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The Evidence Against Al Jazeera
Friday, June 13, 2008
Channel 3 reports that at Wednesday's public forum on Burlington Telecom and Al Jazeera, Jamie Zeppernick of the Defenders Council of Vermont commented that Al Jazeera "does incite murder. It incites hatred and it incites violence."

This is quite a claim, so I wrote to Mr. Zeppernick and asked if he had any evidence. Here is his reply:

"Good day,

I have offered only a fractional amount of evidence at our events on the 9th and 10th of June. Further evidence is readily accessible from doing your own objective research on the issue. An exploration of the public record using a broad spectrum of resources will provide you with the best results.

Thank you and please let me know if you have further questions about our organization.

Jamie Zeppernick"

Labels: ,

posted by Haik Bedrosian @ 12:39 PM  
  • At June 14, 2008 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It appears Mr. Zeppernick has no "real" proof. Seriously. If he did, he could produce with immediately. That replay is perhaps one of the worst cop-outs I've seen. "Go find it yourself"??? Really?? Wow. Come on. If its THAT bad, SHOW US!!! Unlike other, there are those who'd be willing to see and listen to information they don't like or suggests something contrary to their (our) opinion. Cut and pasting links isn't that hard. Until the antis produce something to counter the clear and PROVABLE statements of Josh Rushing, then they seem to be pissing in the wind.

    Added "proof" to the suggestion that the antis know less about what they are against then they admit.

    And it appears people don't know the difference between AJ and AJE. Despite your earlier suggestions that they're the same (and I think maybe I offered an example of support), the two networks do different things. That should be kept in mind.

    The big deal about not carrying AJE is that those who don't want it (an apparent minority) are demanding to have it removed for spurious reason. What are those (two) reasons? 1) It's anti-Israeli/Jewish. We've heard this from several members of the Jewish community...some of them NOT from Burlington. But, we've also heard from several Jewish Burlingtonians who want AJE and who are not offended. Moreover, it seems Israelis themselves what alot of who are these people speaking for? 2) We've heard that those who support the military can't possibly support BT if they carry AJE, because (and this is important) Al-Jeezera (as opposed to AJE) shows "beheadings and is anti-American." Huh. Well, the spokesman of AJE refuted all of that, with fact. He also let us know how much our service folks watch AJ (not AJE) in the field. Commanders to enlisted. Moreover, a vet (or two?) got up at the 6/8 meeting to tell the people how they, as vets, want AJE. So, who's being spoken for there?

    The "lack of demand" argue doesn't completely fit here. AJE is offered, for free. Other channels would likely cost BT (therefore the subscribers) $$. SO in that case, demand matters. However, a little old lady did raise an interesting point (and I think the reality is quite telling): why is AJE only offered in the premium package? Why not the basic, if its free? Why guess is that BT knew it would be a problematic situation eventually, and only wanted to offer it to people somewhat buried among 100+ other channels. Probably a wise decision.

    The point is, there doesn't need to be (or shouldn't need to be) a demand for more information...even if we disagree on what that information is. At the same time, a seemingly small minority shouldn't have the ability to limit that access to that information when they seem unwilling to limit it for themselves = turn the damned thing off. And until each one of them boycotts every corner store they've every been to that sells porn, or something else they don't like, they have a long way to go before they have a legitimate argument.

  • At June 14, 2008 12:39 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Ari, you were in my dream a few hours ago this morning. You were in touch with Sean Pecor, and that made me really happen in the dream.

    I'll check those links a little later... gotta get to the in-laws. Shouldn't be blogging... but I love the word "milieu."

    People don't know, but it was the word milieu, not the scream, that killed Dean in 2004.

    He said he wanted to speak in the "milieu" of religious southerners. Think about that.


    The gentleman from Virginia makes some good points. Ok. Well maybe "milieu" and "South" aren't all that juxtaposed. Not for the Carpetbaggers anyway. You tell me.

