I had a chance to tune into the Al Jazeera English-language TV stream over the Internet.
I hate to admit it, but they did a good job today. No screaming al-Qaeda videos, no pro-terrorist rants. There were the usual first-day glitches, but it wasn't that bad, really.
It reminded me of the stuff put out by these international stations like BBC World and CNN International. Lots of international stories and plenty of familiar faces including North Americans like Dave Marash, Lucia Newman, and a few other names. I didn't expect this: a normal-looking news operation from Al Jazeera.
I think this station will do well in attracting an audience of people interested in coverage of world news. We sure could use another respectable player on the world stage, covering all the exciting stories around the globe, because frankly these North American news operations have abdicated this field, largely.
But you know, this operation has almost no distribution in North America and it's all their own fault, they ran one too many videos from al-Qaeda and associated themselves with one too many evil dictatorial types. This new channel claims to support democracy and freedom. Well, then, they should support it and not give free air time to these terrorists on their main Arabic channel! End of statement. Anyway, they have a long way to go to get away from that terrible reputation. They are off to a good start, but the hole they dug for themselves is very deep.