Current TV ended its final broadcast with shots of people jumping off cliffs. Then the cable channel turned the reins over to Al Jazeera America.
Parachutes opened for the jumpers as the closing credits of "Oxycontin Express" were immediately followed by the logo of Al Jazeera unfolding as light piano music played.
The intro then showed video of Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Republican Sen. John McCain seeming to laud the network.
"It is really effective, and in fact viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it's real news," Clinton said.
Not included was Clinton's context: "We’re the most technologically advanced country in the world. So, slowly but surely, we’ve been trying to take back the airwaves in Afghanistan against Taliban with the most primitive kind of communication equipment. Now, take that as one example where I don’t think we were very competitive–and we have worked like crazy to change that–and then go to the most extreme where you’ve got a set of global networks–that Al Jazeera has been the leader in–that are literally changing people’s minds and attitudes. And, like it or hate it, it is really effective. And, in fact, viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s 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 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."
Then came McCain's turn: "What Al Jazeera has done is achieve something that all of us, I think, want to achieve, and that is to make a contribution," he says in what appears to be a speech.
Americans from big cities to small towns then talk about the state of the news media in the United States.
"I think we're getting a lot of what we need, but there's always more news out there," one woman said. None of those interviewed use the words Al Jazeera in their comments.
A man in an NRA cap says, "If you talk about the mass media, such as TV and print papers, the mainstream, I think it's abysmal. It's not real coverage; it's plain and simple opinion and brainwashing."
Al Jazeera promises unbiased news coverage of subjects and communities that it says are being ignored by American media. It has 70 news bureaus around the world, and 12 in the United States.
As the network went to it's first break, two boxers pummeled each other in the face in a commercial for a razor blade "for sensitive skin."
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