Friday, March 28, 2008

NEWSIES BAILING ON AL-JAZEERA

I don't know about you but I think it is a sure sign of chaos at any news organization when a whole ton of staff people are bailing out of the operation all at once. The latest "dungeon" operation to talk about is Al-Jazeera's English service as something like 15 people have quit.

One of the people who left is Dave Marash, ex-ABC News, who when this channel first launched had been raving about how great it was going to be. Well, he's up and quit, and it's apparently because he's fed up with the anti-Americanism rampant at the network. And this isn't the Arabs at the network he's talking about, it's the bleeping Brits there exhibiting this attitude!

Meanwhile, respected interviewer/Brit David Frost is still there at the network, saying things are just fine for him. I'm sure they are, the guy's being paid a ton of money to be there. Still, I think life has got to be bad over there at Al-Jazeera. Nobody wants to watch that boring network, and Americans think the channel is in with all the bad elements of society in the Middle East. They still can't get any decent distribution in the United States because of their terrible reputation. The only way to watch the English service is through the bleeping Internet.

On top of that, journos are finding out the hard way that living in the Middle East is not so great; that Doha, Qatar is too hot and too expensive to live. What can I say? Al-Jazeera is not a fun place for people to be.

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