Al Jazeera America has ditched plans to broadcast 60 percent of its programming in the United States — in favor of 100 percent.
The news channel, based in the Middle East, bought Al Gore’s Current TV months ago to get a foot in the U.S. market, Newsmax reported. The purchase was controversial; critics say the channel is only trying to gain a stronghold on the United States media to broadcast propaganda. And the station has already had to delay its launch once, from July to August, Newsmax said.
This new announcement is sure to generate fire again, and the station has already hired a public relations firm to battle the expected criticisms.
Station owners say they only want to round out U.S. media coverage of issues pertaining to the Middle East, and have actively recruited news people from the likes of Time and CNN. The move from 60 percent to 100 percent is aimed at competing in the American market, station officials said.
“You can’t just plug in someone else’s international news,” an employee said, in the Newsmax report.