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Exclusive: Al Jazeera English’s online US broadcast to end with the launch of Al Jazeera America

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Al Jazeera America

Al Jazeera America

Staff members of Al Jazeera have informed me that as soon as Al Jazeera America (AJAM) launches on August 20, American viewers will be unable to access the online livestream of Al Jazeera English (AJE). Because of restrictions imposed by cable providers, AJAM and AJE will both be unavailable to online viewers in the United States.

When Al Jazeera announced its purchase of Current TV in January, the network said it would broadcast sixty percent of its content from the US, and forty percent from its international AJE affiliate. All that changed in May, when the network decided that all of AJAM’s content would originate from the United States.

As a result of the move, the thousands of American news consumers who have turned to AJE for an alternative to the mind-numbing, sensationalistic content familiar to CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC will soon have to obtain a VPN proxy to watch its broadcasts anywhere outside the extremely limited area where it is currently available on cable, like in Washington DC and Los Angeles.

To make matters worse, because Time Warner dropped Current-TV upon Al Jazeera’s purchase of the network, the nearly 12 million homes that rely on the company for cable will be unable to access AJAM or AJE.

Al Jazeera sources have told me that the impending end of AJE’s free online broadcast in the United States has added to the wave of internal dissent provoked by the launch of AJAM. Among hardcore American news consumers hungry for adversarial reporting from around the globe, this development is not very likely to inspire much confidence either.

Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.

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22 Responses

  1. just on August 1, 2013, 9:56 pm

    The dumbing down of America continues apace…..

    Thanks, Max.

  2. Justpassingby on August 2, 2013, 2:32 am

    Oh the US gov. wont accept AJE b.c its “biased” against US and Israel so they start a new channel?

  3. Taxi on August 2, 2013, 2:53 am

    Why would anyone care for AJE anyway? Unless of course they’re on their payroll.

    If you already have access to the decrepit CNN, you’re pretty much getting the AJE editorials anyway. No difference between CNN propaganda or AJE propaganda.

    This article is a waste of MW space.

  4. Qualtrough on August 2, 2013, 2:58 am

    Aljazeera English today is nothing like the way it was a few years back. The constraints imposed by the owners in reporting on Libya, Syria, Egypt, etc. are very evident nowadays. With the US launch things can only get worse. I used to watch it all the time a few years back on satellite, but stopped after it became very apparent they were not reporting, but cheerleading events in Libya. I tuned in the other night to see a featured guest drone on for the entire segment about what a traitor Bradley Manning was, with nobody on to rebut or offer a countering view. I would have thought I was watching Fox except for the logo that told me otherwise and the fact I can’t get Fox on my dish. Be prepared to be disappointed.

  5. MRW on August 2, 2013, 3:03 am

    Max, do you know if Canada will broadcast AJE? Easier to stabilize by VPN.

  6. Hostage on August 2, 2013, 3:40 am

    As a result of the move, the thousands of American news consumers who have turned to AJE for an alternative to the mind-numbing, sensationalistic content familiar to CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC will soon have to obtain a VPN proxy to watch its broadcasts anywhere outside the extremely limited area where it is currently available on cable, like in Washington DC and Los Angeles.

    Nope, the content providers had already driven me to do that a long time ago in order to avoid the months of delays waiting for BBC, ITV, Showcase, & etc. programming to arrive here in the USA.

  7. Justpassingby on August 2, 2013, 5:18 am

    Oh AJE is too biased (against US and Israel) so they have to start a AJA(merica)?

  8. Dan Crowther on August 2, 2013, 7:16 am

    And I thought the David Schuster hire was terrible. Too bad, man. But hey, for all those looking for diversity in news programming, there will be a new station on very soon, it’s run by some really adversarial journalists, their work has been vital in overthrowing governments all over the world for over half a century: State Department News.

