Revolution is Televised; Shame You Can’t Tune In

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(Black America Web) — Contrary to musician-poet Gil Scott-Heron’s legendary song, the revolution is indeed being televised. It’s just that most Americans aren’t seeing it.  Al Jazeera, through its aggressive, consistent, and often riveting on-the-ground coverage of the uprisings in Libya, Egypt, and other Middle East countries has become must-see TV for the Obama White House and other halls of power in Washington.  The Qatari-government sponsored pan-Arab network, often blasted by the Bush administration and others in Washington as a tool for Osama bin Laden and other Muslim terrorists, has suddenly become the toast of the town.  No tougher television critic than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently gave the Al Jazeera a rhetorical Siskel & Ebert two thumbs up during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, saying the network is informative and is influential in shaping opinion in the Arab and Muslim world.  “Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,” she told the committee. “You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which…is not particularly informative to us let alone foreigners.”

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