ANSWER: Nothing satisfactory, as far as the company is concerned. Google has responded, but generically, and poorly. Meanwhile, press releases that verge on being pure pap are routinely displayed in Google News results.
Background: This post is the latest relating to attempts that began here to get to the bottom of why all but a very small portion of news items published at Centcom.mil and its affliated sites are NOT being found or displayed by the Google News search engine. More background is here, here, here, and here, but this post should stand on its own for those who are new to the issue.
I received this e-mail from Google News early Thursday evening (link supplied by Google News was made clickable for this post):
Thank you for your note about Google News. We apologize for our delayed response. Dan passed your email on to our User Support team so we can assist you. Please be assured that Google News currently includes the news site you mention. You can find articles from this publication in our results at the following link:
Additionally, please be aware that Google News doesn't currently include multimedia content, such as audio or video files. Google News offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. There aren't human editors at Google selecting or grouping the headlines, and no individual decides which stories get top placement. While our news sources vary in perspective and editorial approach, their selection for inclusion is done without regard to political viewpoint or ideology.
While we aim to include as many sources as possible in Google News, we can’t guarantee the addition of all articles and sources that are submitted to us. We appreciate your taking the time to send us your suggestions for how we can improve this service.
Brent Bozell's column on Al-Jazeera English demonstrated a real affinity for the network in the liberal media elite. One CNN story by Frank Sesno noted "The reviews so far are mostly kind. The New York Times says the new network 'points to where East and West actually meet.' USA Today writes, 'in a globalized world, the broader the conversation and greater the competition for credibility, the better.' But the edition of the talk show "Inside Washington" Brent used shows not merely a tolerance, but an outraged hunger for an Arab-propaganda channel. They want it like the old MTV ads with rock stars saying "I want my MTV!" Here's a look at the transcript from the November 19 program:
Gordon Peterson, host: "Al-Jazeera English is on the air, but is not on the air here."
Sue Phillips, Al-Jazeera English (taped): "We adhere to Western broadcast standards. However, we will be very bold in our reporting. We will, of course, be impartial and accurate and objective as we can, but sometimes we will be controversial where it is necessary."
Peterson: "That's Sue Phillips, the London Bureau Chief of Al-Jazeera English, which debuted this week all over the world, but not on American cable systems. Why not, Colby?"
If we were to believe liberals, the last several years could be dubbed the Age of Propaganda, what scandalized columnist Frank Rich, who knows quite a lot about this subject, calls the “decline and fall of truth.”
They complained when government agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services put out “video news releases” that some lax TV stations aired without editing. They complained when the Pentagon hired American P.R. companies like the Lincoln Group to place positive stories about American forces in the Iraqi newspapers. They complained when conservative P.R. man Armstrong Williams struck a deal with the Department of Education to promote the Bush “No Child Left Behind” policy.
But the same left-wing crowd that claims to hate propaganda seems to be offering nothing but flowers and best wishes for the November launch of al-Jazeera English.
Al Jazeera English launches today, but the fledgling cable network is having trouble finding U.S. cable providers who are willing to carry it. According to the New York Sun:
The long-delayed sister channel to Al-Jazeera is set to make its debut this morning, but the new network's ability to build an audience in America is in doubt because major cable and satellite providers here have declined to carry the new television offering.
The new network — which, in a last-minute move, has apparently changed its name from Al-Jazeera International to Al-Jazeera English — announced its distribution outlets yesterday and proclaimed that it will have access to between 70 million and 80 million homes worldwide. However, in America, no cable operators have reported plans to carry the Qatar-based channel, and the two largest satellite providers have also opted out. Al-Jazeera English will be available through the Internet and a satellite company specializing in international television feeds.
In their story on the Democrats winning the House of Representatives, al-Jazeera’s English-language Web site blamed the “unpopular war in Iraq” for the GOP defeat and highlighted Nancy Pelosi’s speech demanding a “new direction” on Iraq.
“Staying the course has not made our country safer,” al-Jazeera quoted Pelosi as saying last night. “We cannot continue down this catastrophic path.”
Al-Jazeera says it has finally found U.S. cable and satellite providers who are willing to carry its new English-language channel, Al-Jazeera International. In November, it says, the news network can be found in American homes.
The much-delayed launch of the English-language version of the controversial Al-Jazeera network is targeting its launch date on these shores in November.
The date, pushed back from its latest September start date, will coincide with the 10th anniversary of the network.
