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Your dispatches....on Al-Jazeera in Canada

A number of listeners wrote in after Rick's interview with Richard Gizbert, a TV host with al-Jazeera's English network, which began airing in Canada in May.

The Arabic network is not available here in Canada.

Not because of regulation, as we erroneously stated.

Listener Ron Cohen points out the CRTC approved it for broadcast back in 2004. And he ought to know.

Cohen chairs the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, dealing with queries and complaints about private broadcasters.

Some broadcasters complain CRTC conditions requiring them to monitor and delete potentially-abusive comments from al-Jazeera Arabic would be too strict and costly.

Nonetheless writes Ron Cohen,

It is interesting that no (satellite or cable company) has seen fit to apply to include Al-Jazeera Arabic on its list of eligible satellite services since 2004, despite the assurance of the Commission that, subject to the....Conditions of License, it would consider any such applications expeditiously.

Have the (satellite or cable companies) been worried about the possibility of any abusive comment? In any event, the road to carriage has been wide open to them for almost six years.

That from Ron Cohen, chair of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Ron Neufeld of Estevan, Saskatchewan writes:

Unlike many of your listeners in Canada, your guest's...show...and other selected AJE programming has been a news consumption (of mine) for well over a year now.

This has been accomplished through the techno-miracle called podcasting... Fortunately for me, the CRTC's approval is neither required -- nor desired -- before subscribing to any podcast.

Despite my long term exposure to the so-called "Terror TV," I can assure your listeners that I still do not have the slightest interest in becoming a suicide bomber.

However, I do feel that I have a far greater understanding as to what motivates other's (to) do so.

That's from Ron Neufeld in Estevan, Saskatchewan.

And from a listener in Toronto who's asked his name not be used:

Mr. Gizbert's explanation, that Al-Jazeera did not want to include the word 'Defense' -- which is part of the Israeli army's official English name, the Israel Defense Forces -- should its use leave the impression that Israel was acting defensively while fighting against Hamas -- is outrageous -- and indicates its inherent bias. Would the CBC ever consider referring to the Liberal Party of Canada as the "centrist party" should their reporters judge it as not being very liberal?

Your thoughts; our thanks. Send more to dispatches@cbc.ca

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