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AL-JAZEERA, COMCAST OPEN TALKS

February 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In the wake of overwhelmingly positive critical and public reaction to its coverage of the upheaval in the Middle East, available in the U.S. via the Internet, al-Jazeera English has begun negotiating with Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, hoping finally to land an outlet on its system. In an interview with Reuters, al-Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey indicated that the talks with Comcast represent an opening wedge in the Qatar-based network’s efforts to find acceptance among U.S. cable companies who have shunned it after leaders in the Bush administration complained that it was a propaganda outlet for anti-Americanism in general and al-Qaeda in particular. In recent weeks, it has been denounced by leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya as pro-American and pro-Israel. Only today (Wednesday) the New-York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reported that al-Jazeera reporter Atef al-Atash had disappeared after filing a report from strife-torn Libya’s second-largest city, Benghazi.