Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to be doing a bit of PR on the side, touting the Al Jazeera TV channel as providing “real news” despite long-time efforts of CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox News, Voice of America (VOA) and BBC, observes Grumpy Editor.
While her remarks didn’t get much coverage in U.S. print and broadcast media yesterday, she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that the U.S. is losing the “information war” in the world to such “quality” channels as Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera, an international news network based in Doha, Qatar, launched Al Jazeera English, on Nov. 15, 2006, which now has broadcast centers in Doha, London and Washington, D.C.
"Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it's real news," the Secretary of State declared.
"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, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners."
The Secretary of State overlooked Voice of America which started broadcasting internationally in 1942 and now transmits about 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming weekly to an estimated worldwide audience of 123 million people --- sans commercials.
Britain’s BBC also broadcasts worldwide without commercials.
The U.S. has dropped the ball since the Cold War when VOA and other U.S. broadcasts were influential, Clinton said, adding, “We have not kept up with the times.”