Adios Al Jazeera America. The network closes its door.

posted at 8:01 pm on January 13, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

In some ways I’m actually surprised that it took three years, but Al Jazeera America is shutting down. The Washington Post has the top line, but what’s really worth noting here is the efforts they go to in order to paint the network as some sort of noble, non-partisan endeavor. (Emphasis mine)

Al Jazeera America, the low-rated cable news network that sought to take on Fox News and CNN, will shut down operations at the end of April, less than three years after going on the air, the network told its staff Wednesday in a surprise move…

AJA hoped to be a straightforward, non-partisan alternative to other news channels and was often praised by news analysts for the thoroughness and objectivity of its reporting. It hired a number of TV news veterans as program hosts and managers, including people from NBC, CNN and Fox News.

The article goes on to point out various financial woes the channel ran into and manages a single sentence where they reference “a lawsuit” over charges of sexism and anti-Semitism in the workplace. Of course, it was a lot more than that. In fact, the very same newspaper actually went into a bit more detail last year, describing one of their managers as having allegedly engaged in discriminatory conduct toward women and made offensive remarks about Israel and the United States.

The Washington Times has a bit longer memory on the subject, but we don’t even need to go that far afield to find examples of the “problems” that cropped up with AJAM. At the risk of quoting myself, I covered some of their more curious newsroom policies last January. This was one deparmental memo they put out advising their staff to not use certain inflammatory words when referring to terrorists.

“All: We manage our words carefully around here,” the network’s head of output wrote to staff at the Doha-based news channel’s New York and Washington, D.C. newsrooms. “So I’d like to bring to your attention some key words that have a tendency of tripping us up.”

In an email obtained by National Review Online, van Meek warned the network’s journalists against the use of terms including “terrorist,” “militant,” “Islamist” and “jihad.”

“One person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter,” the Al Jazeera executive wrote.

The word “extremist” was labeled off-limits. “Avoid characterizing people,” van Meek said. “Often their actions do the work for the viewer.”

“Do not use,” van Meek’s said of the term “Islamist.” He described it as “a simplistic label.”

As I mentioned at the time, I was invited to go on their news shows a couple of times but I turned them down. Everyone else is free to go where they like but I simply wasn’t comfortable showing up there. And as to why they failed, maybe they should have considered a different name than “Al Jazeera” to begin with if they wanted to appeal to an American audience. Sure, some might blame their association with Al Gore for their eventual downfall, but since he cashed in to the tune of millions of dollars when he sold them Current TV I suppose he got the last laugh in the end.

Exit question: Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks? We don’t. I’m not even sure where one would watch it if you wanted to, and judging by their ratings I doubt many other people did either.

AlJazeeraAmerica


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Comments

Maybe Propaganda does have a limit……

FlaMurph on January 13, 2016 at 8:04 PM

Well….bye.

CurtZHP on January 13, 2016 at 8:04 PM

The only thing I can think of Al Gore ever doing right was soaking these fools for a cool half billion dollars for, essentially, a number on the cable dial. And now it’s gone.

C’est la vie, suckers! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer lot of Islamist anti-Semites!

xNavigator on January 13, 2016 at 8:07 PM

CAIR needs to go bye bye also.

Defending gang rape as some kind of Muslim game makes people kind of disgusted.

SpongePuppy on January 13, 2016 at 8:07 PM

I’ll miss their programming:

I love Aa’idah
Everybody Loves Kameel
Third Rock from Islamabad
Late Night with Muhtadi Muhammad
Saturday Night Death

libfreesMom on January 13, 2016 at 8:09 PM

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

NWConservative on January 13, 2016 at 8:09 PM

Exit question: Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks?

Yup. AT&T’s U-verse groups it in with Fox, CNN, MSNBC, OAN and a couple more news shows. And, nope. I’ve never watched it.

Fallon on January 13, 2016 at 8:10 PM

Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks?

It’s on my cable system but I don’t watch it. I don’t watch sports either.

Bertram Cabot Jr. on January 13, 2016 at 8:10 PM

Barky is going to be missing out on his $ix-figure “news” “contributor” position at Al Jazeera after the White House.

Glenn Jericho on January 13, 2016 at 8:13 PM

I get -or got- the channel, but only tuned into it 2 or 3 times. None of the experiences watching it gave me the incentive to tune in regularly. The reporting sucked, the anchoring sucked, even the set sucked. It reminded me of the first years of the Home Shopping Network, it was hokey, forced, and comical in that they were trying to appear non partisan, or neutral while falling over leftward.

