U.S. and France Agree: Turn Off That Dang TV


They hate us for our freedoms, chapter XXIII:

Al-Manar, one of the most popular television networks in the Arabic-speaking world, has been removed from U.S. airwaves after the State Department designated it a supporter of terrorism.

State Department officials placed the satellite television network, run by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, on its Terrorist Exclusion List on Friday because of what they described as its incitement of terrorist activity. The designation means foreign nationals who work for the network or provide it any support can be barred from the United States, officials said.

"It's not a question of freedom of speech," State Department spokesman Richard A. Boucher said. "It's a question of incitement of violence. We don't see why, here or anywhere else, a terrorist organization should be allowed to spread its hatred and incitement through the television airwaves."…

The U.S. action had the effect of banning al-Manar in the United States, where its programming had been beamed via GlobeCast, a company that sells access to foreign television programs by satellite. "As of Friday last week, that channel is no longer on the satellite," GlobeCast spokesman Robert Marking said.

This follows a similar decision earlier this month in France, where the government prohibited Al-Manar's broadcasts because of their anti-Semitic content.