Thursday, October 25, 2007

al Jazeera - loses favor with AQ, gains new slot in Israel

Just amazing how fast the players can change sides in the Middle East. Relationships there are fragile, and easily broken for the strangest of reasons.

First up... it appears that AQ bunch is less than thrilled with what they call "manipulation" of the most recent Bin Laden tape by their media outlet, al Jazeera. Per
the Counterterrorism Blog's Evan Kohlmann...

Al-Qaida's official online distribution network responsible for disseminating messages from Usama Bin Laden--known as the "Al-Fajr Media Center"--has issued a new statement strongly criticizing the Arabic-language Al-Jazeera satellite television network, which it has accused of "deceitfully manipulating" the latest audio recording from Bin Laden regarding the growing infighting within the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. According to the Al-Fajr Center, "Aljazeera editors in chief have counterfeited the facts by making the speech appear as exclusively targeting the brothers and sons inside Al-Qaeda organization. It looked as if it was an acknowledgment of their mistakes, a renunciation of their jihad and their loyalty to it." The letter went on to condemn the directors of Al-Jazeera for "shamefully choosing to back the crusaders’ side, and the defenders of hypocrites and the thugs and traitors of Iraq.”

Well now... what's a down-on-their-luck group of jihadis to do when the war is not going well, and their pet boradcast station isn't behaving?

The answer may lie in some Israeli cable network programming, believe it or not. According to the Jerusalem Post, HOT Television -
Israel's largest cable net provider - is dropping their contract with CNN and not renewing. And their chosen replacement? You guessed it... al Jazeera's English channel.

Though HOT is prepared to cut ties with CNN at the end of the month, Lubaton distanced the company from statements released last week that appeared to question CNN's competitiveness as a news organization, and which drew attention to the channel's drop in the American ratings race behind Fox. "We are not arguing that CNN is not one of the leading news channels in the world, that CNN is not a good news channel," Lubaton said.

But, he added, "We believe that the other news channels are sufficient to satisfy subscribers' news demand."


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