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Al Jazeera

‘CBS Evening News’ Gives Torture Report 11 Minutes as CIA Story Dominates Newscasts

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.46.46 PMThe release of a sweeping report from the Senate Intelligence Committee into the CIA’s actions after 9/11–immediately dubbed the “torture report”–dominated Tuesday evening’s network newscasts, with the “CBS Evening News” devoting more than 11 minutes to the story.

CBS’ coverage included packages from Nancy Cordes and Bob Orr, and an extended clip of a 2007 “60 Minutes” interview Scott Pelley did with ex-CIA director George Tenet, where he firmly denied–repeatedly–that the U.S. engaged in torture.

“NBC Nightly News” spent seven and a half minutes on the story, beginning with Andrea Mitchell. ABC’s “World News Tonight” led with just over six minutes on torture, including packages from Martha Raddatz and Jonathan Karl.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.02.38 PMOverseas, the U.K.’s Channel 4 (left) had extensive coverage on the torture report–more than fifteen minutes–including a live report from Washington, and a story on what role, if any, Britain played in the CIA’s torture of detainees.

Al Jazeera America, by comparison, gave the story twelve minutes of coverage in the network’s flagship U.S. newscast, “America Tonight.”

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Guest Walks Out During Live Garner Interview on Al Jazeera America’s ‘Inside Story’

AJAMSuarez

A guest apparently got tired of talking about the death of Eric Garner–and the resulting protests over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a New York City police officer in the case–and walked out during Thursday night’s “Inside Story” on Al Jazeera America.

Martin Prieb, an author and former Chicago police officer had expressed displeasure from the very start of his interview with AJAM’s Ray Suarez, describing the show’s set-up piece as slanted. “I’ve never heard anything so biased and anti-police.”

Part of a panel that included two other guests, Prieb defended the actions of officers in the Garner case, and said the grand jury’s decision was correct. He accused news media and “a minority of people in the country” of trying “to stir up anti-police hysteria.”

During a commercial break, Prieb got up and left. The show’s producers say Prieb didn’t say a word, and did not answer his cell phone when they tried to reach him. When the show resumed, they showed an empty chair. Suarez told viewers it seemed Preib “decided he could no longer take the intense questioning and simply got up and walked away.”

Al Jazeera America’s ‘World War I Through Arab Eyes’

Al Jazeera America’s a three-part documentary series “World War I Through Arab Eyes begins tonight at 10pmET. The special will continue Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 and commemorates one hundred years since the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. Malek Al Tureiki provides a political and cultural look at World War I from an Arab and Islamic perspective. The series features new, archival material about the story of how WWI affected the Middle East.

Al Jazeera Knocks ’60 Minutes’ Ebola Report

Al Jazeera’s new app, AJ+, hopes you’ll quit “60 Minutes” and try their video service instead, suggesting the coverage will be bias-free. As we’ve reported, “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan is in voluntary quarantine following her travels to Liberia to report on the Ebola outbreak. Logan’s exposure to the disease has gotten most of the post-story attention, but there have been critics of the story, among them, author Howard French who called Logan’s report “Africa without Africans,” noting that “60 Minutes” failed to talk to any of the people impacted most by the outbreak.

“Liberians as screen extras,” French called it. To be fair, Logan herself noted in the story that “we want to talk to some of the patients, but you have to keep your distance.”

Al Jazeera has seized on the criticism in a new video promo for the network’s AJ+ app, asking “is there a better way to cover the Ebola crisis?” Posted to the AJ+ page on YouTube, the video’s description says of the CBS story, “is this another example of a larger media bias in reporting on Ebola? Or is this the only way to get attention in the U.S.?”

What’s On?: Ross, Velshi, Bartiromo, Bourdain

  • ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross has an investigation on “Nightline” tonight into allegations of sexual violence involving members of the Air Force Academy football team. Ross finds out what happened to the undercover cadet and Air Force special investigations agent who tried to blow the whistle.

  • On Al Jazeera America’s “Real Money,” tonight at 7pmET, Ali Velshi anchors a special exploring the network of funding that provides financial resources to ISIS and militant groups throughout the Middle East. The show will also feature an interview with David Cohen, U.S. Undersecretary for Terror and Financial intelligence.

  • Maria Bartiromo will anchor “Opening Bell” live from the BNP Paribas Trading Floor in New York City this Friday. She will interview executives of the corporate and investment banking arm of the world’s largest bank, by assets.

  • This Sunday, CNN’s “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” heads to Iran. The long-awaited inaugural trip explores Tehran and Isfahan, dining on Dizi, Fesenjan, Biryani, and Tahdig. Local guides include Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who were subsequently detained by the Iranian government.

