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March 27, 2003

One of the things that I have to disagree with the common wisdom on is Al-Jazeera. Lots of folks seem to think that they are despicable for broadcasting Osama and all the rest. Interestingly, they have this habit of irritating every government in the region - including ours and their own. It's a great statement that the Emir of Qatar gets it and allows a truly free press.

I'll certainly agree with some folks who say that showing the executed American soldiers was in poor taste, but poor taste is something true freedom of speech has to embrace.

I agree with Glenn as far as the Reuters comparison goes, but further, as I often hear, is too much.

It just seems wrong to me that we wish to pressure one of the more progressive states in the area to put pressure on the only free arab TV. Now, that doesn't mean we aren't all allowed to criticize them or disagree, but the rhetoric I read always seems to be that we should censor them somehow.

One impact of Al-Jazeera that I've only seen mentioned once on the web (and I'm looking for the URL again) is the impact they have had on Saddam's support outside of Iraq. Al-Jazeera has been showing video of the gassing of the Kurds and running stories about his oppression which had kept the street protests in the Middle East leading up to the war much quieter.

How much difference is there between Al-Jazeera running Iraq TV and then Fox or CNN running it minutes later.

Posted by hoffmang | March 27, 2003 09:36 PM


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