There's been an interesting news story out of Burlington, Vermont - a great town if you ever have a chance to visit. The city of Burlington owns the city's cable television service and their cable system is one of only two, apparently, in the United States that carries al-Jazeera's English-language 24-hr news channel.
A small group of people have come together to demand that Burlington drop al-Jazeera from its cable service, claiming that al-Jazeera is anti-American and anti-Israeli and is engaged in "cultural Jihad" against the United States. Yes - people like this really do exist. Advocates for keeping al-Jazeera remind detractors that they can simply "turn the channel," and insist that as freedom-lovers they cherish al-Jazeera's presence on their local cable system as an exercise in diversity of viewpoints.
There have been a number of public hearings and discussions, and it appears that a final decision from the city government as to what will happen is being put on hold. The YouTube video embedded above is al-Jazeera's own television report on the controversy. You can listen to an excellent piece from NPR's Day to Day about the story here.
What do you think? Should al-Jazeera English have a space on your dial next to CNN, Fox News, the BBC, etc.? Does the presence of al-Jazeera in American communities represent a fifth-column threat to the safety of our nation, or does it empower Americans by contributing another viewpoint to our diverse media landscape? What say ye?