As secretary of state in 2011 Hillary Clinton touted Al Jazeera as a “really effective” news network with viewership that was “going up in the United States.”
Fast forward five years to Wednesday when Al Jazeera America, the Qatari-based Al Jazeera’s American branch, announced that it will cease operations at the end of April because its business model is “no longer sustainable.”
Al Jazeera America’s brand of left-leaning journalism was apparently not popular with viewers. It was reported last year that only 30,000 viewers were watching the network each night. Low oil prices also hindered the company, which is owned, in part, by the Qatari royal family.
Al Jazeera is “literally changing people’s minds and attitudes,” Clinton said during a March 3, 2011 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, adding, “like it or hate it, it is really effective.”
“And in fact, viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,” Clinton continued.
Al Jazeera creeped into the U.S. media market in 2013 when the company purchased former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV network for $500 million, spawning Al Jazeera America. (RELATED: Al Jazeera America Gives Up, Will Shut Down)
Called it. https://t.co/8vRPGiTkDP
— Elliott Schwartz (@elliosch) January 13, 2016
“You may not agree with it,” Clinton said in 2011, “but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”