Vermont City Split over Al Jazeera on Cable
We are truly IDIOTS if we continue to contribute to our own downfall in this country!! Why would we want to televise anti-American crap??? This really makes me sick. The terrorists must be laughing their heads off at our stupidity. We’re doing their work for them. Aaaagggghhhhhh!!! It’s making me crazy!
Vermont city split over Al Jazeera on cable
Pete Chagnon – OneNewsNow – 6/25/2008 6:00:00 AM
A New England mayor has stopped one of his city’s cable providers from dropping Al Jazeera English, a 24-hour English version of the controversial Arabic-language news network.
Burlington Telecom (BT) provides cable television, telephone, and Internet service to Vermont’s largest city. The company is run by the city and receives taxpayer funds for part of its operations.
Like most cable providers, Burlington Telecom offers programming such as The Weather Channel, C-SPAN, ESPN, and TV Land. In 2006, BT decided to add to its standard tier the English version of Al Jazeera, a network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. But this spring, under a new director, BT decided to drop Al Jazeera English due to business reasons. However, after receiving some outcry over the decision, Burlington’s Mayor Bob Kiss decided to halt the director’s decision pending a public discussion of the issue.
Jamie Zeppernick is executive director of the Defenders Council of Vermont, which protested the mayor’s action and is soliciting signatures to an online petition conveying that message. He argues Mayor Kiss has no business second-guessing Burlington Telecom’s director. “So we’re very, very concerned about that,” says Zeppernick. “We’re being forced to pay for this whether we like it or not.”
Many Burlington residents are upset that the city cable provider would carry Al Jazeera English because they see the network as being anti-American. But Zeppernick says those opponents have been labeled racists.
“There have been quite a number of calls saying that the people who do not want Al Jazeera on the air are anti-Islamic [or] Islam-a-phobic,” he states. “So there’s been quite a large and loud clamor among those people.”
Zeppernick remarks that if proponents of Al Jazeera English really wish to watch the network, they can do so on the Internet or through a satellite provider — but not with public funds.
The Al Jazeera network gained notoriety in America by broadcasting post-9/11 videos of Osama bin Laden and other terrorist leaders. The parent network is also considered by many U.S. officials to display an anti-American bias in its news coverage.