While not as heavily debated as it was during the invasion of Iraq, the name Al Jazeera still carries plenty of unsavory associations in the United States. The international news network, coming soon to America, aims to change all that.
Arab-language Al Jazeera claims to be an objective and balanced voice from the Middle East, but is often viewed in the United States as the conduit du jour for terrorists who want to spread their message or issue threats. Most communiqués from Al Qaeda's fugitive leaders, principal among them Usama bin Laden, are usually received by Al Jazeera first. Read more.
Backers of the English-language offshoot of controversial Arabic news network Al Jazeera say it could be good for America — What do YOU think?
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and jump into the debate!
Here's what FOX Fans are saying:
” We have enough anti-America propaganda generated by 'blame America first' Americans and the U.S. Senate. We don't need foreign propaganda added to that.” Harry
” I can't believe anyone would be against this. It is always a plus to have a point of view shown that is opposite of yours. Are FOX Fans so weak in their beliefs that they can't hear another point of view? I'm sure what they are thinking goes along the lines of ‘I'm certainly smart enough to hold on to my beliefs, but the rest of the country will fall for the rhetoric.’ Pure arrogance.” Tom (Sarasota, FL)
” I seriously doubt that Al Jazeera is any more anti-American than the mainstream media, or in fact than our own U.S. Senate. If someone is going to spew anti-American hatred, I would just as soon have it be from a source that we already knew we couldn't trust. I say welcome them in, our politicians are going to turn the place over to the illegal aliens anyway.” Buck (Oregon)
” I am outraged by this! We already have propaganda pumped out by the three major networks. Why is the Bush administration allowing another one?” Jay (Plano, TX)
”I cannot believe Al Jazeera is being allowed to come to America. We are at war and they are our enemy just as the terrorists are. They have no right to be here and don't mention any freedom-of-speech bologna. Please tell me this is a very bad joke.” — Bob (Camden, NC)
"We are already bombarded with enough anti-American propaganda in our own mainstream media, so we don't need to add to the official voice of the terrorists. What we do need is a loud and clear global voice that speaks for what remains of decent America.” — Carter (Arlington, VA)
”This is a free country. What is there to debate? There are two sides to every story and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. Your opinion becomes more valid with every source of information that you use. I understand how people can be outraged by some of the propaganda that Al Jazeera has spun, but we do have a Bill of Rights in this country. You can choose what you believe.” — Phil (San Diego, CA)
”I don’t think we need to have more media out there promoting terrorists.” — Jill
”Thankfully the U.S. has more than one news agency to keep us informed. We still have the ability, and the right, to change the station or use the on/off switch.” — Cindy (Simsboro, LA)
”What has Al Jazeera done for America except to paint it as the devil and foment anti-Americanism in the Middle East? Al Jazeera is not even truthful about its coverage of the Afghan/Iraq wars. Why give it a chance to put America in a bad light and foment anti-Americanism some more?” — Jade (Arizona)
”I really believe that we do not need another anti-American media source in the U.S. Who would trust them anyway?” — Alla
”On the one hand, it would communicate to other Muslims exactly what we are all afraid of — sending coded messages to cells in the U.S. On the other hand, at least we would be more privy to what is being said. It's a tough call and, frankly, I'd like to see them all deported and no Al Jazeera anywhere in the world.” — Analee (Metaline, WA)
”I have been reading the English version news on the web of Al Jazeera for the past two years. I have noticed that there is not much difference between them and our very own NY Times or any other media source bent on demeaning, defiling, or just dragging down our country. In fact, Al Jazeera features many liberal publications or anti-American stories, or organizations just like our mainstream media. The only difference is one can be identified as providing aid and comfort to the enemy and the other is speaking for the enemy.” — Jeffrey
”I do not think Al Jazeera International would be good for America. In fact, they do not deserve the privilege of broadcasting in America; they provide a one-sided view of the issues of the day. That side portrayed is never the American side. They are bought and paid for by radical Islamists. They just want to come to America to buff-up their poor image in the West.” — Ronald (Boca Raton, FL)
”The Al Jazeera network will be good for the academics and other elements of our population who are eager to hear any propaganda that denigrates the U.S. I wonder how they will finance the American branch without violating the foreign ownership rules.” — Cullom (Albuquerque, NM)
”It's about time this happened. We need to see these types of channels for ourselves and not simply told what they do or produce. Why are we so afraid of hearing what they have to say? If it’s crap, then an intelligent person will be able to recognize this fact and change the channel. I thought that was what we are all about in this country, the freedom to make choices. “ — Steven