Ahead of the launch, Al-Jazeera International - which has already signed up famed British broadcaster David Frost -has secured carriage agreements with cable, satellite, telecom and broadband video providers, according to spokesman Michael Holtzman.
Rachel Neuwirth writes in The American Thinker that the media have made the job of the terrorists much easier as the media provide the version of reality the terrorists hope to convey. The media never blame the terrorists who hide behind civilians who get killed, and Neuwirth writes that therefore the media are "directly complicit in enabling this tactic to continue and for more Lebanese civilians to be killed."
A major segment of the global media is behaving in a manner that makes terrorism and mass killings more likely rather than less likely. They enable and encourage terrorist slaughter of innocents by supplying providing a propaganda bonanza for the terrorist cause. Without the gain, there would be less incentive for the horrific behavior.
This is true now with Israeli defense measures against Hezbolla terrorism, and has been true for many years, especially during the long Arab-Israeli conflict. Not enough attention has been paid to media manipulation. It is long overdue that this be exposed and the media be confronted and held accountable.
Israel Insider says the Qana incident shows all the classic signs of a staged Israeli "massacre." There is even a term for such fiction, "Pallywood," as NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard reported today.
In the Qana incident, the media reports that a building collapsed and the Israeli Air Force is to blame for dozens of civilian deaths. Israel Insider, a daily Israeli newsmagazine, says they've seen this all before.
The setting was also perfect: Kana was again being used as a primary site for launching rockets against Israeli cities. The IDF reported that more than 150 rockets had been launched from Qana and its vicinity at Israeli civilians, wreaking destruction in Kiryat Shmona, Maalot, Nahariya and Haifa. It was only a matter of time before the Israeli Air Force would come for a visit, using pinpoint targeting of the sites used to launch rockets, Hezbollah logistical centers and weapon storage facilities.
On the morning of July 30, according to the IDF, the air force came in three waves. In the first, between midnight and one in the morning, there was a strike at or near the building that eventually collapsed.
The number one criticism of Al Jazeera by the West is that it is too close to terrorists, and is used as a terrorist mouthpiece to enable the dissemination of the Jihad message. Miles says this is merely because Al Jazeera has its own version of Fox News' "fair and balanced": "The opinion and the other opinion." I assume it sounds catchier in Arabic.
Al Jazeera International, the planned English-language news channel, has languished as it encounters unexpected difficulties such as finding U.S. satellite and cable operators willing to carry it.
Another challenge it faces is a loss of independence. Initially, the new channel pledged to be independent from the Arab parent company, as they hired mainstream American journalists and acquired studio facilities in the U.S. But TV Newser reports that the promised independence is now lost due to a corporate shakeup in Qatar, the Middle East country that hosts Al Jazeera.
"You read it here first. Al Jazeera International will launch in November," the U.K.'s Press Gazette's Adrian Monck writes. "And not November 2010 either. This November. Now it doesn't seem that long ago -- November 2004 in fact -- that AJI boss Nigel Parsons was announcing ambitious plans to launch in, erm, November 2005."
Associated Press media writer David Bauder reports that Al-Jazeera International, the new English-language version of the original Al-Jazeera, is having more trouble than expected in placing the channel into American homes.
The English-language Al-Jazeera International TV network faces enough hurdles to make Olympic champion Edwin Moses tremble.
It has missed its launch date and won’t set another, has no public commitments by anyone to show it in the United States, saw its closest competitor beat it to the market and is the target of a pressure campaign by a group hoping it never airs here.
Al-Jazeera International’s operators are nonetheless pressing forward with plans to create a worldwide news operation, despite a name that immediately raises hackles in the West.
For weeks, the MSM has been billing as a bellwether the congressional by-election in California to replace convicted felon Randy 'Duke' Cunningham. As per the conventional wisdom, if the Democrats managed to take the seat in what is normally a GOP-stronghold, it would be seen as a harbinger of horrible things to come for the Republican congressional majority.
Well, the election was held yesterday, and - whoops! - the Republican, Brian Bilbray, won. So how did Today spin it? Why, silence was suddenly golden. At least as of the crucial first half-hour, there was time for coverage of dust in the Arizonan desert, but not a word of the Bilbray victory. Insert your imagine-if-the-Dem-had-won comment here.
