THE NEW YORK TIMES:
"The New York Times" in an editorial criticizes the decision by the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq to bar reporters from the Al-Jazeera Arab television network, calling the judgement "repugnant."
The financial exchanges complained that Al-Jazeera is not "responsible," an allegation the paper calls "cryptic," but assumes it is linked to the station's decision to air footage of dead U.S. and British soldiers and POWs in Iraq.
"But Al-Jazeera says that after the Pentagon asked it to remove the pictures until families had been notified, it did so for eight hours, while the television stations of numerous countries continued to show them."
"The New York Times" says: "In truth, it seems that New York's exchanges have a broader complaint, heard in various forms elsewhere -- that Al-Jazeera is insufficiently supportive of America and its war in Iraq. As the only uncensored Arabic television in the world, Al-Jazeera does indeed slant its debates and discussions in a way that can be hostile to the West. [But] if the U.S. hope for the Arab world is [for] it to enjoy a free, democratic life, Al-Jazeera is the kind of television station Americans should encourage."
The Qatar-based station is the only Arabic channel "that regularly interviews Israeli officials," the paper says. It has also been "a vital source of information" about Al-Qaeda. "The New York Times" says Al-Jazeera "deserves all the help it can get."