It was shocking enough when LucasFilm announced last October that it was selling the Star Wars franchise for $4 billion to none other than Disney, who would produce three more movies as sequels to the original trilogy. The horror of that news was leavened by the rational hope that even Disney probably couldn’t do worse to Star Wars than what Lucas himself did by deciding to make the prequels. Surely the negotiations were short.
Al Jazeera has just purchased Al Gore’s Current TV cable network for an estimated $500 million. Al Jazeera, you may remember, is a rabidly anti-american news broadcaster whose headquarters George W. Bush considered bombing in 2005. Current has been around for most of a decade but I only heard of it after Keith Olbermann got fired from MSNBC, so I guess ‘struggling‘ is apt.
Anyway, what’s wild is the reaction. First, the most predictable blowhard, Rush Limbaugh, running at the mouth this afternoon: “I wonder does this mean Joy Behar and Jennifer Granholm are now going to have to wear burkas and veils over their faces? If they do, it might help raise audience levels.”
More surprisingly, Time Warner Cable immediately responded to the deal by dropping Current, claiming they “did not consent to the sale to Al Jazeera.” An odd play given the recent upsurge in visibility for Current and the worldwide popularity of Al Jazeera.