Al Jazeera America will be launched on TV in the US today at 3:00 PM EDT. Many of us have waited for this moment and have written our support of this day. But when I called to have my Dish service upgraded so that I could receive it, I was told by the young man who answered the phone that al Quaeda had purchased channel 215 and owned al Jazeera.
Having been an information specialist by profession, this misinformation was anathema. A banshee shout came out of my mouth unexpectedly. The young man recoiled and said that he had had customers calling to cancel their subscription due to this. I asked him if he had had any information handed to him today on al Jazeera by Dish management and he said he had not.
To his credit he said he should have checked with management before giving out information from customers! But multiply this by thousands and you can readily discern the scope of the problem – especially with the Egyptian situation playing out in the background. I did take time to enlighten him and to direct him to the al Jazeera English website.
Alas, not only is America suffering from bankrupt educational systems, its citizens are quick to embrace here say as fact. This leaves little room for the resolution of our communication difficulties on any subject any time soon.