Thursday, June 16, 2005

Control Room

Finally watched the documentary Control Room tonight. Fascinating movie. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the subject matter is Al-Jazeera, the Arab world's major satellite news source. Jehane Noujaim shows how Al-Jazeera and Western media covered the initial days of the Iraq war from the Central Command in Qatar, and from Al-Jazeera's headquarters, also in Qatar.

The Bush Administration's largest complaint of Al-Jazeera is its willingness to show hostage beheadings on video, US soldiers and contractors in captivity, and countless shots of civilian casualties. Not to mention the occasional rah-rah speech from Osama Bin Laden. Of course, Al-Jazeera is also widely condemned by several Arab governments for their criticism and for having Israeli guests interviewed. Al-Jazeera presents all of this, it says, in order to provide "balance." Sound familiar?


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