  • At June 14, 2008 1:47 PM, Blogger flameape said…

    I was going to write a comment but "hoping for common sense" really hit nail on the head, so thanks, ditto and so on.

    "The point is, there doesn't need to be (or shouldn't need to be) a demand for more information...even if we disagree on what that information is. At the same time, a seemingly small minority shouldn't have the ability to limit that access to that information when they seem unwilling to limit it for themselves..."

    EFFING-A, sir.

  • At June 14, 2008 2:11 PM, Blogger flameape said…

    ok , sorry , i guess i have to open my digital yapper again. one thing to consider, again; if there were simultaneously or in place of AJE, a pro israeli/ ALLEGEDLY anti-arab/hate speech news network- would we or more importantly Mr. Zeppernick and the ICofVT speak out as voraciously against it? would these folks be so quick to call for it's removal? I think not.

    in the end AJE is NOT inciting anything. Mr. Zeppernick cannot even spend the time to link to proof/transcripts/clips of his claims. so he has no validity in my mind UNTIL HE GETS OFF HIS DUFF AND DOES SO. end of story.

    btw- I watched the AJE guys on ch.17 the other night- they seemed pretty credible and at least had the guts to take on the questions of our community directly, courteously, and in person- unlike the people in and outside this community who point a finger at the channel.

    and frankly, at this point, i don't care who's right about AJE's content. i want the access to the news channel- and ALL the choices at my discretion not Mr. Zeppernick's, my neighbors, or ICV's. i want all the right-wing, left, sideways, arab, israeli, moderate and progressive as well as DIY/grassroots op/ed and news coverage. why do i have to rant and get angry and so on to have access on MY cable provider to the whole variety of information when the information is free to pull down off the satellites and pump into my tv? why do i have to battle with special interest groups over the access to diverse opinions in the USA; a country that was FOUNDED on dissent and free opinion?

    I'm getting sick of this ingnorant, xenophobic and frankly lazy apathetic response to AJE and it's validity or entitlement to access on my community airwaves. I'm really sick of this misinformation on the part of knee-jerk pro war/administration flunkies to abridge the other point of view. no more kid gloves, all bets are off. we need to make sure that at all public forums that we won't tolerate censorship or ignorance deciding what we watch or don't watch. "don't tread on me mother-effers", should be the motto. yeh i'm angry- and so should we all.

  • At June 14, 2008 2:14 PM, Blogger flameape said…

    and yes, when i write when i'm pissed off, my grammar goes to hell. sorry haik. much love to you all.

  • At June 14, 2008 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I like your style. We're together on this one for sure (along with Haik et al.). I've been pinging Ch.17 folks, emailed Paul Decelles to have him check out this blog, emailed a guy on the TAC whom I know, emailed Greg Elper Wood, emailed Ken Picard...etc etc. Just letting them know people are paying attention.

    I suppose I start being "meself" here. No sense in hiding. It my town people are screwing with...

  • At June 14, 2008 6:03 PM, Blogger JayV said…

    I went to the deal at Champlain College, arrived about 30 min into it and left just before it ended. I ditto the comments here, but no one seems to mention the lack of accountability on the part of Chris Burns. I mentioned this at the first public forum. Haik's compared his free ride to that of Ben Pacy ("Nothing will excuse the fact that thus far Ben Pacy has seen zero punishment for breaking into ...") and his superior, Mr Leopold. Thus far, Greg E-W has chaired the AJE/BT with aplumb. But the oversight committees should deal with the Burns matter, too.

    Ain't internet grand? I love it when Burlington makes international news. (The Guardian mentioned our fair city in a piece about the new Exec Dir of AJE.)

  • At June 14, 2008 6:13 PM, Blogger JayV said…

    LOL...i meant "aplomb." Sorry ' bout that, this is one of the days I was out in the noonday sun a bit too long.

  • At June 14, 2008 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yours and other is a good point regarding what started this all: the action of one person. But then again, that would bring Decelles' and others' point into play: not why did it come off, but how did it get there in the first place (w/o input)?

