It would be remiss of me not to mention the pending demise of the cable news network Al Jazerra America, which is shutting down April 30.
Boo-hoo, cried NOBODY anywhere.
The network’s CEO, Al Anstey, announced that the “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace.”
From The New York Times: “Al Jazeera America went on the air in August 2013 after it bought Al Gore’s Current TV for $500 million. It promised to be thoughtful and smart, free of the shouting arguments that have defined cable news in the United States over the last decade. But meaningful viewership never came, with prime-time ratings sometimes struggling to exceed 30,000 viewers.”
It’s hardly surprising that America didn’t cotton to a cable news channel owned by Mideast interests that didn’t mind sprinkling in anti-Semitism. The question is why these suckers paid such a high price to get into your living room.
Mr. Gore and his partners launched Current TV in 2005 and toyed with formats before settling on liberal drivel. Keith Olbermann worked there a few minutes, it has been rumored. Cenk (rhymes with stink) Yugur hosted a program called “The Young Turks.” Jennifer Granholm, once the governor of Michigan, bored people nightly.
Every twist and turn of programming was accompanied by lavish praise from The Times, dozens of stories. But the ratings never grew from what could be accounted for by pets like me accidentally stepping on remotes.
When oil money came calling, Mr. Gore was all ears. Smart people never buy anything he is selling.