Tuesday, December 29, 2015
AL JEZEERA PLAYS ON AMERICA'S SNAP JUDGEMENTS
Despite what Mike Ditka thinks, Al Jezeera is a credible network with some very
good journalists. What it's lacking is an identity---and viewers. In the land of a million
channels, Al Jezeera hasn't even been a blip on anybody's radar screen. If you can
find anyone who has seen a single program on Al Jezeera, you're a better person than
me and that 'anyone' probably has no life.
Several years ago, some genius in Qatar where the mothership network calls home,
thought it'd be a good idea to have an American-based network catering to Americans.
There was one big problem: the name Al Jezeera. Most of us identified Al Jezeera as
the network that was a mouthpiece for Osama Bin Laden in the early 2000's. Every
time Bin Laden wanted to send messages to his people about hating and terrorizing
America, it usually wound up on Al Jezeera.
Even though "America" followed Al Jezeera when it debuted here in 2013, very few
people were interested in the network which was a problem for one that expected to
compete with CNN and Fox News. And if they had a great report few people saw it
because nobody knew where the heck to find it. Channel 939? 543? Why would anybody
in our country want to watch a network called Al Jezeera anyway?
As we've discovered in the news and entertainment world, if nobody is talking about you
then you're pretty much a nobody. When that happens, one of two things happen: you go
away or do something drastic to get noticed. Kim Kardashian, with no discernible talent,
made a sex tape and now look at her. She got noticed and now she's a household name.
Al Jezeera America needed some attention and had to do something drastic to get noticed.
The Peyton Manning HGH-report was Al Jezeera America's sex tape. It certainly got
them noticed and the name of their network is all over the news, Twitter, Facebook,
and all the other networks. Will this be their 15-minutes on America's A.D.D. minds?
Or will they follow their HGH-report with something more explosive?
The report involving Manning, the face of the NFL, didn't have a great deal of substance,
but it had an unbelievable impact. Almost as soon as the news of it broke last Saturday
night, social media caught fire. EVERYBODY was talking about it. Peyton Manning on
HGH?!! Are you kidding me? That was pretty much our reaction.
In our 140-character or less, rush-to-judgement world we live in, Al Jezeera knew they'd
catch America hook, line, and sinker with the report. It knew 99 percent of the country
reads a headline and makes up their minds because of it.
Al Jazeera knew very few people bother to read an entire article or do any research on their
own. And the funny thing about most of it, there wasn't much of anything to read except
for what came out in the Huffington Post, which had the first story about it.
The Huff Post needed 'views' and clicks as well, so they got creative with what they
were given by Al Jezeera and got everyone talking. The report on Al Jazeera didn't air
until Monday and I'm betting very few of you reading this article, even saw the report
on Al Jezeera, because Lord knows, none of us know where to find it.
So, by Sunday night, most Americans made up there mind about Peyton Manning.
"Yep, he's just another fraud like Lance Armtrong, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones,
Jose Canseco, A-Rod, and all the other athletes who cheated with PED's," most of
us thought or said.
In an interview on ESPN, Manning said he was 'furious' about the report that he
called 'garbage.' But it really didn't matter because a lot of people made up their
minds by then. And seriously, are you ever going to think of Manning again without
this HGH thing hovering around him? It's much like what's happened to Tom Brady
and the Deflate-gate issue.
The crazy part about the report on Al Jezeera report which few people have seen,
it never actually accused Manning of using HGH. They just reported that shipments
were sent to Manning's wife. Al Jezeera didn't produce any 'smoking gun.' There
were no documents, no receipts, no nothing. The report just had some former
intern saying shipments were sent to Manning's wife. That's it, that's all.
Debbie Davies, the reporter, has been making all the rounds saying that Al
Jazeera is sticking by the report. She was on television telling everyone that the
report didn't actually accuse Manning of taking HGH. And she's right. It didn't.
It just had some guy saying shipments were made to Manning's wife. That's it,
Peyton Manning can threaten to sue Al Jazeera all he wants, but he won't get
a dime. It'll be one big waste of time and Al Jezeera knows that. You don't think
they had their legal team look over every inch of the report before it went to air?
That's routine for small market television stations doing an investigative report
on bad apples at the supermarket. You don't think Al Jezeera's high-powered
lawyers protected the company from a massive lawsuit from an NFL legend?
Of course it did.
99 percent of America still hasn't seen report, I'm confident most of it thinks it
knows about everything that was in it. This just in: Nobody in the report even remotely
accused Manning of taking HGH.
The defaming part came from most of America who called Manning a cheater
without seeing the report. They made up their minds without seeing the report or
reading much of any article. They just read the headlines or some tweet and
made up their minds. That's what America does.
Al Jezeera sure got noticed didn't they? And it didn't really cost them very much
at all. They just gambled on an audience believing everything they hear and making
a snap judgment.
That's just the American way.
It worked. Al Jazeera may not have many more viewers, but they sure have a
new identity and that's worth a lot to them.