    • Antidote on August 2, 2013, 8:08 am

      “their work has been vital in overthrowing governments all over the world for over half a century”

      correction: for over a century

      Clinton apologized for the overthrow of the monarchy in Hawaii about a century later's_100_years_of_overthrow

      • Antidote on August 2, 2013, 9:32 am

        oops, I forgot the overthrow of the British colonial government (monarchy) during the War of Independence, not to mention the covert and overt actions against the governments (democracies) of various First Nations/Native Americans

      • Chu on August 2, 2013, 1:33 pm

        The book, The Imperial Cruise, by James Bradley details how Theodore Roosevelt wanted to control all of the far east. Colonial Philippines was the worst example of betrayal of early US imperialists. The US helped them be free of the Spanish, only to learn that they would be recolonized by the ones who helped them free from the Spanish.

    • Walid on August 2, 2013, 9:40 am

      “there will be a new station on very soon, it’s run by some really adversarial journalists, their work has been vital in overthrowing governments all over the world for over half a century: State Department News.”

      Dan, other than the new Jazeera that you are referring to, it’s already out and operating since 2004 under the authority and supervision of the State Department but it will never succeed in overthrowing anything; it’s called “al-Hurra-TV”, which means the “free-one” as in “freedom” and it satellite-broadcasts to the Arab World.

      Al-Hurra was opened by the state department in 2004 to have an American voice airing the American point of view to counter the bad press America was getting out of Al-Jazeera and al-Arabia after the invasion of Iraq. It’s a total flop having cost the American taxpayers over $200 million since its inception, especially in light of attracting less than 5% of the overall Arabic audiences. In between the subliminal messages it keeps sending out, its programming is mostly recycled PBS educational programs such as the proper use of fertilizers in farming and so on. It also has Martha Stewart cooking shows from 20 years ago but dubbed in Arabic.

      Ironically, Secretary Hillary Clinton once remarked that the US should have a voice among the Arabs such as al-Jazeera. She did not appear aware that her department was funding al-Hurra or Radio Free Europe (since the cold war) and Radio Liberty.

      Even more ironic, is how (after Libya etc) Jazeera is now one of the good guys.

  9. amigo on August 2, 2013, 7:22 am

    Fortunately, I get AJE for free through a free to air system here in Ireland.

    I wonder how long AJ will stay signed up for this.I would sure miss not being able to get a different perspective although European news is far more balanced than the one sided propaganda Americans are fed on a daily basis.Some of it I found puke inducing during my years there.And imagine they pay for that slop.

  10. tidings on August 2, 2013, 10:26 am

    Why is this an “exclusive?” It’s been known for at least two months.

  11. Chu on August 2, 2013, 10:34 am

    We may as well have state media tell us what to think, it would be so much easier – less headaches you know…

    So the cable providers are the ones who are creating the restrictions? I don’t understand how MSNBC can air normal video programming and provide clips of pertinent new videos online. AJAM can’t follow this format?
    If I were AJAM, I would move in and get settled, and then file suit against TWC.

    Probably providing an alternate platform of thought to MSNBC and FOX may cause the masses to realize the trap that they are in. AJAM would disturb the current harmonic groupthink that the masses are under, and that is a clear threat to the fourth establishment.

    • Chu on August 2, 2013, 10:56 am

      from NYTimes:

      ‘Acquiring Current TV gave it a new way into the country and many expected Al Jazeera America to be a glorified simulcast of its existing English-language channel, one that would give Americans more access to a world news perspective.

      But cable operators objected to that idea, saying in essence that they had repeatedly chosen not to carry the existing channel, so Al Jazeera couldn’t sneak it onto their cable lineups through Current, according to several Al Jazeera America employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in an effort to speak freely about internal matters. ‘

  12. calm on August 2, 2013, 11:52 am

    As the economy continues to crumble, access to any media source outside the U.S./NATO alliance will be blocked.

    Not only has the IranTV channel been blocked on satelites, but YouTube has shut down its channel too.

    Everytime you read a story about “Fear and Terrorism” …. the “Fear” is with the Upper Class and every attempt to save them from being strung up on lamp posts.

