A New York State lawmaker and Iraq veteran on Monday urged several cable and satellite television distributors to stop broadcasting programing from the Middle East media giant Al Jazeera calling their news coverage “propaganda.”
New York State Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a conservative Republican who served as a U.S. Marine officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom, has contacted company’s such as Time-Warner, Verizon, Comcast, Direct TV and Dish TV Network by letter alleging that Al Jazeera is “notoriously anti-American, anti-Semitic and misogynistic.” He’s demanding that they drop the Qatar-based television network from their basic cable packages.
“Whether the customers watch Al Jazeera America programming or they are offended by its news coverage and broadcasts, they are paying to support its broadcasts in the United States through their service charges,” said another former Marine, Detective Mike Snopes.
Assemblyman Lalor is urging customers to boycott any television providers that carry Al Jazeera and refused to drop drop it by Sept. 11, 2013.
Lalor noted that he will be holding press conferences later this week to discuss his battle against Al Jazeera America.
In a statement on Monday, Lalor said:
Al Jazeera is the anti-American, anti-Semitic, misogynistic propaganda wing of a foreign government. The network has celebrated brutal terrorists and ‘reported’ as fact anti-Semitic 9/11 truther conspiracy theories. American TV viewers shouldn’t have to subsidize Al Jazeera through a part of their basic cable bill. As a veteran who served in Iraq and a New Yorker I’m outraged that my television provider is charging me to have this propaganda piped into my home. These television providers need to drop Al Jazeera from their basic cable packages. If they don’t, I’ll be proud to lead a boycott until they do. I’ll also encourage municipalities to revoke the monopolies the companies currently enjoy.
To be clear, this is not a First Amendment issue. The free press clause of the First Amendment does not protect foreign powers who wish to broadcast propaganda into our country and our homes. Moreover, at this time my constituents and I are not objecting to the existence of the channel. We object to Al Jazeera America’s inclusion as a basic cable channel that subscribers are forced to pay for and receive rather than as an a la carte channel that can be added to a basic package.
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