FISHKILL – State Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R, Fishkill) is a Marine Corps veteran who fought in Iraq and he is infuriated over learning that an Al Jazeera cable TV network is part of the basic package on some cable and satellite TV systems.
Verizon, Comcast, DirecTV and Dish Network carry the network as part of their basic programming and he said American subscribers should not have to pay for it if they do not want it.
“Al Jazeera has a history of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, it is owned by a foreign government, and is equally, if not more, anti-American and anti-Semitic, not to mention misogynistic,” he said.
Lalor is calling on those companies to drop the network by September 11. If they do not, he said he would lead a boycott of the TV systems and encourage municipalities to revoke their contracts for the companies to operate.
The freshman lawmaker said this is not a First Amendment issue since the free-press clause does not protect foreign powers “who wish to broadcast propaganda into our country and our homes.” He said he does not object to the existence of the channel, but rather its inclusion as a basic cable channel that subscribers are paying for in their bills.