Al Jazeera is carried on 28 Public TV stations funded by U.S.
to college board member about Al Jazeera on WDSC-TV
From: Jerry Kenney
Date: July 23, 2010 4:58:21 PM EDT
To: John Tanner, Trustee of Daytona State College
Subject: WDSC "WorldView" Programming
A few days ago while channel surfing, I discovered that WDSC is broadcasting Al Jazeera English and RT (Russia
Today) on Channel 15-3 over the air and on channel 1152 on Brighthouse. Both are on 7 days per week [Al Jazeera at
7 P.M. and RT (Russia Today) at 6 P.M. and again at 11 P.M.].
I find this programming to be offensive to me as an American and inconsistent with the production guidelines and
mission of public broadcasting. I do not believe that American taxpayers should be forced to even partially fund
the distribution of another country's state-run propaganda, distortion and outright lies.
World View, Al Jazeera and Russia Today have had a very hard time getting cable and TV carriage in the U.S. for
obvious reasons. However, Karen, WDSC's program director and Mr. Dunn both informed me that they have no problem
airing the programs.
Mr. Dunn seemed very proud that he beat out the Orlando PBS station for it. Maybe the Orlando station was wise
enough not to want it. Not surprisingly, most, if not all, of the stations broadcasting the network are public TV
stations. I am sure that all of them air it at no charge as well. (Rupert Murdoch had to pay the cable companies
roughly 20 to 25 cents per subscriber per month for carriage when he first started Fox News Channel).
Here are two sample clips from random programs. They may take some time to download, but they will give you a
good idea of what we are dealing with. They are a little long because I don't want to be accused of taking things
out of context:
Aside from the obvious "hate-America" message of these programs, I believe that it is very bad business for a
college TV station that relies heavily on donations to support programming that will clearly offend and that will
eventually result in lower donations and possibly lower government funding once the public understands the true
nature of the programming. WDSC has two other educational stations competing against it for membership dollars
within the same viewing area.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for the free exchange of ideas, I just feel that Russia and Qatar should use their
own dime to get their message on TV and our own government should not force Florida's taxpayers to subsidize
I believe that this programming also clearly violates the content guidelines for PBS programming producers which
sets priority for the content to be "accurate and contemporary". What benefit is there to the public to knowingly
distribute falsehoods and lies?
There are other more appropriate outlets for such programming on TV. The Communications Act of 1996 requires
cable companies to sell air time to anyone who requests it and is not affiliated with the cable company (47 C.F.R.
Â§Â§ 76.970 through 76.977). Only obscenity, indecency and nudity are prohibited. Free speech reigns.
Let the Russians and Al Jazeera buy their air time from the cable companies to spread their propaganda just like
anyone else who is selling soap, cars or infomercials.
In 2011, I made a request of the U.S. Department of Justice that they determine if Al Jazeera English and
Russia Today were required to register as Foreign Agents as per the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.