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Al Jazeera – The illusion of free press takes another vicious beating

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That was my first reaction to Time Warner Cable slamming the door on Al Jazeera. I was intrigued to watch the dynamic play out. Would the major cable provider get away with shutting out a foreign voice that is a competitive threat to the corporate interests of major U.S. networks?

First, the distributor announced it was dropping Current TV – within hours of Al Jazeera buying the network. Then, embarrassed by complaints and branded as cowardly and stupid, Time Warner opened the door for negotiations to get a more lucrative contract with the upstart and ridiculously wealthy Arab news service. Call it a “sheikdown.”

As youngsters in the U.S., we are taught there is a free press. We are taught that the Bill of Rights is more than a piece of paper. If only it was so simple.

A free press means not only the ability and means to report in-depth without fear or favor. A free press means virtually unlimited access to information – not just what the government, the military or the ruling corporations want us to know.

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