TV's Best Egypt Reporting Not Available in U.S.

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Protesting in Cairo. (AP)

"We report. You decide." But not all the time.

The best international TV coverage of the chaos in Egypt is coming from Al Jazeera, whose journalists fit right in with the throng. But, as the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim points out here, not a lot of Americans can watch it.

Because of previous governmental and corporate antipathy for the Arab news network, not to mention a general suspicion among millions of Americans, only a tiny handful of U.S. cable operators carry Al Jazeera English, although U.S. news outlets are using footage that the network is sharing.

Ironically, Al Jazeera is not too popular with the Egyptian government, either. The government shut down its broadcast for several hours over the weekend, and the network Monday reported that authorities raided its operations and arrested six employees.

According to the other Arab TV news network, Al Arabiya, they were released -- get this -- after United States authorities in Egypt complained.

Al Arabiya, which does not have an English-language channel, was launched, according to its general manager, Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, to counteract the more inflammatory style of Al Jazeera.

If news-channel ratings in the Arab world work the same way as they do in America, where the screamers get the viewers, it's a good thing Al Arabiya is backed by the Saudis.

You can see a live stream of Al Jazeera's Egypt coverage here. Or read Al Arabiya here.

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