I wont miss it. Maybe as a replacement they can make a channel about wild animals farting, it’d be more interesting.

Andy__B on January 13, 2016 at 8:15 PM

Dang, where will our home-grown jihadis get their news?

Its a pity that Gore didn’t agree to take a share of the profits in lieu of ash up front.

Remember, he wouldn’t sell to Glenn Beck because Beck was too extreme.

Dolce Far Niente on January 13, 2016 at 8:17 PM

Adios Al Jazeera America. The network closes its door.

Hahahahahahahha! Suck it Islamists.

The article goes on to point out various financial woes the channel ran into and manages a single sentence where they reference “a lawsuit” over charges of sexism and anti-Semitism in the workplace.

An Islamist TV network promoting sexism and anti-Semitism in the workplace….. Nah never./sarc

tom2789 on January 13, 2016 at 8:19 PM

So long, Al Gore-zeera.

22044 on January 13, 2016 at 8:21 PM

Dang, where will our home-grown jihadis get their news?

Its a pity that Gore didn’t agree to take a share of the profits in lieu of ash up front.

Remember, he wouldn’t sell to Glenn Beck because Beck was too extreme.

Dolce Far Niente on January 13, 2016 at 8:17 PM

PMSDNC, of course.

Steve Eggleston on January 13, 2016 at 8:22 PM

I wonder how much the plunge in world oil prices made the luxury of a loss-leader mouthpiece for the Middle Eastern Arab oil states’ interests simply something that no longer could be justified?

If so, it would be just another reason for people on the left who shared many of Al Jazeera’s views to hate fracking.

jon1979 on January 13, 2016 at 8:26 PM

“I blame Climate Change.”

— Algore

ShainS on January 13, 2016 at 8:27 PM

Heartache.

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2016 at 8:28 PM

Move ’em out, head ’em up,
Head ’em up, move ’em on.
Move ’em out, head ’em up:
Rawhide.
Cut ’em out, ride ’em in,
Ride ’em in, cut ’em out,
Cut ’em out, ride ’em in:
Rawhide!

Deadeye on January 13, 2016 at 8:32 PM

The demise of Al Jazeera America and The New Republic in the same week. WOW!

Deadeye on January 13, 2016 at 8:38 PM

Exit question: Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks? We don’t. I’m not even sure where one would watch it if you wanted to, and judging by their ratings I doubt many other people did either.

I’m another ATT U-verse customer. I not only never watch it, but I take great pains to never even allow the guide’s preview picture-in-picture to land on it.

James on January 13, 2016 at 8:39 PM

Strike two for CurrentTV.

unclesmrgol on January 13, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Sure, some might blame their association with Al Gore for their eventual downfall, but since he cashed in to the tune of millions of dollars when he sold them Current TV I suppose he got the last laugh in the end.

You gotta admit, Gore did so well fleecing the morons that he can afford massages in perpetuity.

Misha on January 13, 2016 at 8:43 PM

The demise of Al Jazeera America and The New Republic in the same week. WOW!
Deadeye on January 13, 2016 at 8:38 PM

I knoooow. Just when you’re beginning to think there’s no more good news in the world.

Cleombrotus on January 13, 2016 at 8:46 PM

I thought the failure to rename the channel would be a fatal mistake in America. When I think “Al Jazeera” I think Islamic Propaganda Network.

Maybe they should have gone with, “Al Gorezero.” At least that sounds American.

I’ll close with Don Henley:

We got the bubble-headed bleach-blonde who comes on at five.
She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye.
It’s interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry!

JohnD13 on January 13, 2016 at 8:47 PM

Begone, AJAM. Don’t let the door hit you where you believe Allah split you.

clear ether

eon

eon on January 13, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Maybe Beck can make another offer to buy the channel.

Random Numbers (Brian Epps) on January 13, 2016 at 8:49 PM

It$s one thing to show biased against a political party, it’s another to go after the clean cut quarterback from Denver. By doing this, they exposed themselves as liars and their biased against the GOP would have been exposed, along with anybody who quoted them.

djaymick on January 13, 2016 at 8:54 PM

I do get it on Directv, but it’s not on my favorites list. Qatar is shuttering it because with current oil prices they can’t afford their propaganda arm.

rbj on January 13, 2016 at 8:57 PM

Bon Voyageee!

