The Campaign Spot

Current Breaker

Today’s Jolt looks at some meaty topics: the media dynamics forcing and fueling Representative Peter King’s tantrum over objections to pork in the hurricane relief bill, and the strangely quiet-to-nonexistent challenge to John Boehner within the GOP caucus . . . but nothing beats our third, lighter item:

Two Great Tastes You Never Liked, Finally Together as One

“Your Current TV got in my al-Jazeera! Your al-Jazeera got into my Current TV!”

You know why they called it “Current”? Because it had no future.

Al Jazeera on Wednesday completed a deal to take over Current TV, the low-rated cable channel that was founded by Al Gore and his business partners seven years ago.

Current will provide the pan-Arab news giant with something it has sought for years: a pathway into American living rooms. Current is available in about 60 million of the 100 million homes in the United States with cable or satellite service.

Rather than simply use Current to distribute its English-language channel, called Al Jazeera English and based in Doha, Qatar, Al Jazeera will create a new channel, called Al Jazeera America, based in New York. Roughly 60 percent of the programming will be produced in the United States, while the remaining 40 percent will come from Al Jazeera English.

Al Jazeera may absorb some Current TV staff members, according to people with knowledge of the deal who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. But Current’s schedule of shows will most likely be dissolved in the spring.

“Poor Eliot Spitzer!” said absolutely no one.

Can this get any sweeter? Yes, it can: “Mr. Gore and his partners were eager to complete the deal by Dec. 31, lest it be subject to higher tax rates that took effect on Jan. 1, according to several people who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.”

But wait, there’s more! Guess who Current’s old owners refused a deal with?

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze approached Current about buying the channel last year, but was told that “the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us and we are sensitive to networks not aligned with our point of view,” according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Based on Hyatt’s quote, the owners of Current TV didn’t want Glenn to purchase Current TV and put TheBlaze in millions of home across the country because they didn’t agree with his point of view. They must not feel the same way about Al Jazeera, a news organization that ran an op-ed comparing Glenn to a terrorist.

Glenn has taken issue with Al Jazeera in the past, noting their connections to Islamic extremism and their anti-American leanings in their reporting.

Had TheBlaze successfully purchased Current TV, the current lineup of TheBlaze TV would have replaced the existing progressive programming in 59 million homes in the United States.

As one righty fellow said on an e-mail list I’m on, “This is just about the greatest worldview validation news item for conservatives  ever.”

Michael Goldfarb: “Al Gore, lining his pockets with fossil fuel money.”

Phil Klein: “Now Israel will be blamed for global warming, too!”

But crown Allahpundit for the best response: “I really don’t like the idea of an extremist propaganda outlet that seeks the destruction of America airing on U.S. cable. Fortunately, sounds like Al Jazeera’s about to get rid of it.”

Frank J.: “I haven’t been able to come up with a joke about Al Jazeera buying Al Gore’s Current TV; you can’t really improve on the premise.”

Ken Vogel of Politico reported, “Time Warner Cable did not consent to sale to Al Jazeera. Consequently, Current will no longer be carried on Time Warner Cable.” Good, we’re keeping this product safely contained.

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