I Hear They're Worse than Fox…

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Writing at Slate, Jack Shafer argues against a ban on the Hezbollah-backed Al-Manar satellite TV station.

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  1. Is there enough of a market in the US to warrant their broadcast?

    What if it is just a bad business decision to put it on the air? It may go under the states without the FedGov doing anything to it.

    Then again, Americans like to look at the train-wreck-like programs…at least for a while.

  2. The station routinely folds anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-American messages into its kid shows, game shows, dramas, and news programs.

    Jesus Christ!

    I agree with PintofStout, I don’t think there’s much of a market for Who Wants to be a Martyr? or Everybody Loves al-Zarqawi

  3. I agree that we shouldn’t ban anything from being broadcast in the United States.

    But man, the people behind this station really sound like they should probably be on our “people to kill” list.

  4. They would have a market niche here: many in the Muslim U.S. community. I oppose censorship, but I admit to worrying about a station that riled domestic Muslims to jihadist activities. This is a tough one, for a freedom lover like me. War pushes the civil libertarian envelope, but I also do not wish to become the thing I hate. It is hard to know what to do.

  5. Mona-

    Well, if they’re receiving raising money for Hezbollah, one could put the kibbosh on them for that reason. However, as I posted in another thread, you have to be careful about which people you go after in things like that.

  6. As Joe has said in another post on another topic… “first they came for Hezbollah, but I didn’t give a shit, because they’re Hezbollah.” (Sorry Joe, if I didn’t get your words exactly right).

    For the same reasons I’d ban the US Nazi Party from broadcasting during WWII, I’d ban these assholes from broadcasting in the US. I’ll take the risk that it might be NPR next.

    I sympathize with libertarian idealogy, but sometimes you have to make exceptions.

  7. There is no ban on the Hezbollah station. The station was put on a government watch list(for good reason if you read the article). The satellite provider ditched the station shortly thereafter, causing the author to argue that the station shouldn’t be banned, which it isn’t.

    What’s the issue here? Read the article and you will know why nobody wants to televise that crap in the US. They don’t need the gov’t to tell them not to.

  8. First off, there is no justification for government censorship of Al-Manar as it would be a clear violation of our 1st amendment rights. Persuading folks here who watch it, to switch it off, is another matter and would be an ethical endeavor. However, this piece in Slate likely won’t help persuade an Arab/Muslim American viewer to do so.

    The Slate author, while rightly opposing censorship, casts far too broad a net of condemnation over Al-Manar’s content. One result BTW, is that it puts their reprehensible offerings in a more favorable light.

    “The station routinely folds anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-American messages “

    Anti-Semitism is racism aimed at Jews and should always be condemned. However, most of their anti-Israel and anti-American messages are probably attacking certain actions of the two respective governments. This, of course, is fair game.

    “venerate suicide bombers as martyrs; call for the obliteration of Israel and the death of the United States”

    All hideous. But BTW, suicide bombers whose targets are soldiers of an occupying army, such as the Israeli army occupying Palestinian land, are acting far more ethically than those who slaughter innocent civilians inside Israel.

    “exhort Palestinians to violently overthrow their racist “oppressors”; and portray Israelis as baby-slaughtering terrorists.”

    The Israeli government are indeed oppressors of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and the racism pushed by religious nut-balls in Israel certainly helps motivates the occupation. To understand the background of the racist, fundamentalist Jewish religious extremism that Israeli polity is currently gripped by, see the fascinating: Jewish History, Jewish Religion by Israel Shahak and also Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel by Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky. Shahak was a non-leftist, anti-Marxist, human rights activist and a Nazi concentration camp survivor.

    Also, concerning racism, note that Ariel Sharon actually supported racist “Jews Only” housing area laws on government land, in open discrimination against Israel’s own 15% to 20% Arab citizen population!

    http://www.eto.home.att.net/jewsonly.html

    http://www.newsfrombabylon.com/article.php?sid=1779

    “Another (Al-Manar message) solicits donations to finance the violent liberation of Palestine. “

    In our nation, different religious groups rightly raised money for the violent liberation of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and other nations from the occupation of the Soviet empire.

  9. Oh yeah, I forgot to add, concerning:

    “portray Israelis as baby-slaughtering terrorists.”

