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Bennett reports: "Within hours of CurrentTV officially being sold to Al Jazeera ... Time Warner Cable pulled the network from its channel lineups."

Al Jazeera bought CurrentTV from Al Gore yesterday. (photo: AP)
Al Jazeera bought CurrentTV from Al Gore yesterday. (photo: AP)

Time Warner Cable Dropped CurrentTV As Soon As It Was Sold to Al Jazeera

By Dashiell Bennett, The Atlantic Wire

03 January 13


ithin hours of CurrentTV officially being sold to Al Jazeera-netting Al Gore a cool $100 million-Time Warner Cable pulled the network from its channel lineups. Apparently, Time Warner didn't even wait until last night's programming day was over to yank Current from its service, deciding to pull the plug (at least in the New York City market) before the end of Eliot Spitzer's nightly show.

The network did not give an official reason for the move, but many have speculated that it's simply prejudice against the new owners, who are based in Doha, Qatar, and have seen their fair share of controversy over the years. The Middle East-focused Al Jazeera began as an Arabic-only network, before adding a English language version, and has been accused in the past of a decidedly anti-American bias and even of sympathy for terrorist organizations. More than a decade after the September 11 attacks first brought the network to the attention of most Americans, and despite its impressive coverage of the Arab Spring in 2011, those stereotypes still persist.

Most U.S. cable companies still refuse to carry Al Jazeera English, although thanks to an unusual "sublet" deal with another network, it is actually available on Time Warner-but only part time and only in New York City. As for Current, Time Warner had previously announced that its carriage contract with Current had expired and that it was expecting to be more ruthless about dropping networks that get poor ratings. (Current averages a paltry 42,000 viewers a night.) That could mean that Current got what was coming to it, or that Time Warner merely wants to renegotiate its contact with the new owners, who do plan to completely remake Current's format into "Al Jazeera America."

However, when announcing the sale to his employees, Current CEO Joel Hyatt specifically noted that Time Warner "did not consent to the sale to Al Jazeera" suggesting that reason was about more than business. All of Current's other providers will continue to honor their carriage deals.

In reporting on the sale, Brian Stelter of The New York Times wrote that former Vice President Al Gore had personally lobbied the providers to support the sale, since the carriage agreements are what Al Jazeera was actually buying. Even without the blessing of Time Warner, Gore will reportedly make $100 million for his 20 percent stake in the company. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get the deal done before December 31, meaning he will have to pay the higher post-fiscal cliff tax rates. your social media marketing partner


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+39 # anntares 2013-01-03 23:02
Al Jazeera's name may scare Americans but I watch it often on cable/Rise and find it really fair, balanced and global news. When our all US news channels obsess over our politics and street crimes, I turn to Al Jazeera for coverage and interviews with people around the world. I learn so much about what is happening on every continent. You'd hardly know it's owners are from an Arab country. They are clear, objective, fact-based, truthful and mix news coverage with in-depth interviews. Al Jazeera makes me feel fully apart of life in all major civilizations - and that helps me be an intelligent American. Gore's Current has given the US a clear window onto the world with this sale. I hope we will not be so prejudiced that we can't appreciate the opportunity.
+4 # Gogojoe 2013-01-04 00:19
>>> The network did not give an official reason for the move, but many have speculated that it's simply prejudice against the new owners, who are based in Doha, Qatar
+3 # Joe Bob 2013-01-04 00:20
I doubt that Gore cares about the taxes.
After all he's not Republican
+24 # Holmes 2013-01-04 00:36
Chicken! A betrayal of earlier philosophy's.

AJ is not Anti American, it just reports things not from the normal MSM American exceptionalism viewpoint. When the USA stuffs up, is is not glossed over.

I occasionally watch the AJ news hour on Australian TV, at least it is much better than News LTD biased right wing gutter trash dishes out.

I look at their web site to find out what is happening in areas not well reported by others. It would be would be most confronting experience for the average Tea Party / GOP Joe to engage in the comment debates on some of the articles. They might learn that some of the world does not agree with them at all. The next question should be I would hope, would be 'What is Truth and how do we find it?'. Some may also need to watch their blood pressure.
+26 # m... 2013-01-04 04:14
Al Jazeera English is hands down the best, most informative and truly investigative journalistic news in the world today.
BBC and Australia Network are very good too.
Even Hillary Clinton is a fan of Al Jazeera.

