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Letter: Al Jazeera deal is good for U.S. viewers

Re “Gore’s Al Jazeera deal is nothing but greed” (Monitor letter, Feb. 19):

Al Jazeera is a respected, honored and distinguished independent international news organization whose exposure of corrupt dictatorships like in Tunisia played a pivotal role in the Arab awakening. Al Jazeera is not the “propaganda arm” of al-Qaida. That’s an extreme right-wing canard.

Sen. John McCain credits Al Jazeera’s reporting for touching the “conscience not only of the Tunisians but of countries throughout the Arab world,” making “a contribution that will last and will be brought to future generations.” Hillary Clinton praised its peerless on-the-ground “real news” coverage of the Egyptian revolution which won a prestigious Peabody Award.

Millions of Americans, through live streaming of Al Jazeera’s broadcasts, were able to witness these historic events as they unfolded. American network and cable news largely ignores the area; at least they’ve been buying Al Jazeera’s footage of the Middle East, including in Afghanistan and Iraq for several years.

Al Jazeera’s purchase of Current TV should begin to fill the pressing need for accurate foreign news reporting and offer fresh perspectives from a region where the United States is critically engaged by providing the same quality, diverse and in-depth journalism which Al Jazeera has built its reputation upon. As Roger Cohen of the New York Times said, the American public would benefit from having access to Al Jazeera, so contact Comcast and urge it to carry Al Jazeera.


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