5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Control Room (DVD)
Having spent a bit of time in the Middle East myself I found the representation of the channel quite adequate. Indeed, nothing is taboo for Al Jazeerah and often it is a thorn in the eye of the Arab leaders. Al Jazeerah is not afraid to shine a critical light on everything from American Imperialism to the corrupt house of Saud to Syrian oppression.
I am not sure about the count of viewers that the channel reaches but there was not one home in the Middle East that I visited that did not have access to it. Albeit a satellite channel one needs to keep in mind that literally all Arab households use satellite reception.
Watching Al Jazeerah is fascinating. For a U.S. citizen who is used to sanitized hypocritical abstract talking-head news blurbs carefully avoiding upsetting the corporate sponsorship, Al Jazeerah is raw. If CNN is Barry Manilow then Al Jazeerah is Motorhead.
Besides relating the rush of real news coverage (as opposed to the regurgitation of military propaganda exercized by the U.S. corporate media) the DVD was fair if you took the time and watched the extras which featured specific individuals appearing in the movie. It made an attempt to tell all sides of the story.
It is saddening that Lt. Josh Rushing, the express sympathetic U.S. military press liason (who appeared to sincerely believe in what he spoke no matter how one would judge its truthfulness) lost his job over the film (He appeared later on Pacifica Station Democracy Now! to tell his story).
Al Jazeerah broadcasts very few commercials and is primarily financed by one of the leading elite in Qatar (not quite sure how and why). The film failed to explore this matter.
Still, by some it is considered as too moderate. Recently it has received competition by a new mega news channel called Al Arabiya.
The film is sure to be an eye-opener for an American audience that associates the Arab world with Ben Hur or gun-toting hooded Hamas. Al Jazeerah employs some of the sharpest, most intellectual minds I have run across.
This is a second copy I am buying to hand out.