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back to article Al Jazeera buys Al Gore's Current TV news network

Pan-Arabic news network Al Jazeera has acquired Current TV, the small cable news network cofounded by one-time presidential hopeful Al Gore, for an undisclosed sum. Current TV's present line-up of programming will continue for three months, The New York Times reports, after which it will be phased out to make way for a new …

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They will have problems with their image. 'People' don't know much about them and what they do know is that it has 'something' to do with al qaeda which is A Bad Thing!

From what I have experienced they are pretty moderate and try and present a balanced view. Way more so than say Fox, but perception is important and certain parts of the western world think they are best chums with terrorists. The US could do with a decent news network. BBC news is pretty popular here but not shown 24 7.

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Anonymous Coward

No there is no conspiracy

It's all to do the the World Cup they managed to bribe..... Sorry bid for.

They haven't realised Soccer is different from American Football.

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Flame

Moderate and balanced? They just recently aired a show sympathetic toward Osama bin Laden. Try explaining to all the survivors and families of victims how moderate that is. If that's your idea of moderation, then I understand some of the recent problems in the UK.

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Depends what you mean by 'sympathetic'.

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Well

Countdown with Keith Obermann was good... But they messed that up.

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Angel

Re: Well

Countdown with Rachel Riley is better.

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Anonymous Coward

Countdown with Mohammad won't be too popular; 3, 2, 1.

American Muslim wasn't too popular with TLC; they lost sponsors and at the end of the first run of episodes, it was not brought back for another season.

They might get some audience if they show Team America.

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Anonymous Coward

Owner of Al Jazeera?

"(Al Jazeera is owned and operated by the government of Qatar.)"

I think you'll find that it's more properly put as

"(Al Jazeera is owned and operated by the government of Qatar which is in turn owned by the Qatari royal family.)"

Anon as I work in the Gulf from time to time.

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Re: Owner of Al Jazeera?

Do the Qatari royal family supply future intellectual property with Anonymous Astute Action Drivers ......the Cosmic Energy with Supply Know-How to Harness and Realise IT via Virtual Means and SMARTR Memes.

Or is it bought in as and when needed for instruction in newly delivered transparent development programs beta testing secure surreal steganography for C42 Quantum Communication Control Systems

And C42? Creative Command and Control of Cyber Computer Communications for Virtual Reality Delivery Kingly Style ..... and with So Much More to Right Royally Delight Awaken Queens and Princesses, the driver of this current message.

Is Qatar a Natural Supply Source for Virtual Operations? Now that would be Harem Heavenly. And I say that most sincerely. :-)

How easy do you think it is to supply global realities which all alter themselves to follow a singular concerted goal to travel in the search for future knowledge. Which has now brought you to here in this tiny vast communications space place in a virtual palace of a playground.

Ok, I've calmed down a qubit or two now, but the Virtual Reality of the Middle East is as has been freely shared for Virtual Invention with Media Presentation.

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Facepalm

Rushie and Hannity are gonna have a field day with this one. Oh the conspiracy!

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Happy

Keith Olbermann may make out like a bandit

Depends on the status of those huge stock options he got when he joined Current :)

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Quality? Probably Yes. Is that what Americans want? Probably No.

BBC America is a widely-respected thing. Does it match the viewership figures of the biggies in American media? Not even close.

'Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid' is the motto of most American News Networks and they get viewers. The product is trash but they've carefully, over years, trained the audience to like it.

American news media, it used to be something once...

But still, well done Al-Jazeera, quite a fair and balanced Network, for actually trying to bring some quality to America.

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Re: Quality? Probably Yes. Is that what Americans want? Probably No.

BBC America is very hard to get over here. Few cable companies actually offer it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Quality? Probably Yes. Is that what Americans want? Probably No.

You can stream Al Jazeera, BBC, and other great news channels via Roku, XBMC, Plex, and others I'm sure.

And yeah, in reference to the original post, Fox News didn't waste any time responding in their typical fair and balanced way. My favorite has this quote: "Time Warner Cable's move is a sign that Al-Jazeera will have an uphill climb to shed its reputation as a purveyor of propaganda."

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/01/03/al-gore-nets-reported-100-million-in-sale-current-tv-to-al-jazeera/

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/01/03/liberal-al-gore-becomes-very-rich-hypocrite-with-sale-current-tv/

http://nation.foxnews.com/al-gore/2013/01/04/gore-played-muslim-hate-card-seal-al-jazeera-deal

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But wait... isn't FOX-NEWS already an Islamic network since its #2 owner is the Saudi Arabian Alwaleed bin Talal?

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Anonymous Coward

But those are "our" Islamists ;)

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Anonymous Coward

They really really aren't.