The headline reads 'US probe of Ishaqi killings no surprise for Iraqis.' You might have thought the headline and accompanying article were from Al-Jazeera. But no, it's Reuters that wrote the headline that, dripping with skepticism, suggests that the US military inquiry that cleared American soldiers from wrongdoing in connection with the killing of civilians at Ishaqi was a whitewash. That same cynicism persists throughout the article. Consider these excerpts:
"Isa Khalaf doesn't want cash from the U.S. troops he says massacred his relatives in a March raid. He wants an explanation he may never get now that a U.S. probe has cleared them of any wrongdoing."
"The U.S. investigation that cleared soldiers of any misconduct in Ishaqi may have allowed the soldiers to move on with their lives. But the farming town will be haunted by memories of the bloodshed."
Chris Weinkopf writes at American Enterprise Institute Online that if Hollywood had made a movie about all of Islam being a sham, with a murderous sect that kills all those who try to reveal the true secret, the media would have denounced the movie as hate speech, sure to inflame the terrorists and defame a major world religion.
Imagine, if you can, a major studio releasing a thriller in which the stars investigate the origins of Islam. Pursued by a murderous Muslim cleric, they uncover a series of shocking discoveries: Mohammed was no prophet! The Koran is a hoax, the work of self-serving hypocrites! Modern-day Muslims are dupes, if not deranged psychopaths!
Now imagine, in the unlikely event such a film were ever made, what sort of reception it would get in the establishment media. Given the categorical refusal of the American press to publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons, it's a safe bet that the talking heads and big newspapers would only mention the movie to denounce it.
Mumin Salih writes in Islam Watch, a blog of ex-Muslims, that the Arab satellite news channel Al-Jazeera was given legitimacy by the West when American and British politicians "joined the race with their desire to appear on this channel to address the Arab people." The Western media has not helped, either, who "are engaged in a mission of self-flagellation and self-blaming for all the faults in the world including the terror crimes."
Since its launch in 1995, Aljazeera followed a consistent anti-American policy. Its clever editing and broadcasting made the un-informed and gullible audience think of Aljazeera as an impartial news channel. At the same time it was directing the minds of that simple audience to its mindset of thinking. This mindset is normally an anti American one. Even when America sided with the Muslims of former Yougoslavia and intervened for their protection, the channel could not hide its position vis-à-vis Milosevic, the Serbian leader who was seen as a friend and ally by the Iraqi dictator. The Iraqi leader awarded Milosevic with the highest Iraqi Medal!
Aljazeera came to be known to the west after the terrorists’ attacks on 9/11 and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. By then, its alliances with Taliban, Alqaeda and Saddam were difficult to hide. Their reporters were given previliges by those terrorist organizations not given to any one else. Aljazeera’s news footages were broadcast everywhere by western channels providing Aljazeera with free worldwide publicity.
Jennifer Harper reports in the Washington Times about an Arizona State University study of 300 al Qaeda statements, letters and other papers. The study was conducted by the university's Consortium for Strategic Communication and a Defense Department .
Says the director of the consortium, Steven Corman, "People are surprised the jihadis think of the media as a weapon."
His study analyzed almost 300 al Qaeda statements, letters and other documents, many of them captured during U.S. military actions in the Middle East and recently declassified by the Pentagon.
Liberals who believe both Fox News and CNN have become cheerleaders for the war in Iraq may have another alternative: Al Jazeera International.
The Rocky Mountain News reports that the nascent English-language channel has finally found at least one carrier in the U.S. who is willing to put the channel in its lineup.
EchoStar's Dish Network is the only cable or satellite operator in the U.S. publicly willing to consider carrying controversial Arab news channel Al Jazeera's planned English-language spinoff.
Even on Dish, Al Jazeera's attempt to provide an alternative to Western news outlets like BBC World and CNN International isn't likely to appear on any of the satellite-TV operator's popular programming tiers.
"We have several offers and options under consideration, including with EchoStar, but have not yet signed anything," said Rana Jazayerli, a Washington-based spokeswoman for the news channel. "We will make our plans public after we have finalized."
TV Newser says Rob Reynolds, a former reporter for CNBC, CNN and NBC, has been hired by Al Jazeera International, the new English-language channel that is having trouble finding a U.S. carrier. Perhaps cable companies are worried about a mass exodus of conservative viewers if they sign on with Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera International has hired former CNBCer Rob Reynolds to be senior Washington correspondent. Here's his bio. Reynolds has worked in Moscow for NBC and London for CNN. He was shown the door at CNBC in February.