Fortyback on January 13, 2016 at 8:58 PM

Move ’em out, head ’em up,
Head ’em up, move ’em on.
****
Deadeye on January 13, 2016 at 8:32 PM

Saw this just as I was about to offer, from City Slickers,

“YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw”

RL on January 13, 2016 at 9:02 PM

Floria Family Association may have played a large part in their failure. They’ve been conducting a crusade to take away all the sponsors for Al Jazeera since its inception. I’ve sent hundreds of emails over the last few years through the FFA to advertisers, most of whom ultimately dropped their advertising with Al Jazeera. Many of them bought ads for this as part of a bulk purchase and were not aware of Al Jazeera’s true nature. Others had to be persuaded of the depth of their mistake and the possible financial consequences. There were a few who actually stooped to blocking emails from FFA and kept their ads running. I will never patronize these companies again, ever, even after Al Jazeera goes off the air permanently.

blackgriffin on January 13, 2016 at 9:03 PM

I have Uverse and it is on their list, but have never watched it. You are right the name Al Jazeera is a turnoff.

Right in Ohio on January 13, 2016 at 9:04 PM

Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks?

Try again.

corona79 on January 13, 2016 at 9:04 PM

Exit question: Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks?

Wasn’t sure. Just checked. Channel 47 via Cignal.

Lolo on January 13, 2016 at 9:05 PM

… and for anyone who cares, surely part of the reason is that CCTV (No Jazz, that doesn’t stand for closed circuit television) paid more to get on MHZ Worldview.

corona79 on January 13, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Al Gore.
Al Jazeera.
Al Qaeda.

Hmm…

Exninja on January 13, 2016 at 9:09 PM

Wasn’t sure. Just checked. Channel 47 via Cignal.

Lolo on January 13, 2016 at 9:05 PM

Oops, wrong. Just read one cycle of crawling chyron text. I don’t think this is Al Jazeera America. Though it’s planted right between Fox News and Fox Sports, it looks like some kind of international version.

The good news is that their version of events on Farsi Island jibe just fine with the White House’s. At least we know the talking points are being well circulated.//

Lolo on January 13, 2016 at 9:19 PM

If only they would have hired Keith Olberman.

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Now where will obama get his news?

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Going, Going, Gone……

williamg on January 13, 2016 at 9:28 PM

Yay!

Alana on January 13, 2016 at 9:28 PM

Al Jazeera America, the low-rated cable news network that sought to take on Fox News and CNN, will shut down operations at the end of April,

Wait! I know this one, it’s MSNBC!

Amirite, amirite, amirite???

parke on January 13, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Now where will obama get his news?
HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Why, in tomorrow’s newspapers, of course!

Maddie on January 13, 2016 at 9:35 PM

Jazz Shaw and the horse he rode in on are mighty fine writer/bloggers.

SpongePuppy on January 13, 2016 at 9:36 PM

I guess that leaves Tlaloc only the Cartoon Channel to watch.

F X Muldoon on January 13, 2016 at 9:37 PM

I’m going to miss them like a front tooth. /

Cindy Munford on January 13, 2016 at 9:39 PM

Al Jazeera —isn’t that Arabic for “New York Times”….

HatfieldMcCoy on January 13, 2016 at 9:59 PM

I guess that leaves Tlaloc only the Cartoon Channel to watch.

F X Muldoon on January 13, 2016 at 9:37 PM

wow… nice shot!

HatfieldMcCoy on January 13, 2016 at 10:00 PM

Got the channel in the DC area. Seemed like all of the special programming copied CNN and MSNBC. I don’t understand why these people think that they can compete and win over an audience in an absurdly crowded market that will make a profit let alone sustain them. Fox News is on top for a reason on TV anyways.

mgron on January 13, 2016 at 10:57 PM

I watched Al Jazeera America its first night of programming, but never tuned in again after that. And now I find that it’s no longer carried by my cable system, which seems to carry pretty much everything. (It’s not even available on my system anymore as part of another package that one could pay for.) Not having tuned in, I don’t know when it was dropped.

J.S.K. on January 13, 2016 at 11:25 PM

It’s on channel 347 on Directv. I suffer from low blood pressure and whenever I needed a jolt, I’d take a shot of Al Jazeera and watch the old BP shoot up.

I guess I’ll have to rely on MSNBC for a quick fix of drivel.

Alferd Packer on January 13, 2016 at 11:33 PM

Good riddance muzzies.
Go strap on suicide vests, do a group hug, and go out with a bang.
Your 72 virgin yaks are waiting.

They were about as objective as vegan in a steakhouse.

Bubba Redneck on January 13, 2016 at 11:44 PM

Now where will obama get his news?

HumpBot Salvation on January 13, 2016 at 9:20 PM

Where he always does. Tehran

Bubba Redneck on January 13, 2016 at 11:47 PM

maybe they should have considered a different name than “Al Jazeera”

Shocking I say that Islamic imperialists are arrogant and stupid.

