What the hell just happened to Current TV? Al-Jazeera, a TV news network based out of Qatar, an oil-rich country located in the Middle-East, bought Current TV network for $500 million. Co-founder of the network, former Vice-President Al Gore, reportedly earned $100 million in the deal. Over the past year, Current has staked out its own place in the news media by displaying a hard left-wing approach to politics. It’s acquisition of The Young Turks, Joy Beyhar and the Stephanie Miller Show, solidified it as a powerful force in political discussion during the election of 2012. Now their fate is all of a sudden, much more sketchy. Time Warner Cable has already dropped the network because of their affiliation with Al-Jazeera.
Al-Jazeera came to prominence during the G.W. Bush’s Iraq War, as the voice of opposition for the U.S. media. For right-wing conservatives, the Arab-world centered coverage, is the focal point for deep animosity. Like BBC America and Russia Today America (RT America), Al-Jazeera has been trying to gain a U.S. market. Now with the Current TV deal, that will all be possible. Their brand of international news coverage diametrically opposes the fact-free spin of U.S. media and ultimately poses a serious threat to their market share. In the future, that will be the result. American audiences will gradually begin to consume more sources of news media not founded in the United States. Already BBC and RT’s, America outlets have slowly caught on through their deals with Comcast TV and via the internet for RT.
Right now, there will be huge resistance and a bit of a stain on anyone associated with Al-Jazeera, however. Current TV hosts, Gavin Newsome and former Governor Jennifer Granholm, both politicians with possible aspirations for political offices in the future, immediately jumped ship, as soon as the news was made public. They both released statements saying they would no longer be presenting shows on the station. A caller on Stephanie Miller’s show Thursday morning, left her speechless about the news. She could inform her listeners no more than by saying, “We don’t know anything yet.” Obviously,they all realize the detriment to their careers having worked for Al-Jazeera could play on their resume. At the same time, they must realize that a check is a check sometimes and they would have taken the $100 million, if they were in Al Gore’s shoes.
What to do now is the question. Can shows like Stephanie Miller and TYT, risk their political future, fraternizing with the so-called foreign press? Maybe people will begin to realize that all news stations are multi-national corporations, which have their own share of foreign investment. After all, Fox News owner, Rupert Murdoch is not a U.S. citizen either.
Fox itself has Middle-Eastern investment too. The hypocritical stance, of their conservative hosts, who have already started to castigate Al Gore’s move, despite their own situation, will be a relentless assault. Can TYT and Stephanie Miller ride it out though? Conventional wisdom says they won’t. But where do they go from here, back to the internet?