In America, there is almost no truly informative news to be had, just 'compelling-voi ced stuff' that is cheaper to gather and shovel in between commercials.
Almost all Media in the States and hence, almost all the so called 'Free Press' is owned, controlled and operated by just a very few global corporate empires in the interest of their global shareholders.

Because Media Ownership is now so narrowly concentrated in the hands of so few, Americans are denied access to truly informative, truly investigative journalism and news or any real diversity of news, and not by a big brother government which many would have you fear, but rather by the Corporate Interests which have gained control of most of it through 'deregulation' schemes sold in the name of freedom from government.
So now, the 'Free Press' actuality envisioned by the Founders of America is almost nowhere to be found in America.

Less (and less and less) Government (of Ourselves) through rampant, obsessive Deregulation schemes has all been a big scam on behalf of big power and wealth seekers. Those very same kinds of people now control the pipelines for speech, the so-called 'Free Press' and most media in America, the Land of the Free.
-23 # Gogojoe 2013-01-04 07:56
I'm sorry M, but Al Jazeera is owned and operated by the government of Qatar. If you're looking for true freedom of information, you won't be finding it there.
+12 # womyn 2013-01-04 12:54
Have you watched Al Jazeera? I think not.

Al Jazeera news is vastly superior and more accurate over the US' corporate controlled news owned by only five corporations who have a huge self-serving agenda, most particularly the WAR MACHINE, corporations who benefit from ongoing US wars!

Keep in mind, corporations control Congress, both Senate and House of Representatives ; corporations control elections;
corporations control the White House/ executive branch
and corporations control the Judicial branch as well.
+1 # Gogojoe 2013-01-04 23:45
[quote name="womyn"]Ha ve you watched Al Jazeera? I think not.
You may think not, but I have, on hundreds of occasions .
My job takes me all over the world and Dubai and Qatar are two of the places I go on a regular basis. Further, Al Jazeera is carried in almost every international hotel around the globe as well .

I also know that corporations control our bought & paid for congress . That has nothing to do with my assertion that a news outlet, owned by a government, is not free to say what it wants to.
Especially when that government is an absolute monarchy!
+1 # Gogojoe 2013-01-05 07:52
Quoting womyn:
Have you watched Al Jazeera? I think not..

You may think not, but you would be wrong .
I have watched Al Jazeera hundreds of times.
My job brings me all over the world on regular basis. Two of the places I go to the most are Dubai and Qatar where it is on everywhere. Also, Al Jazeera is carried in most all international hotels ( and in different languages on different channels).

I thank you for the brief civics lesson, teaching me that corporations control our bought & paid for Congress ; but I have known that for quite a while.
That actually helps illustrate my point. I realize that our news is slanted toward to view of the corporate masters.
That being said,Freedom of the press and distribution of information by a network owned and operated by a GOVERNMENT is just as stifled. Especially when that government is an absolute monarchy !
+1 # m... 2013-01-05 19:13
Even if based in some truth, you are still very strongly supporting my assertions just as strongly as you claim I support yours.

I watch Al Jazeera English quite regularly. It is a far differently operated entity than Arab Al Jazeera.
What you get from them, even as it is owned by a Sovereign State Government, is still far and away, much closer to what one would envision and hope an actual 24/7 journalistic cable news agency or any journalistic enterprise would be than almost anything most Americans have access to now.
Absolutely NOTHING in America even comes close.

My guess is that even in a more perfect world with a more perfect-greater multitude of separate, different and diverse news entities supplying the Nation with 'news' even while operating under a Fairness Doctrine as we once had in America.., individually, much of it would still be slanted and shoveled in ways supporting special interests. But in that world of many many sources, both the truth and useful-informat ive information would be far easier to access and determine by the masses.
As you must know (and seem to know) from your travels abroad, people are exposed to many more separate sources of news than anyone within the borders of America.