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Anonymous Coward

Good "news", pardon the pun

This could actually be a good news even for people who deserve to be called Americans: Al Jazeera will not be completely in the pocket of the Obama regime like most of the rest of the sycophantic media in the US. Sure, they are anti-US, anti-western, anti-freedom, anti-Semitic, pro-Islam and so on but they may still be way more truthful than, say, MSNBC, CNN, or CBS. I only hope they don't realize that they could do the most damage to the "big satan" by supporting Obama. And yes, I am a coward for posting anonymously but I am afraid of certain people who do not tolerate viewpoints different from their own.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good "news", pardon the pun

"Al Jazeera will not be completely in the pocket of the Obama regime like most of the rest of the sycophantic media in the US. Sure, they are anti-US, anti-western, anti-freedom, anti-Semitic, pro-Islam and so on "

You'd be right on the first bit, probably wrong on the second bit. My parents (as white and reactionary as you get) far prefer Al Jazeera news to the BBC's persistently lefty-liberal cobblers, and incessant bleating about climate change. I daresay that the US media is (largely) a polar opposite to the BBC, but the point remains that Al Jazeera is a good, and largely impartial news service.

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Stop

Re: Good "news", pardon the pun

"Sure, they are anti-US, anti-western, anti-freedom, anti-Semitic, pro-Islam and so on but they may still be way more truthful than..."

How about you sit and watch some of it or read the webpage before spouting off a load of total cobblers about it?

They're actually pretty good. Far better than Fox or 90% of newspapers, and not Western-centric.

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Re: Good "news", pardon the pun

"even for people who deserve to be called Americans ... but I am afraid of certain people who do not tolerate viewpoints different from their own."

If you can say who deserves to be an American, then I take it you are either the INS or a part of the federal judiciary. Exactly who is it you fear?

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FAIL

Re: Good "news", pardon the pun

"You cannot, under any circumstances, use the word impartial when discussing any aspect of any religious sect."

How exactly is a TV station a religious sect?

Or is it a religious sect because it's backed by a Middle Eastern government? In which case the BBC is a religious sect as well.

It's totally ludicrous to slurp up Christian-based news and yet accuse news organisations based in Islamic countries of being incapable of producing decent news reports.

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Re: Good "news", pardon the pun

I started reading Al Jazeera when Zimbabwe was a big news topic, because I got sick of hearing that "the BBC is not allowed in Zimbabwe", so I thought it might be nice to hear from a news agency that actually had some reporters there. I read about the Arab Spring and Libyan war there too.

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Holmes

Censorship in America

While Al Gore's lack of business acumen is an interesting diversion, I think the most significant aspect of this story is the censorship in America, supposedly so proud of "free speech". Divergent viewpoints are allowed to exist, but no one wants to hear them.

My theory of the last few years is that this is largely due to linguistic confusion in English about the nature of "free". Apparently a lot of Americans thing "free speech" is like "free beer" or "free lunch". As long as you can't see the price tag, that means it's "free".

The important sense of "freedom" involves meaningful and unconstrained choice, NOT to be confused with free beer. You can't get the information to make those meaningful choices if censorship eliminates almost all of the data. What has happened in America is that "free speech" only applies if you can afford it, and it has become a luxury good for the super-rich. The rest of us peasants should just keep our mouths shut.

You're theoretically allowed to speak, but if you say anything too "troublesome" (which often means simply something controversial or disagreeable), then the reality is you better expect to get hammed for it.

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Re: Censorship in America

stfu commie

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Alert

Re: Censorship in America

While Al Gore's lack of business acumen is an interesting diversion, I think the most significant aspect of this story is the censorship in America, supposedly so proud of "free speech". Divergent viewpoints are allowed to exist, but no one wants to hear them.

Alexis de Tocqueville: "tyranny of the majority"

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Meh

Re: Censorship in America

".....Al Gore's lack of business acumen ....." Seriously? First, he manages to convince hundreds of thousands of treehuggers that they should accept the views, action the words of and GIVE money to a millionaire, then he manages to offload his turkey TV channel for $400m! The guy is a brilliant capitalist - find a market, exploit it - if not the World's greatest conman!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Censorship in America

"stfu commie"

...and talking of censorship...

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Alert

"Such moves have given Al Jazeera a spotty reputation among Americans..."

.... who believe that "Freedom of Expression" means "Freedom to say only the things that we agree with..."

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Pint

Re: "Such moves have given Al Jazeera a spotty reputation among Americans..."

It's simpler than that: It has an Arabic name, ergo it must be anti-American and supportive of terrorists to many minds.

Stupid minds, but let's not forget that half the population is of below-mean intelligence!

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Big Brother

Re: "Such moves have given Al Jazeera a spotty reputation among Americans..."

........ who believe that "Freedom of Expression" means "Freedom to say only the things that we agree with..."...

Freedom of speech means you can say anything you want and the government cannot stop you (of course, vulgarity appears to be a blaring exception). It does not mean that other citizens cannot disagree with you and voice their disagreement. If I disagree with you, I can choose to boycott you and/or your product. That is not censorship.

An example of Censorship is not allowing the press to say something controversial about the Royal Family... or even the government ownership of the major News Organization in a country. The second being less obvious, but even more insidious. If the government gives money to a News Org, then the government can withhold that money, and don't think that the News Org does not know that and act accordingly.

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Interesting

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a telephone poll apparently funded by Al Jazeera. Given the frequency I watch television, it was about like interviewing a Cuban about snow shovels, but I answered as best I could.

