Satellite Fight

Friday, February 12, 2010


The House recently passed a bill meant to deter Arab satellite networks from broadcasting programs that could incite violence against Americans. The bill's been controversial in the Middle East, where members of the Arab press worry that it could be used as a tool to repress legitimate journalism. Professor and Foreign Policy writer Marc Lynch thinks that the critics may have a point.

Comments [7]


As James Madison said, "A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives."

Mar. 19 2011 09:19 PM

well it sounds like a good idea at first. but when you get into the details its ridicules. this basically keeps them from criticizing the american government at all... what happens 24/7 on the news here.

Nov. 16 2010 11:24 AM

A bad idea conceived in the Bush Administration took a Democratic House to pass.

Aug. 29 2010 08:35 PM
Paula Magnelli from Cambridge, MA.

It seems to me a very ineffectual way to prevent violence here and abroad.

I wonder what the 395 house representatives who voted for it had in mind. What sector of their constituency are they trying to attract by voting a measure like this? To pander to their lowest electoral fears at a time when America needs real leadership on real issues tells me all I need to know about the current state of congressional ineptitude.

Thanks to "On The Media" for making us aware of this embarrassing political move.

Feb. 14 2010 08:57 PM
Cynthia McGuineas from Austin, TX

Your show is insightful and "On the Media" has become a desitnation for me on Sunday mornings on KUT. Kuddos! Keep up the fanstastic reporting!

Feb. 14 2010 02:44 PM
Geoff Brehm from USA

I did not hear the story but am anxiously awaiting the release of the transcript on Monday. I saw the story on Al Jazeera and was discussing it with an immigrant friend of mine who had heard the WAMU broadcast.

This is a blatant attack on free speech in the name of fighting terrorism. Mr. Ackerman, I applaud your steadfastness but warn you. A lot of those that voted for 2278 do indeed have your station in the cross-hairs. We must stand up to "them" now.

We don't want to be protected from speech and thought. We want to decide what we will listen to and decide. The government can not do this for us. Not in America.


Geoff Brehm

Feb. 13 2010 07:40 PM
tom from arlington va

Re: your story on the House resolution supposedly sanctioning Arab satellite broadcasters.
You repeatedly mention Al Jazeera as an intended target, yet there is absolutely no reference to Al Jazeera in the resolution, as you can see from the legislative digest summary below, or in Congressman Bilirakis' remark on the House floor.

As you can also see, not only is the resolution extremely vague in defining which broadcasters are offenders-
it has absolutely no teeth.
It may have antagonized many people in the Middle East, but I'm confident that none of us at Al Jazeera feel it in any way affects us or our reporting.
Tom Ackerman
Al Jazeera English
Washington DC Broadcast Center

Feb. 13 2010 04:41 PM

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