Al Jazeera English is banned by almost every cable company in the US. But now you can change that.
The decision by many broadcasters is not based on financial considerations, it is purely political. It can be seen almost anywhere on the planet – except in the home of global democracy.
The American fear all comes down to the pictures AJE broadcasts. They were the only English-language network in Gaza during the January war. 130 million people around the world saw these images – but only a handful in the States did.
There has been little pressure from American viewers to get access to AJE. In fact, some residents in the lucky town of Burlington – one of the few areas to have AJE – campaigned to get the channel taken off their screens.
The amazing thing is, most of these people are judging the network without even watching it. And even if viewers were so disgusted by what they saw – you know, things like Ehud Olmert being interviewed live, or Bush press conferences being broadcast – they could just switch the channel. But no, they want to deny all Americans their constitutional right.
Banning AJE is worse than McCarthyism. Al Jazeera reporters and cameramen have been hunted, jailed and tortured – all without trial – by America. The same America which was appalled to see their beauty queen Roxana Saberi charged and imprisoned in Iran. At least she had the pretense of due process. And was released unharmed a few weeks later.
It is time to free Al Jazeera. It is time to see what all the fuss is about. And then it will be time to make up your own mind.
You can make the difference. If you live in the US, and you want to get AJE, do something about it. They have set up a website which will hassle cable providers into putting AJE on to your screens. Click here, and tell the world – I WANT AL JAZEERA.
In the meantime, watch online.