This is a sad tale because Al Jazeera’s willingness to air controversial news was a shining light in an otherwise dark void of corporate media.
Although those rulers established the channel a decade ago in large part as a forum for critics of the Saudi government, they now seem to feel they cannot continue to alienate Saudi Arabia â€” a fellow Sunni nation â€” in light of the threat from Iran across the Gulf.
The specter of Iran’s nuclear ambitions may be particularly daunting to tiny Qatar, which also is the site of a major American military base.
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The new policy is the latest chapter in a gradual domestication of Al Jazeera, once reviled by American officials as little more than a terrorist propaganda outlet. Al Jazeera’s broadcasts no longer routinely refer to Iraqi insurgents as the “resistance,” or victims of American firepower as “martyrs.”
The policy also illustrates the way the Arab media, despite the new freedoms introduced by Al Jazeera itself a decade ago, are still often treated as political tools by the region’s autocratic rulers.
Of course, the explanation is always the ‘Iranian threat’ (the Jerusalem Post even has a special heading of that name) but the real driving force his energy, fossil fuel and the world’s ever increasing demands for the ever dwindling supply. Why then not focus on renewable energy?
UPDATE:Al Arabiya claims to have had a hand in reining in Al Jazeera