Sunday, November 4, 2007

Thursday was the day on the docket for the main cable provider of Israel, HOT, to either cancel or renew their contract with the American news channel, CNN. Actually, the only chance for a renewal of the contract would have been a miracle along the lines of CNN giving away their service for free. The cancellation of CNN has been relatively big news here, considering the fairly large population of English speakers seeking 'real' news stations. The Israeli parliament went so far as to hold discussions on whether or not HOT was even allowed to drop this station from its list.

To make matters worse, the rumor before Thursday was that HOT would replace CNN, a provider that many people here find to be synonymous with anti-Israel media bias, with the super-friendly Arab station, Al Jazeera. Wouldn't that have been fun? Instead, CNN was pulled abruptly on Thursday, even though HOT said they would give the channel 10 more days of air-time, and replaced with the intellectual, unbiased, and supremely fair Fox News.

To be honest, CNN is my favorite news station in America. Who doesn't enjoy watching CNN Headline News, with all the important stuff given over in just 45 minutes? Fast, easy, and entertaining! In regards to anti-Israel media bias, it's impossible to find a station that not only is fair towards Israel, but is fair in general. After all, stations and newspapers tend to get all their big stories from the stringers like AP and Reuters anyway. You just can't avoid anti-Israel media bias, so you might as well get your news from the most respected American source...CNN.

The problem is that the CNN I saw over here is not Headline News. In fact, the programming seemed to be run by the Brits. All the reporters and anchors were British, and the studio seemed to be out of England. That's not CNN! CNN is out of Atlanta, Georgia. Quite a ways from London, thank you very much. Moreover, every time I turned it on it seemed that they were playing sports news. Seriously, who cares about car racing when people are dying all around the world? I'm not so sad about losing this CNN.

The kicker was that CNN played certain shows that you would never find on the channel in America. The best example: The Daily Show with John Stewart. You can only imagine how surprised I was to see an admittedly unfair, half-serious take on important matters being shown by a company that should be seeking to maximize its reputation for excellence. Not that I complained -- how else would I get to see that staple of Americana, the hard-hitting, no holds-barred funny man?

It would have been nice to see John every night, knowing my dad was religiously watching the same show the night before...but we all have to make sacrifices don't we? Like for Fox News?

Bill O'Reilly is as entertaining as John Stewart, right?

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