    The Ruling Class have been planning for the oncoming economic collapse since at least 1980. Free Trade was introduced to allow the Rich Folks to move their assets and wealth offshore and out of reach to anyone who may wish to sue in lieu of broken promises made to the Working Class since the end of World War II.

    The U.S. Capitalists decided to abandon the North American Continent in 1980 because they recognized that 75 million Americans (10 thousand new applicants each and every day) were gonna be lining up to collect on the promise of 20 thousand bucks each as per Social Security and corporate pensions alone and the cookie jar is empty.

    When reviewing Edward Snowden’s descriptions of NSA expansive surveillance methods, it stuns me that no one within mainstream media have spoken about this program being implemented as a method of control and as a means of gathering evidence to use in courtrooms as protesters are charged with civil unrest. All information will be used to show a “Pattern” and will be used to track down everyone associated with the arrested protester in an attempt to entice friends and associates of the accused protester to become an informant and to testify against the protester in court.

    Every step ….. every court appearance over the past 10 years is not so much to implement justice but to create legal precedents and in preparation for thousands of protesters being arrested as the economy continues to crumble.


  13. jahan on August 2, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Hopefully Al Jazerra continues on the satellite. No cost, no commercials. Its documentary on Jaffa, blew me away. The channel is a bit slanted, but all in all, it’s what I watch.

  14. PilgrimSoul on August 2, 2013, 2:49 pm

    Exactly who are these “cable operators” and which organizations are behind them? No single group of people should have veto power over the free dissemination of information, in America or anywhere else. I would like to see more investigative journalists prying into the exact manner in which these “cable operators” have been given such power over what we see and hear. Something isn’t right here.

    I’m still reeling over the way a clear political line has been imposed on the very smart young people at MSNBC. They remain a good source for domestic news from a progressive point of view, but clearly it has been decided that the most important national security issues of our time cannot be examined from a liberal, left or even remotely libertarian point of view. That’s a catastrophe, since it is precisely the national security establishment that is the deep state in America.

    And now this news about AJAM. There have been several intimations that something like this has been in the works, but this kind of capitulation would be devastating.

    MSNBC ratings last month are down, but their execs seem blissfully aware of why it happened. (AJAM, take note.) The reason, quite simply, is that MSNBC tried to copy CNN’s crime coverage, and failed miserably; and because of the MSNBC commentators’ disgraceful attacks on Edward Snowden. The MSNBC crew didn’t even wait until Snowden was completely down before they started kicking him…and the reasons they gave sounded very much like a political line that had been rehearsed and shaped with great care. It will be a long time before I forget how stomach-turning it was to watch Lawrence O’Donnell interrogating Snowden’s former girlfriend on Snowden’s narcissism and general ill-repute. (When the deep state needs a cop, they will always turn to an insecure progressive.) It hurt all the more because O’Donnell is one of the few people on network TV who will admit that he’s a “European-style socialist.”

    Again: I want to know who these “cable operators” are, how they exercise their power, their motive for doing so, and why they are able to decide what Americans watch. It would be better to get the story out sooner rather than later, while it can still be given a nuanced presentation, and while journalists are still willing to search for the organizational presence behind the operators involved–and you can be sure there is such an organizational presence. Max, are you available for such an assignment?

  15. Daniel Rich on August 2, 2013, 7:39 pm

    Ahhh, ya, Qatar, that flickering beacon of freedom and justice for all. I had high hopes once [with regard to this BBC steered project, AlJazeera], but after they yanked a cartoon the moment W got pissed off by it, I knew I had to be realistic and keep my usual distance.

    “Back in 2003, just after Mr Khanfar was appointed, I reported that Al Jazeera agreed to pull two cartoons from its Arabic- and English-language websites that had been deemed “inflammatory” by US officials. One was of young Latino men shown going through an immigration tunnel to emerge from the other side ready to leave for military service in Iraq. The other was of the Twin Towers imploding, and two giant fuel pumps rising to replace them.” Source

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