Friday, March 04, 2011
Quote of the Day
"Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it's real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners."
-- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
In addition to the actual people forcing much-needed change down the throats of their repressive governments, the winners in the recent Middle Eastern upheaval have been Facebook, Twitter and, yes, Al Jazeera. Despite the pants-wetting terror and outrage it's produced from the usual suspects on the right, the Qatar-based network has consistently proven its journalism to be not only outstanding but, more importantly, beholden to no state or authority. Al Jazeera pisses off everyone at various times -- without seeming to care that it does -- and that's what makes its journalists so good and so special these days. If you wanted to know what was really going on on the ground during the coverage of the Egyptian uprising in particular, Al Jazeera English -- which operates out of a non-descript office building in Washington, DC -- was the only network you should've been glued to. The contrast between its people being right in the middle of the story from day one and remaining there 24/7 and, say, Fox News or MSNBC's almost non-stop parade of self-described "experts" debating it from the comfort of a New York City studio was almost comical. Yes, both CNN and MS have done some excellent work overseas, and are continuing to. But there's just no contest -- Al Jazeera is blowing them away on what could be the most important and potentially game-changing series of socio-political events this planet has seen in the last fifty years.