    I don’t know the statistics on just babies. But, I do know that during the Sharon regime, the number of innocent Palestinian children murdered by the Israeli army is greater than the total number of all Innocent Israelis murdered by Palestinians.

    Each of these deaths is tragic, of course

  10. We better support Israel cuz it occupies a vital clod of dirt in the final chapter of the BIBLE. Y’all don’t want no trouble with the big man upstairs when Jesus comes swoopin’ outta the sky with a mighty sword aimed at the throats of infidels. Al-Manar can’t be all bad if they oppose queer marriage and don’t show Janet Jackson’s bare melon. If they’s only encouragin’ a fight then bring it on. Let’s begin the endtimes.

  11. After the rapture, may I have your plasma TV and luxurious automobile?

  12. US is doling out $62 million per year to get Arab viewers hear the administrations views via the Virginia based Al-Hurra channel.

    For one twentieth of that amount initiatives like Link TV and James Zogby would have provided them far innovative ideas on how to engage the most watched Arab channels.

    Let the American viewer have both sides of the picture to decide what’s right and wrong.

    For over the last 20 years US State Department has beeen promoting initiatives to promote Arab media that is free of monarchic narratives. It appears that freedom of expression is welcomed only if it reflects views endorsed by the State Department. This uni-focal approach tantamounts to closing doors on the face of people who potentially contribute to plurality of views on Middle East matters. Promoting open discussion can help people see why people differ and what their grievances are. Silencing them will only push them to the wall and trigger anger that the West so desperately wishes to scale down.

    By allowing others to express their views you have an opportunity to engage and correct them where possible.

    People who produce programmes for Al-Manar channel and its viewers are not all Mullahs but those seeking who covers the Middle East truthfully and bringing the actual picture to its audience the way it is seen on the streets, homes and workplaces are needed to have the other side
    of the story.

    If there are channels showing Palestinian school kids picking stones in their hands,there must be at least one channel explaining what made those boys do that. Closing eyes from facts may suit an ostrich but for viewers it is pertinent to know the two sides of what is actually taking place on the ground not how certain happenings are perceived in the boardrooms of spinners.

    Many discard or demolish the mirror for not showing the reflection as they wish to see. Pulling the plug on one channel is not a way to encourage plurality. Hushing people down can lead others to shout while it is talking that we all want to promote.

  13. US is doling out $62 million per year to get Arab viewers hear the administrations views via the Virginia based Al-Hurra channel.

    For one twentieth of that amount initiatives like Link TV and James Zogby would have provided them far innovative ideas on how to engage the most watched Arab channels.

    Let the American viewer have both sides of the picture to decide what’s right and wrong.

    For over the last 20 years US State Department has beeen promoting initiatives to promote Arab media that is free of monarchic narratives. It appears that freedom of expression is welcomed only if it reflects views endorsed by the State Department. This uni-focal approach tantamounts to closing doors on the face of people who potentially contribute to plurality of views on Middle East matters. Promoting open discussion can help people see why people differ and what their grievances are. Silencing them will only push them to the wall and trigger
    anger that the West so desperately wishes to scale down.

    By allowing others to express their views you have an opportunity to engage and correct them where possible.

    People who produce programmes for Al-Manar channel and its viewers are not all Mullahs but those seeking who covers the Middle East truthfully and bringing the actual picture to its audience the way it is seen on the streets, homes and workplaces are needed to have the other side
    of the story.

    If there are channels showing Palestinian school kids picking stones in their hands,there must be at least one channel explaining what made those boys do that. Closing eyes from facts may suit an ostrich but for viewers it is pertinent to know the two sides of what is
    actually taking place on the ground not how certain happenings are perceived in the boardrooms of spinners.

    Many discard or demolish the mirror for not showing the reflection as they wish to see. Pulling the plug on one channel is not a way to encourage plurality. Hushing people down can lead others to shout while it is talking that we all want to promote.

  14. This reminds me of the hooplah in Spain over Madrid’s ban of a Basque political party that is openly supportive of terrorism. The Basques whine that this is another infringement of their liberties (Madrid has been pretty ruthless towards them in the past), but I have trouble working up sympathy for either them OR Al-Manar. Anyone who advocates the killing of innocents shouldn’t be shocked when their mouths are forcefully shut.

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