    I am glad to see you 2nd my notion of Greg Epler Wood. His is not and enviable job and he seems both truly concerned and massively level-headed. Hard combo to beat, or find for that matter.



  • At June 14, 2008 9:11 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    OK Ari, I checked out some of the featured videos at . Of course I was immediately terrified that the authorities would see me checking out a bunch of terrorist mumbo jumbo. But if that's their perspective on the west, the west should know. But some of what I saw there you'd expect, like blowing up a model of an Israeli nuclear plant. Why not? If they had a nuclear plant, it would be the plant, not a model that would get blown up for real. It's a symbolic protest. And the speeches are just words. When we hated the Commies and were afraid of all their rhetoric and nukes it wasn't the governents that made change happen. It was people to people contacts and exchanges. We won them over with Levi's Jeans. We can win over the people of the middle east, if we show them we're big enough to live by our own core principles- habaes corpus, freedom of speech, freedom of religion.

    And I'm not saying there aren't people in the middle east that want to kill Jews and westerners, but it's very hard for me to divorce this notion from our foreign policy posture in the middle east. Simple common sense tells me they have to be related.

    Iranian youth can be very pro-western when we let them be, but how would you feel if foreign leaders from another country talked as casually about bombing America as American leaders talk about bombing Iran? Would you care about the strength of their ideas? Would you want to adopt their culture?

  • At June 15, 2008 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ari, I think you make a good point (bearing in mind that Iranians are not Arabs.). Rhetoric about wiping people from the earth is wrong. Plain and simple. But, something to bear in mind: Israel is the only nuclear power in the region. Israel is the only state in the region with the capability--thanks, is no small part to the US--to actually carry out its threats.

    This debate always makes me wonder: shouldnt someone (country) be standing up for the principles on which they claim to be founded, be they religious or secular? And that question applies as much to the US as Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. Shouldn't someone stand up and say: "enough...we're not going to perpetuate this anymore." My thought has always been it should be those with the most power. In this case, the US and Israel. We here can only speak on behalf of our country....

  • At June 15, 2008 10:21 AM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    Rhetoric shapes public opinion and has real consequences. We agree that Bush's rhetoric has caused real harm in the world. Why don't you agree that the hateful Arab rhetoric has too?

    Bush's rhetoric is harmful, but that harm is magnified because of his actions. We destroyed Iraq. We killed a million people. Israel has nuclear weapons, but reserves the right to bomb the hell out of others for trying to get them. Israel and the US are both guilty of massive hypocrisy.

    Arab rhetoric does not scare me, and we should be free to hear it in the US. The issue of Al Jazeera in Burlington is a matter of principle. A few hard core Jews and right wingers convinced the general manager to pull the channel. As a result there now is a large clamoring to keep it on the air.

    Rhetoric can is harmful to international relations, and to the perceptions one group has of another, but ultimately it's sticks and stones that break bones, not words.

    Other countries less sure of their principles ban words, thoughts and ideas. The great thing about being an American is...

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  • At June 28, 2008 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are some people whose self-inflicted anxieties drive them to a state where sighting an unfamiliar new channel causes them to break out in cold sweat.

    While hoping for a decent daytime job, some of such elements opt to peddle doses of paranoia, hoping to end up as hawkers for an alarmist lobby. Perhaps it was about such a lot in mind that H.L. Mencken once declared that “the whole aim of practical politics” is “to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    Perhaps with such elements in mind, last year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg actually went so far as to urge people to “get a life”, pointing out that “you have a much greater danger of being hit by lightning than being struck by a terrorist.”

    Such persons need to try hard not to end up like a cynic, who, as described by H. L. Mencken, is the one that when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

  • At June 28, 2008 6:37 PM, Blogger Haik Bedrosian said…

    How did you even know to search for the VT Defenders Council from the UK?

  • At July 05, 2008 1:46 PM, Blogger Editor said…

    Sorry for the delete/repost, just trying to get my name off the google indexes...

