terrorist network,’ ” Philip Seib, the author of “The Al Jazeera Effect,” told the New York Times.

Al-Jazeera has been criticized for having a pro-Islamist bent, and accused of working with members of Al Qaeda. One of its journalists was arrested in Israel in 2011 on suspicion of being an agent of the Palestinian group Hamas. 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.

Another hurdle for Al-Jazeera is that few are watching Current TV now, with an average prime time viewership around 42,000 for shows starring disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, Jennifer Granholm and other liberal pundits.

But Gore, on his way out the door, sees a bright future for Al-Jazeera America where his Current TV failed, saying both networks were founded "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."

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.


First, nobody cared about Current TV (I didn't even know it existed).
Second, the more voices and opinions added to the discussion, the better off our society is.
Third, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with al-Jazeera's particular 'biases' they're a decent news organization. Our current news organizations here in the U.S. could certainly use the competition.

Thoughts?

Replies

  • stacymomof2
    January 3, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    I never heard of Current TV either.  lol

    I have also never heard that Al Jazerra was "working with Al Qaeda."  That is a bullshit line (obviously Fox News mentions it without saying who did the accusing and why.)

    Al Jazeera is respected worldwide as the most independent source of Arabic News.  Their reporters are committed to solid journalism and IMO the only people who would see an "Islamist bent" are the people with a bias against Arabs in general.  It isn't an "Islamist bent" to report on news without villifying Muslims or Islam.  It's called objectivity.

    They are along the lines of a BBC or NPR.  As balanced as possible and they don't print something unless they are sure it is a fact.  Anyone who reads Al Jazeera online (you can read the English version or use google to translate the Arabic version) would have to admit they they are quality news, especially compared to the shit that passes for news in this country.

  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    January 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM


    Quoting stacymomof2:

    I never heard of Current TV either.  lol

    I have also never heard that Al Jazerra was "working with Al Qaeda."  That is a bullshit line (obviously Fox News mentions it without saying who did the accusing and why.)

    Al Jazeera is respected worldwide as the most independent source of Arabic News.  Their reporters are committed to solid journalism and IMO the only people who would see an "Islamist bent" are the people with a bias against Arabs in general.  It isn't an "Islamist bent" to report on news without villifying Muslims or Islam.  It's called objectivity.

    They are along the lines of a BBC or NPR.  As balanced as possible and they don't print something unless they are sure it is a fact.  Anyone who reads Al Jazeera online (you can read the English version or use google to translate the Arabic version) would have to admit they they are quality news, especially compared to the shit that passes for news in this country.

    I can't disagree

  • Veni.Vidi.Vici.
    January 4, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    bump

  • muslimahpj
    January 4, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I agree with you.

    I love Current, but they werent offered on the cable network I used to have.

  • LilyofPhilly
    January 4, 2013 at 10:54 PM
    Fox News.....nuf said!

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