"While Al Gore's lack of business acumen is an interesting diversion, I think the most significant aspect of this story is the censorship in America, supposedly so proud of "free speech". Divergent viewpoints are allowed to exist, but no one wants to hear them."

Wants to hear them, or is allowed to hear them? If the former, perhaps the citizens are exercising a separate right, as for example I do now and then when I politely send Jehovah's Witnesses on their way from my door.

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Pint

Re: Interesting

"for example I do now and then when I politely send Jehovah's Witnesses on their way from my door."

Except in this case it's a little closer to asking what the religion of a door-to-door salesman is, and then electing to either buy their product or scream abuse at them and heap ridicule on their product, based on their answer.

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Joke

Current

I always thought it was one of those marketing channels for a company that produced currants or something?

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The press is a commercial business in the USA...

The BBC is a public corporation in the UK. UK voters elect the people that budget the BBC.

ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, CNN, etc. are all Commercial businesses. They need to make money so that they can continue to operate. The USA's 'Fairness Doctrine' used to be a key policy for broadcasters in the USA. From 1949-1987, broadcasters had to make-available time for public affairs. They also had to show diversity in the presentation of these public affairs. Vestiges remained of the policy until two years ago.

The Equal Time doctrine is still in-effect for broadcasters. This rule is in effect since 1927. It basically says that if free-time is given to proponents of one-side of an issue, then similar free-time is given to other sides. Similarly if paid-time was for one, paid-time had to be available for others. Recently, the use of free-time has all-but disappeared, under this doctrine (news and some other programs don't count).

It is OK to gripe about the quality of reporting, but news-gathering systems have resorted to 'stringers' and other part-time information collectors in vastly larger numbers. Newspapers are in a death spiral in the USA. Cable companies own all-but-one of the Networks. The independent new-collection is NOW more of a website industry. Times change.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The press is a commercial business in the USA...

I am Politically Center-Right, and PBS is definitely Center-Left, but I find their news to be quite good, and they are not a "for profit" org. If PBS did not get federal dollars I would donate to them, but since my tax dollars already go to them...

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PBS wasn't in my list...

PBS isn't commercial, but it isn't the BBC, either. They do allow for program sponsoring (like commercial TV), the do have on-air fundraising (like commercial TV), but many programs are partially sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is completely funded by the USA taxpayers (since 1967).

The National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities are examples of other government funded committees that sponsor programs on PBS (as well as do other things).

PBS would survive removal of CPB, but the programs they sponsor would be impacted.

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Headmaster

C'mon, it's a great deal...

We can't beat 'em - might as well join them. All you gotta do is pray in one direction several times a day. The payoff ? Alcohol problem - solved. Possession of alcohol means death by stoning. No problem. Divorce rates ? A thing of the past. If you take a wife, you OWN her. No lawyers, no alimony, and if you get sick of her, get a new one. Just say "I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee", and it's done. And all these opposing political views ? Solved. Al Jazerra TV will be the ONLY source of information - any other views you hear should be reported immediately.

Yeah, now that's the good life.

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Happy

Current TV

..used to have interesting programming when if first came out. I would say well balanced from many backgrounds, and random user content that was hit or miss. Al-Jazeera I am kind of rooting for, I don't watch cable new networks and prefer NPR and their local offspring which do good work with organizations like the BBC for a larger perspective.

It may be rare but I welcome them. The difference I have is the moment they turn like the rest of them, they'll be just another shit network with an axe to grind.

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Anonymous Coward

Spotty Article

This article could have been a lot better than it is. For a start, I think Mr. Gore is probably known for something more than being a "one-time presidential hopeful". I seem to vaguely remember he was also a one-time vicepresident, and a one-time senator for bloody ages, if I'm not mistaken.

But more to the point, Al-Jazeera has been denied access to the US public since the inception of its English service. The way this happens is basically by the cable operators "refusing" to carry AJE on their networks. Al Jazeera have been campaigning for access to that audience for years. This appears to be their latest strategic move.

I would like to think the author is at least half aware of this: http://www.aljazeera.com/demandaljazeera/

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real content

I prefer to watch Al Jazeera news over breakfast rather than BBC (which is utter pap) or Sky (which tends to have too much studio chatter). Al Jazeera news is what news used to be - informative, tells you what's happening across the world. It's not just entertainment dressed up as news. Yes Al Jazeera has a high volume of stuff from the Middle East, but then that's where the problems for the world are coming from these days. Al Jazeera reporters and cameras are "on the ground" talking to people in the middle of situations.

I remember TV footage from the Vietnam war - there was a lot of horrific close up stuff that showed us westerners what it was like in that far off land. We don't get that from the "main" media these days. It's like pc-correctness applied to broadcasting - don't rock the boat with stories about foreigners or foreign places, just talk about entertainment or sport, that's good enough for the masses.

Well done Al Jazeera, you've put your money where your mouth is.

And to those nutcases who say Al Jazeera is "islamist" or "pro-Obama" - for god's sake look in a mirror.

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Anonymous Coward

The end

This could be the end of that network...

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