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January 3, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Within hours of learning that Al Jazeera had acquired Current TV, Time Warner Cable pulled the plug on the channel, replacing it with a message reading “This channel is no longer available.” The cable company declined to offer an explanation for its action, stating only that “our agreement with Current will be terminated and we will no longer be carrying the channel.” While the Qatar-based channel received much praise in the West for its coverage of the Arab Spring, its U.S. critics have accused it of providing a soap box for Muslim extremists, and until now, it has found few cable operators willing to carry it. The New York Times, which first reported the deal, said that the channel, to be renamed Al-Jazeera America (a separate entity from Al-Jaeera English), will be carried by other major cable providers, including Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, as well as the two satellite distributors, DirecTV and DISH. The Wall Street Journal reported that conservative commentator Glenn Beck had also attempted to acquire Current but was told that “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view,” according to a person familiar with the negotiations.