Younggod on January 14, 2016 at 12:42 AM

Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks?

I do. Their news casts really are pretty good from what I’ve seen. Folks complain about propaganda, but name one news network that isn’t.

Sometimes I watch BBC America, but not so much anymore. They tend to glom onto one story and bore you with it. Then there’s their human interest stories, like, how great and up-and-coming various $hitholes in the Third World are.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 14, 2016 at 1:03 AM

I may be misremembering this, but I seem to recall that back when Al Gore sold out to Al Jazeera a substantially large number of customers called to complain and not want the channel on their systems. The cable providers basically said they were stuck with the 5 year contract that Al had signed with them and what remained on it. If memory serves the termination points for those old Al Gore contracts would be about now. Is it likely that AJ just folded rather than have Qatar go through the embarrassment of being kicked off most of the US cable and satellite networks?

patches on January 14, 2016 at 1:30 AM

Do any of you actually get this channel on your local cable networks?

Yeah. Like any cable company serving rural Texas would be foolish enough to even try it. People here are armed and they will use those guns.

trigon on January 14, 2016 at 1:52 AM

The real question is: Will they go out with a bang?

trigon on January 14, 2016 at 1:53 AM

I can’t say I’m sorry to see the news channel go.

RAB on January 14, 2016 at 2:29 AM

Thanks Peyton!

Buckshot Bill on January 14, 2016 at 3:36 AM

Left wing media is like communism: if only we gave one more try, it might work.

Are media companies getting the message yet? Ever notice that conservative talk radio sells, while lefty shows score just above white noise? Notice that Democrat debates are a ratings liability? Does anyone know (or care) how many people watch the SOTU?

All Democratic broadcasts should be on CSPAN where there is no expectation of audience. That way, media companies can get back to business and audiences don’t have to get up to turn off the TV.

virgo on January 14, 2016 at 3:42 AM

Obama was hoping to be a commentator on Al Jazeera after his President gig was over….

albill on January 14, 2016 at 6:10 AM

“Al Jazeera America, the low-rated cable news network that sought to take on Fox News and CNN, . . . ”

MSNBC was hardest hit.

Steve_in_SoCal on January 14, 2016 at 9:04 AM

“Do any of you actually get this channel?”

No. I don’t have a UHF antenna in Deerfield, Michigan.

NoPain on January 14, 2016 at 10:29 AM

I get Al Jazeera, CNN, MSNBC, One America Netwk, and Fox all grouped together. While I watch Fox, I have sampled all the others and found Al Jazeera to be similar to BBC America – left of center reporting.

Because my sample size was so small, I couldn’t tell if all their reporting was same. I didn’t even notice that they didn’t use Islamist, terrorist, etc. Goes to show that even a constant news consumer doesn’t even notice the things that are left out.

mdenis39 on January 14, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Because my sample size was so small, I couldn’t tell if all their reporting was same. I didn’t even notice that they didn’t use Islamist, terrorist, etc. Goes to show that even a constant news consumer doesn’t even notice the things that are left out.

mdenis39 on January 14, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Yes, good point. Simply leaving things out and/or different word choices is indeed a form of propaganda. But again, what news network anywhere in the world does not engage in that?

I used to think that Reuters and the Associated Press was above all that and just reported the raw news…boy, what was I thinking?

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 14, 2016 at 5:38 PM

I initially watched Al Jazerra when it debuted. I thought it was very good. Totally unbiased in my view. They had some memorable stories that taught me a lot about the subject they were covering. About a year or two later they had moved from being unbiased to presenting leftwing slanted news and stories. Shows like Tech Know, about technology, became mouthpieces for the climate change wackos. Their business news became totally leftist in its view points. The regular news they presented was relatively evenhanded. Most of their investigative pieces were very good as was their foreign news. They covered a lot of stuff that all the usual media outlets doesn’t and I liked that. They made a big mistake hiring Ray Suarez who is a dedicated leftist who was on PBS for a long time. Al Velshi is another dedicated leftist who unabashedly presents leftist views. I quit watching it a year or two ago. It would be nice to have an unbiased news outlet. I get tired of the CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox crap. BBC isn’t bad but their news isn’t our news.

It is sad they kept the Al Jazzera name. They underestimated the American people’s dislike of all things Arab. Most people who bash it, bash it based on its name. Those types never have even watched the station. It is totally ignorant to bash something you have never seen. Isn’t that pure bigotry?

MadJayhawk on January 14, 2016 at 8:01 PM