First, good article. Very good.
Second, I use al-Jazeerah as a primary news source. Watch it all the time.
Like journalists anywhere, their language and perspectives are shaped by their environment. As such while there are topics, such as Israel, where their use of language may be chararcterized as biased, it is not terribly worse than run-of-the-mill American coverage of the Middle East. Perspectives differ and they have to talk to their audiences. For all that, over time they’ve done a very decent job of at least allowing, for example, the Israeli perspective to get out, including interviews with Isreali ministers etc. In Arabic.
The complaints coming out of Bush ibn Bush’s administration really strike me as largely stupid and hypocritical (rather in the same vein Rice’s idiotic statement this week of admonishing Chavex to respect the constitutional process after her admin had welcomed a coup d’etat) – tone deafness in re understanding the situation.
Now, al-Jazeerah has made errors, that’s clear. The CNN Bin Laden tape fiasco a few months ago which they refused to run for obscure reasons. But taken in a global perspective al-Jazeerah is a pretty decent news source that did not deserve many of the frankly jingoistic smears it garnered from the Administration.