The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Friday


“A huge amount of what goes on in the Middle East has to do with people being fed bad information.” — Jimmy Wales



So, how about Time Warner Cable dropping Current TV after the Al Gore snore-fest was purchased by Al Jazeera?

That’ll show them there Ay-rab terrorists, won’t it?

Al Jazeera English

Plotting The Takeover Of Middle America

Al Jazeera is one of my half dozen daily news sources. That and BBC America give me the non-parochial slant on the day’s events that I need.

And, try as I might, I’ve yet to glean any anti-American or even pro-Arab skew to the channel’s news coverage.

But, y’know, it’s got that furreign name and it has a lot of brown people on camera, ergo, it must be one of the clandestine sponsors of our Mark of the Beast, Manchurian Candidate, puppet prez.

I used to watch Current TV, but only for Sarah Haskins, who hosted the “Target Women” segment on the “InfoMania” weekly news recap series. She was funny and incisive in skewering advertisements directed at the girls and ladies of our holy land (trust me, none of those messages was aimed at “women”).

Haskins/Current TV

Haskins’ takes on commercials for personal safety, yogurt, and — naturally — diets were laugh-out loud funny. (Scroll down for three clips from “Target Women.”) Haskins is a native Chicagoan who graduated from Harvard as well as what used to be known as the ImprovOlympic, but after the International Olympic Committee’s cease-and-desist is now legally monickered iO.

So we are fellow alumni — no, not of Harvard (I’m not that dopey) but of iO.

The time I spent at iO in the 1980s was unquestionably the best education I ever got. Improvising live on stage gave me confidence, honed my quick-thinking skills, and brought out in me a certain mentally agility. It taught me, more than anything else, how to listen.

And it gave me a chance — however briefly — to work with Lili Taylor.


Lili Taylor

Anyway, outside of Sarah Haskins, there wasn’t all that much of interest on Current TV. As soon as Haskins left the network, I stopped watching.

I have no idea what airs on Current TV of late. Nor am I the only one. In an article last year on the channel, New York Times reporter Brian Stelter wrote, “Current TV’s audience is small — very small.”

Still, Time Warner Cable‘s decision to dump the channel at this moment is suspect. Al Jazeera, which is spending half a billion dollars on the deal, plans to kill Current TV and replace it with a new operation called Al Jazeera America, something similar to the BBC America transoceanic split.

You’ve got to figure the new AJA would draw more viewers than the low-five-figures audience Current TV puts to sleep nightly.

So why would TWC give the heave to a service that is almost guaranteed to grow? Why, indeed.


One thought on “The Pencil Today:

  1. Danny "the hair" Wasik says:

    Michael, it’s such a treat to come to your site. Every once in a while, when the grind of life has crushed me into gravel or I’m looking for a little well spoken sanity, I indulge and take the time to come to the Pencil. Never fails to refresh my spirit. Thanks man, keep the faith. You are making a difference.

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