Al Jazeera may be out reporting American news organisations according to Hillary Clinton (among many others, including us) but according to Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, it’s unlikely they will be picked up by a U.S. cable network.From the Hollywood Reporter:
And while Al Jazeera has received public support in high places, it’s courting controversy-averse U.S. cable and satellite carriers as the country is mired in a public debate about Islam and radicalization. In December, Houston radio station KPFT drew protests from the community when it began airing an AJE-produced news hour. “The anti-Muslim, anti-Arab hysteria is beyond comprehension,” says Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Muslim advocacy group. “It’s distorting our national dialogue. It’s distorting our nation’s interests and image around the world. But it seems to be gaining traction. So of course [companies] want to avoid the hassles of having a bunch of people e-mail them and call them and protest outside their building.”
One imagines once someone takes the risk (calling Current TV?) and shows there is money to be made — and there is definitely money to be made — these “hassles” will dissipate.
Meanwhile in the same article television news analyst Andrew Tyndall suggests that it may not even be worth AJE’s time to get on U.S. cable: “Now the irony is that the great heyday of making money off a cable news operation is over.”
Presumably Tyndall is referring to the fact cable numbers went down in 2010 across the board. Though to extrapolate from to the conclusion there is no money to be made in calbe anymore feels a bit extreme.
Fear not, there is still a LOT of money to be made on cable. And considering the ratings CNN has seen during the recent Japan crisis, and the Egypt crisis, and to a lesser degree the Giffords shooting, there is an appetite out there for real news…CNN is just the closest thing we have to real news at the moment.
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