    I dunno about Al Jazeera, but I suggest spending some time at to get some sense of the milieu of the Middle East. It's just clips from what's shown on national TV there, with English subtitles added.

    Anyway for Al Jazeera English, there are lots of channels that aren't carried for lack of demand... unless there's a huge clamoring for Al Jazeera TV in VT, what's the big deal?

  • At July 05, 2008 1:48 PM, Blogger Editor said…

    Another delete/repost... you'll have to read out of sequence... sorry!

    I agree. Bush has done a miserable job of winning over the people. His bs tough talk is needlessly antagonizing. He can't even win over his own countrymen let alone our sworn enemies. If I were Bush I'd spend an hour each day at a Mosque, then a church, then a temple, etc on a rotating basis, just for the message it sends.

    But talk isn't just talk, not when Iranians casually talk about wiping Israel off the map, nor when Arab children's shows talk about killing Jews, nor when Hillary casually mentions obliterating Iran (albeit in response to a nuclear attack).

    Rhetoric shapes public opinion and has real consequences. We agree that Bush's rhetoric has caused real harm in the world. Why don't you agree that the hateful Arab rhetoric has too?

  • At July 05, 2008 2:02 PM, Blogger Editor said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At July 05, 2008 2:08 PM, Blogger Editor said…

    And finally a new post now...

    Jonas, yes, you're right those in power should say "enough" and forswear the nukes... that's the thinking behind the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the promise that we'll never use them first, so there's no need for anyone else to have them in their arsenal.

    When you say Israel is the only nation in the region with the power to carry out its threats, that's the point... Israel doesn't make such threats to annihilate neighboring countries! The US has talked of regime change, but no one is talking about offensively using nuclear weapons!

    The problem with nukes is they're so devastatingly powerful, they allow the actions of a single madman to be amplified to the point where millions of people would suffer the consequences. It's scary for anyone to have this much power, anywhere, and yes, that includes the US and Israel. I worry sometimes what might happen if the US becomes less stable 200 or 2000 years from now. But as much as it scares me that humans in this country have this power, it scares me even more that humans in a country as unstable as Iran or Pakistan should have that power, countries with tumultuous coups in their recent histories, and in the case of Iran, a country that directly supports random bombing of civilians in Israel.

    The problem with any deal or pact is the risk that the counterparty would not honor it, and in the case of nukes, there's no second chance! I view that risk as too high with Iran.

    And Haik, I don't know how on earth Iran doesn't scare you... I hope we don't live to see the day when it finally does.

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Bach's Cello Suite #1 in G Major Prelude

"Bulldog's" Bio

My Dream House


Daily Kos

Michael Moore


CCTV Channel 17

VCAM Channel 15

Vermont Guardian

UVM Cynic

WVAA 1390 AM


90.1 WRUV FM

Lois the Hot Dog Lady

Women Helping Battered Women

Dr. Tuna, et al.


Burlington "Free" Press

WCAX Channel 3 (CBS)

WPTZ Channel 5 (NBC)


Vermont Bar Association

Chittenden Solid Waste District

Chittenden Solid Waste District

Carnegie library building

Wiki Leaks

Madeleine Kunin's Resume

Famous Vermonters Part I

Famous Vermonters Part II

True Crime in Burlington

Kennedy Family Tree

Rockefeller Family Tree

Bush Family Tree

Church of the Subgenius

Robert Anton Wilson

Right Here Writing From China!

Democracy Now!

Neighborhood Planning Assemblies

Huffington Post

Editor and Publisher

Bet on Politics!

Political Graveyard

Rasmussen Reports

Mark Fiore

Frame Shop

The King of All Media

Alexandra Kosteniuk





Boob Nazis



Center for Digital Democracy

Free Radio Burlington

The Freedom Forum

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Random Election Literature





"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

-Emma Lazarus, 1883

Church Street Energy System

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Whatever things
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Duis ligula lorem, consequat eget, tristique nec, auctor quis, purus. Vivamus ut sem. Fusce aliquam nunc vitae purus.