Chad Groening - OneNewsNow - 8/17/2009 4:00:00 AM An author and critic of Islam doesn't think it would be a good idea for the English language version of Al Jazeera to have a stronger footprint in the United States.
Since launching on November 15, 2006, Al Jazeera English has exceeded its founders' expectations. The Qatar government-owned channel had expected to reach around 40 million households when it went on the air, but far exceeded that launch target by reaching 80 million households.
And a station spokeswoman said as of 2009, Al Jazeera English is available to 140 million homes in over 100 countries through cable and satellite. But its penetration into the North American market is virtually non-existent, only appearing on four outlets. Now the pro-Muslim network is launching an online campaign to try to expand its North American reach.
Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, says more Al Jazeera English in the United States would not be a good thing.
"It's just more Jihadist propaganda in the United States," he notes. "But in a certain sense, we've already had an English language Al Jazeera in the United States for quite some time â€“ it's called The New York Times."
According to Spencer, other mainstream media networks tend to give Al Jazeera-type coverage as well.