There's still no firm word on when the channel will launch, Gail Shister reports. AJI rep Rana Jazayerli said "we expect to be fully ready for a global launch sometime soon," but didn't say what "sometime soon" means.
Starters: Yesterday's illegal immigration rallies attracted
a lot of media and blogger attention. Of course, since most of the media favors
unchecked immigration of any kind, they have a tendency to cover up the more outrageous signs
that protesters were sporting Monday. If you're looking for blog coverage of
the protests, head over to Instapundit.com.
Which party will benefit from illegal immigration as it
gains a higher profile in the national debate? The Washington
Times thinks Democrats stand the most to gain. Ace of Spades agrees, arguing
that the Dems' strategy of not offering policy alternatives pays off on at
least this issue.
Media: Bob Schieffer and CBS News accused of racism by fired
producer. "Schieffer has a reputation for bigotry," Raylena Fields
alleges. He "frequently and publicly refers to a newsroom assistant as
'Brownie' due to the complexion of his skin." Fields also claims she saw
the anchor address a black correspondent as "boy." In middle eastern media, Saudi television regularly allows anti-semitic
and anti-American rhetoric on its government-owned airwaves. MEMRI exposes one
of the more virulent
ranters who compares American "neocons" (aka Jews) of being the "closest
thing there is to Nazism." (ht LGF).
How did the media cover guns last week? Alphecca blog's Jeff
Soyer answers that in his weekly roundup of press gun
Today's starters: Keeping with its tradition of political fairness and neutrality, Middle Tennessee State University is continuing its journalism conference (conference called: Self-Inflicted Wounds — Fact and Fiction in Journalism: Fabrication, Plagiarism and Confidential Sources)--kicked off earlier this week by an address from that paragon of objectivity Al Gore--with a panel discussion featuring Mary Mapes. The session is entitled "Rush to Judgment? The CBS Crisis." Any NB readers in the area?
The big media story of the day, as reported earlier by NB's Mark Finkelstein, is that Katie Couric is headed over to CBS. The NYT and LAT both have good good stories the deal and its implications. Why does Couric's leaving warrant attention, asks one blogger. Another says she won't watch "Today" if it hires "View" co-host Meredith Viera.
The New York Post reports that Arab news channel Al Jazeera is having trouble finding any U.S. cable providers willing to carry its new English-language channel.
AL-Jazeera International, the English-language network of the controversial Arab channel Al-Jazeera, is set to launch this summer - but still does not have a single cable company signed up to carry it.
The network is staffed largely by Western journalists, including "Nightline" correspondent David Marash and veteran interviewer David Frost.
It had been set to launch last month, but for unexplained reasons, postponed its start date until summer.
Drudge links to an AP story about two national book chains who are apparently afraid of having their coffee bars blown up.
Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.
"For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday.
Is Neal Gabler jealous of Helen Thomas' status as a leading Bush media antagonist? You might think so, judging by the barbs Gabler aimed Thomas' way on this evening's Fox News Watch.
In discussing Thomas' pointed exchange with President Bush during this past week's press conference, Gabler, whose sole regular media job would seem to be his weekly appearance on Fox News Watch, did claim that Thomas' question as to the president's motivation in invading Iraq was a good one. But Gabler prefaced that comment by gratuitously observing: "Helen has asked dumb questions in her time."
Gabler later referred to Thomas as "a dotty old woman."
The United American Committee is planning a permanent protest, starting on April 30, of the new Al-Jazeera news network planned for the U.S. and English speakers worldwide. Called Al-Jazeera International, it will feature mostly British and American former MSMers. The group calls Al-Jazeera's American plans "Jazeeragate," and wants the demonstration at the studio to "continue daily indefinitely."
Al-Jazeera, the television network that many call the propaganda wing of the radical Islamist movement in the world, is scheduled shortly to launch their network in English aimed at Americans with their new studios being in Washington DC. The United American Committee objects to the establishment of the network in America; "It's as if Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minster for Hitler, were to have set up a station in America during WWII." says Lee Kaplan, member of the UAC executive committee. Al-Jazeera plans on launching their 24 hour 7 day a week channel in America this spring. In response, the UAC is calling for a 24 hour 7 day a week protest in front of the Al-Jazeera studios to begin Sunday April 30th and continue daily indefinitely. The new studio of Al-Jazeera America is located at 1627 K St. NW, Suite #200, Washington, DC 20006.
The group explains why it doesn't like Al-Jazeera.