Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Gives Major Props to Al Jazeera for Their News Coverage
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Secretary Clinton made her comments about Al Jazeera during her Senate testimony the other day. She also rightly disses the American news media, which has become beyond pathetic. The MSM’s coverage of almost everything is sub-par but when it comes to foreign policy, they appear to aim to keep the electorate in a permanent state of stupid.
Al Jazeera’s coverage of the uprisings in the Arab world has been amazing and Clinton was right to point that out in a very public way- maybe it will cause some much-needed introspection on the part of the American corporate media which seems more interested in the bottom line than in providing actual news coverage.
Of course, given how Islamaphobic we’ve become as a nation (see this incredible video and article), Secretary Clinton’s criticism of the American media isn’t sitting well with some people. Oh well, truth hurts. If you want an example of the worst in American “journalism” on the Arab uprisings, just tune into Fox News, whose byline should be changed to “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid of Them There Terrorist Muslims!” Honestly, Fox News is a joke- their coverage was one long Frank Gaffney, Glenn Beck, Pamela Geller-inspired conspiracy theory about the takeover of the Islamic Caliphate. There’s not enough haldol in the world to lessen these folk’s paranoia.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that Al Jazeera is gaining more prominence in the U.S. because it offers “real news” — something she said American media were falling far short of doing.
Clinton was speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and she said the U.S. is losing the “information war” in the world. One of the reasons she cited for this was the quality of channels like Al Jazeera. The channel, she said, was “really effective” and was “changing peoples’ minds and attitudes.” U.S. news, she added, was not keeping up.
“Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,” Clinton said. “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.”
During the height of the crisis in Egypt, The Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim wrote about Al Jazeera English’s near-total invisibility on U.S. television.
Media critics like Jeff Jarvis have also contrasted Al Jazeera with American news networks. “Vital, world-changing news is occurring in the Middle East and no one-not the xenophobic or celebrity-obsessed or cut-to-the-bone American media-can bring the perspective, insight, and on-the-scene reporting Al Jazeera English can,” Jarvis wrote in January.
To her credit, Secretary Clinton seems to be the only official in this administration to reach out to Arab media, including AJ. I’m glad she does it but I wish she’d do even more of it.