It took over four years from the creation of the Al Jazeera Network in Candan for it to clear all the hurdles to begin broadcasting here. We've been very fortunate to get a different perspective, something which is reflect directly in our diversity and our understanding of the rest of the world. Something that has been missing in U.S.
But not for long. Irrespective of the Al Gore/Glenn Beck fiasco.
What’s important is that Al Jazeera has found a way into an estimated 40 million American homes through the purchase of Gore's mismanaged channel, and that is a good thing – a very good thing.
Al-Jazeera, the Pan-Arab news channel that struggled to win space on American cable television, has acquired Current TV, boosting its reach nearly ninefold to about 40 million homes.
With a focus on U.S. news, it plans to rebrand the left-leaning news network that co-founder Al Gore couldn't make relevant.
The former vice president confirmed the sale Wednesday, saying in a statement that Al-Jazeera shared Current TV's mission "to give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling."
The acquisition lifts Al-Jazeera's reach beyond a few large U.S. metropolitan areas, including New York and Washington, where about 4.7 million homes can now watch Al-Jazeera English.
CNN's Martinze sums it up nicely:
"My guess is that when people hear about Al Jazeera, they will not be paying attention to the news quality or correspondents," said media analyst Stuart Fischoff, a retired professor at California State University at Los Angeles.
"They will just hear Qatar, and say it's an Arab country and it's full of terrorists and ... therefore bias in the news," he said. The Qatari government owns Al Jazeera.
Others, however, may find any past political slants overshadowed by a newscast striving toward U.S. standards. Viewers may be curious just to hear Al Jazeera America, which will have access to millions of U.S. homes now that the traditional Arabic-language network this week acquired Current TV, once owned by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and others.
"I think it's a very, very well-done news network," said media expert and former White House correspondent Porter Bibb of Mediatech Capital Partners in New York, where he listens to a related network, Al Jazeera English, now available in a tiny fraction of U.S. markets. Al Jazeera English also is live-streamed at no cost online and provides insight into what the bigger, new Al Jazeera America will look like, he said.