Al-Jazeera America to Rise from the Ashes of Al Gore’s Current TV

January 4th, 2013

After Al-Jazeera announced plans to purchase Al Gore’s failed television network Current TV for $500 million, talk radio personalities exploded into predictable rage. Much noise was made about the fact that he rushed the deal in advance of the fiscal cliff tax hike, given his love for increased taxes on wealthy Americans.

While it’s true that this was a hypocritical move on Al Gore’s part, the real story is being missed. Al-Jazeera is an amazing news brand known for cutting-edge journalism. When the channel expands to the US, it will significantly increase the quality of available news coverage for Americans. In fact, there’s a distinct possibility that Al-Jazeera will become another friend to the freedom movement, much like RT America.

Diverse Viewpoints Help Improve Our Understanding of the World Around Us

When RT America was first launched, some complained that it would just be a platform for Russian propaganda. What happened instead was dictated by the market — Russia Today started covering American political news events that the mainstream media would not touch. Immediately, the company began to offer fair coverage to outsider movements such as Ron Paul’s presidential campaign and Occupy Wall Street.

Russia Today offers better news coverage than most mainstream outlets. It has shows like the Keiser Report that would otherwise be ignored by American corporate broadcast companies. Issues like the NDAA are covered on RT every day, while CNN and MSNBC focus on celebrity fashions and gory news on violence.

What Are Al-Jazeera’s Plans with the American Channel?

According to Al-Jazeera, the network’s plans involve “representing as many different viewpoints as possible.” Given the frequent blackouts carried out by mainstream media outlets against viewpoints with which they disagree, some diversity in perspective might be a welcome addition. Also, Al-Jazeera’s local coverage of Middle Eastern events is far more comprehensive than most networks. With local reporters on the ground, the company can get access to places that other networks simply can’t.

It’s entirely possible that the availability of balanced coverage of world events might help tame the United States’ out-of-control foreign policy. With more Americans aware of the true hardships faced by people in Middle Eastern countries, it would be less likely that the public would fall for another scam along the lines of the Iraq War.

While it’s unclear as to whether or not cable companies will include Al-Jazeera America in their content packages, the network’s acquisition of Current TV is exciting news. During the Arab Spring, I stayed up late on many a night watching people overthrow tyrannical governments on Al-Jazeera’s mobile app. It would be good for Americans if channels like Russia Today and Al-Jazeera were available through most cable networks.

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About the Author: Barry Donegan

Barry Donegan is a singer for the experimental mathcore band Look What I Did, a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.