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Monday, January 31, 2011

News from the Middle East, not for US

Americans looking for expert inside views on the Egyptian crisis have a problem - their cable networks do not carry Al Jazeera, which is so influential and critical that Mubarak's thugs have done everything they can to remove it from broadcasting. If they are very lucky, they might find BBC America instead, but it is a very poor second best. The most watched US news channel Fox News has focussed on Israel's perilous ally Mubarak, the risk of 'Al Qaeda' taking over Egypt (the Muslim Brotherhood is a sworn opponent of Al Qaeda methods), and Christians and their churches being attacked (as if Mubarak was kindly to the Coptic minority).
That is why it has been so important that Americans could access the live stream of Al-Jazeera on the web - their website traffic has increased 2500% in the last week, 60% of that from the US. Hopefully no US cable providers are throttling that back in regions with large Muslim populations who might overload the network trying to see the revolution unfold.
Its called access to knowledge. Its why corporations can't be trusted to carry out their democratic functions without some oversight.

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