The Critical 'I'

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Monday, March 24, 2003

NYSE BARS AL-JAZEERA
Let the war hysteria on the home front begin. The New York Stock Exchange today barred a reporter from the Al-Jazeera from the trading floor, citing the Arabic news network's lack of "responsibility".

Since when can the NYSE decide which news organizations are "responsible" and which are not? They could stretch this, if they cared to, into barring any reporters that dare to report on any bearish rumors (that they won't isn't the point). Devising this as a punishment or protest against Al-Jazeera's unrelated earlier actions is ludicrous; business news and war coverage don't really have that much in common. If the guys in charge at the exchange don't like what the network's been broadcasting, tough. Media freedom isn't exclusive to American-based enterprises. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the U.S. have a problem with this concept.

It's a total horseshit call. What exactly are they worried about--that the reporter is going to come in with a bomb strapped on his back and hold the place hostage? Or that the sight of an Arab in the joint will trigger a Dow drop? Idiocy.

Speaking of Al-Jazeera, they've just opened up shop on an English-language site.