“We do not have an agreement with this service that would permit us to carry Al Jazeera English on our cable systems and Comcast is not currently in active talks to complete such an agreement,” says David A. Jensen, Vice President for Content Acquisition at Comcast.
His April 15 letter was in response to an Accuracy in Media supporter by the name of Jeffrey Smith, who had sent a letter to the cable company objecting to the possibility of al-Jazeera getting more carriage. Smith made the Comcast letter available to us for publication at this time.
Andrea Mitchell, NBC News’ chief foreign affairs correspondent, will no doubt be disappointed at the announcement. She recently told the Atlantic, “I think Al-Jazeera has become indispensable. There’s a big difference between Al-Jazeera overseas and Al-Jazeera English but they are clearly part of the story and I rely on them very heavily, as does the State Department. I think the channel ought to be available more widely in the U.S. given the work they’ve been doing in Tunisia, Libya and certainly Egypt.”
While Al-Jazeera English does water down the anti-Semitic and pro-Jihad programming available on Al-Jazeera Arabic, the channels are owned by the same autocrat, the Emir of Qatar. And the “work” the channel has been doing in countries like Egypt mostly consists of provoking and covering riots and demonstrations. At the same time, the channel played down the role of the demonstrators in assaulting CBS News reporter Lara Logan, who suffered serious injuries.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at email@example.com.