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IUK: Fisk - A bold and original TV station that America wants to censor
By Robert Fisk
11/10/2001 2:41 pm Thu
[Amerika begitu gerun dengan stesen TV Al Jazeera - mana tidaknya
ia berjaya mencelik mata dunia Arab dan membongkar serta mengupas
tembelang Amerika. Ternyata Amerika telah teraib oleh siarannya
yang bebas dan terbuka sehingga mahu menapisnya pula. Padahal Amerika
melaungkan perlunya kebebasan bersuara.
'Tidak hairanlah AS mahu ditapis siaran Al-Jazeera. Ia adalah satu
fenomena dunia Arab yang agak bebas serta inisiatif yang berani dalam
dunia kewartawanan yang selama ini dijulang Amerika - kini kebebasannya
itu dirasakan (terlalu menggugat dan) terlalu bebas pula' - Fisk
A bold and original TV station that
America wants to censor
War against terrorism: Al-Jazeera
By Robert Fisk
11 October 2001
The White House urged the major American television networks to
cut back on the screening of statements by Osama bin Laden and
his spokesmen on Wednesday, warning they could contain secret
orders to his followers in the US.
The Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said intelligence analysts
were scrutinising the videotaped appearances of Mr bin Laden on
Sunday, shortly after the air strikes against Afghanistan began,
and of the Al-Qa'ida spokesman, Sulemain Abu Gheit, who on
Tuesday praised the 11 September attacks and warned that others
would follow. The tapes could contain "some kind of message",
General Powell said.
The White House made its appeal after Qatar's Al Jazeera channel
aired the pre-recorded statements by Mr bin Laden and Mr Abu
Gheit, which in turn were picked up by the US networks. The
request was issued to senior executives of the four main broadcast
networks and CNN. Afterwards, the five said they would examine
incoming feeds of such statements from Al-Jazeera and not air
"At best, Osama bin Laden's message is propaganda, calling on
people to kill Americans. At worst, he could be issuing orders to
his followers to initiate such attacks," Ari Fleischer, the White
House spokesman, said
The US embassy in Doha has already filed a formal diplomatic
complaint about Al-Jazeera with the tiny Qatari state which funds
It is no wonder the US wants to censor Al-Jazeera. It is a
phenomenon in the Arab world, a comparatively free, bold
initiative in journalism that was supported by the Americans until
it became rather too free.
With more than 35 offices around the world including Kabul the
channel's 350-strong staff have had reporters in the Pentagon,
northern Afghanistan (with the so-called Northern Alliance) and
Gaza. It was the first channel to show Palestinians firing mortars at
Israeli settlements and scooped Iraqi television with a speech by
Saddam Hussein inviting Arabs to overthrow their pro-Western
The channel has its critics inside and outside the station. One
member of staff used to fear that Al-Jazeera was "run by the CIA"
an idea quickly dismissed now that the Americans want to muzzle
it. Others thought it lacked respect for authority.
Alas for the Americans, Israel and local Arab despots, Al-Jazeera
is now the best-selling, highest-rated channel in the Middle East.
And when it comes to footage of the American bombing of Kabul,
whose material does CNN show? Al Jazeera's, of course.