Monday, April 03, 2006

Al-Jazeera gets new weapon

If Western governments were already worried about the launch of Al-Jazeera's English-language news channel this summer now they should be really worried.

The Times is reporting a new twist in the international news battle as the Qatar state-owned Arabic news channel, accused by London and Washington of aiding terror, turns to sheep. No one saw that coming.

No, it doesn't have secret film of sheep packed with explosives running through Iraq. Just sheep from Wales.

More precisely a family of opera-singing Welsh sheep, 'The Baaas', which have apparently gone down well with the wife of the Emir of Qatar.

'The Baaas', a Welsh-language children's show on S4C (at least I think it’s for kids) are to appear on Al-Jazeera, which is better known for screening the mutterings of Osama bin Laden and his gang of mountain-living thugs.

'The Baaas' will form part of Al-Jazeera's children's channel offering. Apparently Al-Jazeera has bought all 52 episodes of 'The Baaas' from S4C.

Not only have the scripts been dubbed into Arabic, but they have been cleared after being checked for "anti-Islamic subtexts". Seriously. I guess you can never be too careful with sheep. I'm not sure how you translate down with the international caliphate into baa, but I imagine... wait this joke is so over. Read the full story here.

While we're on it, the New York Daily News has former ABC 'Nightline' presenter David Marash explaining why he is joining the likes of Sir David Frost at Al-Jazeera in the latest septuagenarian news hiring while is reporting that Five presenter Barbara Serra has also joined Arabic TV channel.


At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The same thing happened a few years back with the BBC removing the anti English sentiment from 'Superted' the popular Welsh language cartoon about a teddy bear who rips off his fur to reveal a Superman style outfit. This cartoon, in the original Welsh, contained a series of subtle plot references to burning English cottages, beating them at rugby and broader English imperialistic attitudes.


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