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Sunday, October 07, 2007
  Newsweak: Al Jazeera's Makeover by Samantha Bee (again)
Daily Show does Al Jazeera English

Spotted on the Syria News Wire (Making Al Jazeera sexy). Though it will be gone before you know it, what with the vigilance of those charged with enforcing copyright-related "No Trespassing" warnings and all, here it is again, and in full: Samantha Bee's Makeover of Al Jazeera English. Come on, Comedy Central, make this classic available through your own video archive! We'll all feel a lot better about playing this segment on our computers. Not only will the twinge of guilt be gone, but so will the anxiety about the imminent disappearance of the download.

Since the material at the YouTube link will be going away any hour now, The Third Path: Daily Show reviews Al Jazeera English has the transcript. Copied below:

Jon Stewart: The Holocaust conference [in Tehran, Iran] probably won't do wonders for American perceptions of the Middle East, but one institution is working to make a difference. Samantha Bee reports.

["Newsweak," produced by Miles Kahn, edited by Mark Paone]

Samantha Bee (voiceover): Al Jazeera: the Arab-language news network has swept the Middle East, and they've got plenty of fans over here.

Donald Rumsfeld (archival footage): What Al Jazeera is doing is vicious, inaccurate, and inexcusable....

Bee (v.o.): So it's no surprise they've launched an English-language network.

Ghida Fakhry: Hello again. The top story on Al Jazeera tonight ...

Bee: But how many people are watching in the U.S.? Al Ja-zero! Who's with me? Folks? Everyone's so fucking serious around here.

Bee (v.o.): U.S. cable companies have refused to carry the new network. It's as if they've confused Al Jazeera English with Al Jazeera.

Will Stebbins (Bureau Chief, Al Jazeera English): We're looking to produce a journalistically quality product.

Bee: Aren't you trying to appeal to an American audience?

Stebbins: The principle behind the structure of Al Jazeera English is the recognition that geography and culture clearly affects one's view of the world.

Bee: Congratulations. Your mom and dad are watching; I get it.

Bee (v.o.): It was clear that Johnnie Prep-school didn't know the first thing about the news game so I studied their programming.

Sir David Frost (Frost over the World): You're such an expert on the worlds of terror and spies and ...

Bee: Oh my god, he is so old!

Riz Khan (Riz Khan): I started out mentioning you were a high-school dropout, picked up the guitar —

Riz Khan's guest: Yeah, thanks for that.

Shahnaz Pakravan (Everywoman): I'm Shahnaz Pakravan; thanks for joining me.

Bee: Does this thing have picture-in-picture? Anyone?

Richard Gizbert (Listening Post): If you don't like the angle on a story, you can report it your way.

Bee: [inhaling from what appears to be a joint] Oh no, this just makes it go slower.

Ethan Zuckerman (guest webcam commentary on Listening Post): American and Chinese companies, in providing a search engine...

Bee (v.o.): If they were going to succeed in American television, I'd have to become their Al Ja-hero, so I took a look under the hood.

Bee: Where are all your graphics?

Al Jazeera staffer: We usually put graphics at the end of the news hour.

Bee: Whoa, whoa, whoa — news hour?

Bee (v.o.): [over the Al Jazeera News theme] And that music ain't helpin', either.

Bee: [starts synthesized beat loop] Okay, what's that the sound of? [rhythmically, to the beat] People, working, in an office. [pause] Fingers, clacking on a keyboard. What's gonna happen in the world today? Oh no! Something terrible. Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera, Al Jazeera.

[skip material contained on the Huffington Post video posted here previously]

Stewart: Samantha Bee; we'll be right back.

Marash: Welcome to Al Jazeera television; I'm Dave Marash.

Bee: You're as dry as a biscuit! Give me some feeling. Get your pinky up America's bum and massage the prostate. Let's go, one more time.

(Only half a year between posts - maybe more are coming, who knows?)
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