Blurt: Seven Days Staff Blog

NOTE: Blurt has been retired and is no longer updated regularly. For new content, follow these links:

OFF MESSAGE: Vermont News and Politics
BITE CLUB: Food and Drink Blog

« Johnny Law | Main | Photographer Pierced by Javelin Keeps on Shooting »

May 16, 2008

Call-in Show Tonight on BT's On-Again Off-Again Relationship with Al Jazeera

Seven Days reported last week that municipally owned cable TV provider Burlington Telecom is dumping Al Jazeera's English language channel from its broadcast line-up.

We got one letter supporting BT's decision to drop the Arab news network, and several protesting it.

Tonight, the controversy is the subject of a live call-in show at 5:25 on Channel 17 (BT channel 317). You can show up at the studio at 5 to be part of the discussion.

Blogger and VCAM producer Bill Simmon wrote about BT's announcement on Monday, then posted about it again today. He poses the following questions:

  • If you pulled Al Jazeera because of subscriber complaints, and that many subscribers (or more) have asked for it to remain, what is your justification for pulling it, exactly?
  • Will you pull other channels out of the line-up because of similar complaints?  Would you pull Fox News if you received enough emails?  If not, what's different about that situation?
  • Don't customers have the ability to block unwanted channels themselves (as required by law)?  Why pull an entire channel so nobody in the community can see it?  Why not just instruct customers who don't want the content in how to block it?

Tune in tonight. Looks like you might even be able to catch the program on CCTV's fancy pants new website.

UPDATE: Burlington Telecom's Ricard Donnelly responds to Bill's questions in the comments thread on that post.

Clarification, channel 317 is the Live Burlington channel on BT, airing Live Burlington meetings as they happen and a line up of Free speech TV programming elsewise. Channel 17, municipal access TV is shown on channel 17 on the BT system, airing municipal programming from 7 member communities. Repeats of the Al Jazeera forum will air later this month and be available as streaming video later this week.

I think I'm confused because I don't actually have a tv. I only watch ch. 17 on the web.

Keep Al Jazeera on board - it is head and shoulders above the mainstream corporate media in the US.

Watch it at

The comments to this entry are closed.

Stuck in VT (VIDEOS)

Solid State (Music)

Mistress Maeve (Sex)

All Rights Reserved © Da Capo Publishing Inc. 1995-2012 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802-864-5684