And, thank you too for your lessons in 'Media owned by a Government'... even as the one we have discussed here is indeed far superior to anything corporate owned in America today.
0 # Gogojoe 2013-01-06 00:29
Bottom line:
If there was any sort of Arab Spring uprising in Qatar, do you think that Al Jazeera or the Al Thani royal family would behave any differently than the royals did in Bahrain?
+5 # womyn 2013-01-04 12:57
Search for LINK TV on cable. Dish carries it.
Mosaic news is great too.
Democracy Now! via online or Pacifica radio.
+1 # Byronator 2013-01-06 16:15
Quoting Gogojoe:
I'm sorry M, but Al Jazeera is owned and operated by the government of Qatar. If you're looking for true freedom of information, you won't be finding it there.

And if you're looking for "true freedom of information owned by Rupert Murdoch, you won't find a shred of it there either.
+2 # cwbystache 2013-01-04 06:30
Will this place the former Electionrobbedp resident squarely in the 1%? Ya can't trust anyone over 30 million ... or can ya? I wonder what such a "windfall" would do to my own soul though I also admit I've been thinking about playing the Arizona lottery so I can have a tooth fixed.
+8 # humanmancalvin 2013-01-04 08:05
It is disheartening, the rejection & hate of all things Muslim & Muslim related. Muslims are Americas new..list: Irish immigrants..Afr ican slaves..inner city poor Blacks..Mexican immigrants..Nat ive Americans. Americans always seem to have one group of people to rally against & Muslims fit that bill presently.
Radical right wing talk/tv & pot stirring politicians add constantly to this toxic hate mix. I don't know the answer. Maybe we need a hug a Muslim day or something equally ridiculous to bring the hate to a stop.
0 # mdhome 2013-01-04 19:09
Only one group?
0 # tclose 2013-01-04 08:47
Not clear that getting Current TV is any great coup for Al Jazeera - Current TV has been the biggest disappointment of any channel on cable (the only exception perhaps being the History Channel which does show any History anymore). Current TV's programming has been mediocre, concentrating mostly on prison and drug war documentaries, danger on fishing boats, logging camps, etc. Not much of interest on political or cultural events. The only reason any watched it was to see Keith Olbermann, and after the Keith disappeared into the sunset there is not much left that cannot be listened to on progressive radio.

But who knows, maybe Al Jazeera buying Current will change it for the better.
+3 # Harriet3 2013-01-04 10:13
I wonder if the new owners will hire Keith Olberman...
+2 # mdhome 2013-01-04 19:10
I hope.
+9 # moonrigger 2013-01-04 11:20
I happened on AJ serendipitously one day, and was amazed to find its coverage far better than other US stations. I have not detected any anti-American bias. If you want to learn what's really going on in the world, stop watching CNN or our major news stations. Or watch them last. You'll see what I mean.
+2 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-01-04 11:26
Al Jazeera uber Ailes -- Roger Ailes, that is.
+1 # NAVYVET 2013-01-04 11:33
Who cares about Time Warner? You can get Al Jazeera or most news, slightly out-of-date movies and public TV programs any time on streaming video, which is why I don't watch TV. MHz Worldview even shows Swedish and other foreign mysteries (like Wallander) free.
+6 # genierae 2013-01-04 12:25
Al Jazeera was there for me during the Bush administration' s war crimes when US networks knuckled under. I salute them for the good reporting they do 24/7. Telling the truth about US actions is not anti-American, the truth is not biased.

MSNBC news shows are far more progressive than any of their competitors. Maddow, O'Donnell, Schultz, Sharpton, Matthews, Hayes and others give us the goods with little propaganda.

Free Speech TV with Thom Hartmann and Amy Goodman is also quite good at telling it like it is.
+11 # womyn 2013-01-04 12:40
Al Jazeera is a fair and balanced news program. Hooray!

I am pleased Al Jazeera made it's way into the US market because
Americans, by far, are the least informed and are mostly Foxed-out regarding accurate news, both domestic and foreign.
0 # hoodwinkednomore 2013-01-07 09:18
Should we thank Al Gore? It would seem so IF he made this sale with the intention of expanding true news coverage. ? Then again, it's Al Gore...wish I had more faith in the man who buckled...

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