Al Jazeera is on the ISIS Blacklist

aljazeera logo_304x200ISIS has issued new rules for journalists working in areas under their control, according to the site Syria Deeply. The 11 rules were established directly by ISIS for any journalists “who wish to continue working in the governorate.”

All of the rules are said to be non-negotiable. No. 4 stands out, as Al Jazeera is considered on the “blacklist.”

The rules issued by ISIS are as follows: Read more

Al Jazeera America Countersuing Al Gore

Al-Jazeera-America304It looks like Al Jazeera America isn’t taking the lawsuit levied against them by former Vice President Al Gore lying down. They countersued Gore and Joel Hyatt back today.

The Associated Press reports the cable news network, which launched last year after buying Current TV from Gore, is suing over money being held in an escrow account.

The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow. Al Jazeera America says it is entitled to the money because Gore and Hyatt agreed to indemnify the network for claims made against Current TV, but didn’t live up to their promise. It accuses the pair of “misrepresentations” and says they received hundreds of millions of dollars from the sale.

Network Coverage Plans for President Obama’s ISIS Address

ObamaCNNIsisBroadcast and cable news networks will provide special coverage tomorrow night at 9pmET for President Obama’s speech on American action against ISIS.

Here is what the networks are planning:

  • CBS’ Bob Schieffer will anchor for the network with “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley reporting from Iraq, where it will be 4am. The CBS Sports special “Under the Lights” will be delayed.
  • Brian Williams anchors for NBC with Chuck Todd reporting from the DC Bureau, delaying “America’s Got Talent” in the eastern and central time zones.
  • ABC’s chief anchor George Stephanopoulos hosts, along with Jonathan Karl at the White House.
  • Shepard Smith will anchor a special report on FOX, interrupting the season premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen.”
  • On Fox News,  Megyn Kelly will anchor with Bret Baier appearing. “The O’Reilly Factor” will air at 8pmET and “Hannity” at 10pmET will be live, with a special live edition of “Special Report” airing at 11pmET.
  • On CNN, Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer will anchor.
  • John Seigenthaler will anchor a preview of the speech at 8:30pmET for Al Jazeera America as well as coverage of the actual speech. White House Correspondent Mike Viqueira will contribute from the White House.
  • Neil Cavuto will anchor  for Fox Business Network, followed by live editions of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” at 10pmET and “The Independents” at 11pmET.
  •  MSNBC will air a two-hour primetime special hosted by Rachel Maddow from 8pm-10pmET. Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes, Andrea Mitchell and Reverend Al Sharpton will join Maddow. “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” will air at 10pmET followed by a live “All In with Chris Hayes” at 11pmET.
  • Bloomberg Politics’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will anchor Bloomberg TV’s special primetime coverage of the President’s speech starting at 9PM ET from Washington, DC. Bloomberg’s Al Hunt will contribute reporting and analysis.
  • CNBC will carry the address with hosts as yet unannounced

More Cuts at Al Jazeera America

Al-Jazeera-America304As the year-old network looks to cut costs, Al Jazeera America has parted ways with a correspondent and two executive producers, TVNewser has learned.

Last week, AJAM declined to renew the contract of Miami-based correspondent Natasha Ghoneim. A photographer in the bureau has also resigned. And today, we hear two executive producers were let go.

“We are going to replace the correspondent and camera person who are gone,” a spokesperson tells TVNewser about the Miami changes. “Like any business, we’re always looking at how to most effectively and efficiently deploy our resources and as such looking at costs is a regular exercise, but there aren’t any plans for ‘extreme’ cost-cutting.”

Regarding executive producer cuts, the spokesperson adds: “In an organization of over 800 employees, there may be weeks when a few people leave and weeks when a few people join. As a policy we don’t discuss personnel matters publicly.”

Following cuts in April, CEO Ehab Al Shihabi told staffers in July that more layoffs were possible.

On One-Year Anniversary, Al Jazeera America President Kate O’Brian Thanks Staff

Kate O'Brian 2014On Al Jazeera America’s one-year anniversary, network president Kate O’Brian wrote a memo to staff noting their success so far.

We came with a mission to cover the most important stories of the world in the way that Al Jazeera has been doing it around the globe for years—actively and with depth, with humanity and courage, and without opinion or punditry. And we came with the goal of bringing these compelling and important stories, from the US and from around the world, to the American audience. My friends, I believe we have succeeded.And so, ultimately, this anniversary is about you. Each one of you. Without your extraordinary work this past year we would not have been able to create what we have—a growing, thriving 24/7 news channel. This is just the beginning of a wonderful journey.

O’Brian stresses the network hasn’t reached all of its goals: “We have more work to do — but I know we have the drive and dedication to do it.”

Her full note after the jump.

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