Brent Bozell's column on Al-Jazeera English demonstrated a real affinity for the network in the liberal media elite. One CNN story by Frank Sesno noted "The reviews so far are mostly kind. The New York Times says the new network 'points to where East and West actually meet.' USA Today writes, 'in a globalized world, the broader the conversation and greater the competition for credibility, the better.' But the edition of the talk show "Inside Washington" Brent used shows not merely a tolerance, but an outraged hunger for an Arab-propaganda channel. They want it like the old MTV ads with rock stars saying "I want my MTV!" Here's a look at the transcript from the November 19 program:
Gordon Peterson, host: "Al-Jazeera English is on the air, but is not on the air here."
Sue Phillips, Al-Jazeera English (taped): "We adhere to Western broadcast standards. However, we will be very bold in our reporting. We will, of course, be impartial and accurate and objective as we can, but sometimes we will be controversial where it is necessary."
Colbert King, Washington Post columnist: "I don't know why not. Actually, I'd like to see them. I think they ought to be there. I don't like to see anything ruled out. I'd put them on the air. I think it's kind of crazy that they don't get a spot on cable."
Nina Totenberg, National Public Radio: "Nobody will carry them. They carry three or four shopping networks. You can buy diamonds and fake diamonds. They carry every kind of deviant sex on the face of the earth. They carry every old TV --"
King, joking about the deviant sex: "They do? What hour?"
Mark Shields, PBS NewsHour: "What channel?"
Totenberg: "They carry every old cop series from Mannix to Cannon, but they won't carry this. That's just crazy."
Peterson: "Don't the cable systems believe in the free press?"
Shields: "Obviously not. They're scared stiff. They're scared of being boycotted, picketed, and everything else. Listen, if we believe in the full, free flow of ideas, let it out there."
Krauthammer: "Why do we need Al-Jazeera? We've got NPR and CNN if we want to hear that kind of news."
Here the official transcript says "(Groaning, cross talk.)"
Krauthammer continued: "I have no objection to having it shown. I justthink that what it specializes in is Osama videos and in the end they get shown anyways. I'm not sure how much is going to add to our discourse."
Totenberg: "I actually want to see it. I want to know what it is I'm dealing with."
Krauthammer: "Do you read the Arabic press in translation? Are you really that interested?"
Totenberg: "No, it'd be a lot easier to turn on the TV."