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Just a friendly reminder about Al Jazeera...

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Al-Jazeera employees work at the pan-Arab television channel's bureau in Cairo on January 30, 2011. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq has just suspended the networking licenses of Al Jazeera for "promoting violence and sectarianism."

This is same network former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has praised for being a source for "real news":

"You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, 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."

This network ,"promoting violence and sectarianism," is the same network President Obama has praised for promoting democracy:

“The emir of Qatar come by the Oval Office today, and he owns Al-Jazeera basically,” Obama said in remarks recorded by CBS News’s Mark Knoller. “Pretty influential guy. He is a big booster, big promoter of democracy all throughout the Middle East. Reform, reform, reform. You’re seeing it on Al-Jazeera.”

This is the same network from which former VP Al Gore just banked $100 million.  You know, because it's "high-quality, honest-to-goodness news."

But it seems like Iraq (IRAQ!) is taking a stand against Al Jazeera similar to the George W. Bush administration.

In 2004, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called Al Jazeera's reporting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable.”  

In 2003, two of Al Jazeera's financial correspondents were kicked off the trading floor of NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange.  “In light of Al-Jazeera’s recent conduct during the war, in which they have broadcast footage of US POWs in alleged violation of the Geneva Convention, they are not welcome to broadcast from our facility at this time,” said NASDAQ’s spokesperson. 

What do you think?  Is Iraq better off without Al Jazeera or should the network be free to broadcast in the name of free media?

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