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Ed Driscoll

Lateral Move

January 2nd, 2013 - 2:37 pm

“Al Jazeera is putting the final touches on a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore and his business partners seven years ago,” the New York Times claims:

If the deal is completed, Current will provide the pan-Arab news giant with something it has sought for years: a pathway into American living rooms. Current is available in about 60 million of the 100 million homes in the United States with cable or satellite service.

Rather than simply use Current to distribute its English-language channel, called Al Jazeera English and based in Doha, Qatar, Al Jazeera will create a new channel based in New York, according to people with knowledge of the deal negotiations. The channel may be called Al Jazeera America. Roughly 60 percent of the programming will be produced in the United States, while the remaining 40 percent will come from Al Jazeera English.

Al Jazeera may absorb some Current TV staff members, according to the people, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. But Current’s schedule of shows will most likely be dissolved in the spring.

The plan will bring Al Jazeera, which is financed by the government of Qatar, into closer competition with CNN and other news channels in the United States.

“But-but-but, wherever will failed and disgraced Democrat governors go to find work?”, Breitbart News quips.

I suspect they’d certainly feel at home there, as England’s David Frost did, when he made his own lateral move, leaving the BBC for Al Jazeera back in 2005.

Similarly, this headline at Free Republic from April could be remarkably prescient: “Keith Olbermann: Machine Gun for Hire (Next stop: Al Jazeera?)”

Not surprisingly, Twitter is having lots of fun with this news, including hashtags such as “#CurrentAlJazeeraShowPitches” and comments such as this:

 Update: “I really don’t like the idea of an extremist propaganda outlet that seeks the destruction of America airing on U.S. cable. Fortunately, sounds like Al Jazeera’s about to get rid of it,” Allahpundit deadpans.

More: Done deal? “AP Says It’s Official: Muslim Network Devours ManBearPig.”

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