Al Jazeera: America’s Post 9/11 Network?

Marketwatch’s Jon Friedman makes his case

I’m not happy to have to defend Al Jazeera. It should require no defense, for it should be able to stand on its record of presenting sophisticated news segments in an admirably serious way. News junkies ought to be flocking to Al Jazeera and enjoying its low-key, straight-forward approach. But many of us from Maine to Oregon prefer to follow the antics of Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan and other tabloid favorites.

American cable news programs figured out long ago that their viewers would, by and large, would prefer to be titillated than informed. It’s too bad but as Bruce Hornsby once sang, That’s just the way it is.

Regis Philbin announced the date of his final broadcast on his “Live with Regis and Kelly” program, which kicked off its 24th season. Alexandra Cheney has details on Lunch Break.

Al Jazeera should be in the sweet spot of media right now. In the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans have become fascinated by the world outside their borders.

Once we let go, somewhat, of our initial grieving process, our citizens developed a thirst for knowledge and information — above all, we desperately wanted to try to understand how someone so evil and maniacal as Osama bin Laden could come to power and rock our comfy little way of life. Before bin Laden, all we needed to think about was the latest mindless movie star gossip, video games and sports.

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