Tuesday, July 27, 2004
al-Jazeera sign taken down at Democratic convention
A friend of mine told me about this a couple days ago, but here is something about it in the Guardian. It seems that John Kerry's advisors thought it unwise to allow any photo ops of John Kerry with an al-Jazeera sign in the background. So what happened?
Convention organisers have irked the Arabic network by whisking away the 20ft, $30,000 sign that had adorned its broadcasting "skybox" behind the podium where John Kerry will deliver his presidential nominee acceptance speech.Ahhh, you gotta love democracy in action. Convention spokewoman Peggy Wilhide broke it down for those of us who might have been befuddled:
The al-Jazeera sign was replaced with another that said JohnKerry.com.
"We're trying to create the kind of atmosphere we want to best present John Kerry and the Democratic party."It's pretty sad that John Kerry and the Democrats are playing into the atmosphere of fear and anti-Arab sentiment that has been fostered by the Bush administration. Not that this kind of thing is suprising - not in the least - after all, it's election time! I just wish that we, and I choose to speak for the American people here, were given a little bit more credit. As if a picture of John Kerry with the al-Jazeera logo in the background would swing my vote, would lead me to believe that he is some kind of radical Islamist, that I would forget everything he said about Israel. Even if that's the case with some people, I don't want to be treated as though that's the case for me. Stand above it, will you! Don't sink down into the muck.
That atmosphere will include the signs of the big US networks such as CBS, ABC and CNN, but not al-Jazeera, which has 16 staff among the 15,000 journalists covering the event in Boston.
Ms Wilhide pointed out that giant US cable network Comcast also had its sign taken down on the weekend.
An al-Jazeera spokeswoman said: "I don't think anyone would deny that the al-Jazeera logo and name are not part of John Kerry's communications plan".