Al Jazeera

China and Russia are fighting a heated war with the United States.

On November, 8 2013, Super typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded, destroyed an area as big as Belgium and affected the lives of 14 million people in the central islands of the Philippines. Immediately following the storm, a surge of prominent international newsmakers and their crews descended on Tacloban and began live reporting from the disaster zone.

Egypt’s government has arrested four journalists working for Al Jazeera English in Cairo. Police took Peter Greste, a correspondent from Australia, Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, who has Canadian and Egyptian citizenship, and producer Baher Mohamed and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy, both Egyptian, into custody on Sunday. Egyptian police accused the men of “broadcasting news that threatens internal security and spreading false news.”

For the past six months, I've been reporting on a documentary, "Where Were You: The Day JFK Died," marking the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. Simultaneously I've been keeping a close watch on the coverage of the political gridlock, food fight, meltdown—pick your phrase—in Washington between President Obama and his political adversaries.

The decision came in an early evening call to four journalists huddled in a Hong Kong conference room. On the line 12 time zones away in New York was their boss, Matthew Winkler, the longtime editor in chief of Bloomberg News. And they were frustrated by what he was telling them. The investigative report they had been working on for the better part of a year, which detailed the hidden financial ties between one of the wealthiest men in China and the families of top Chinese leaders, would not be published.

New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter uploaded this video showing the final minute of Current TV and the first five minutes of Al Jazeera America, which began broadcasting at 3 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday. It’s mostly a promotional video, which hits repeatedly on two main themes: a heavy subtext of Americanness (it refers to the United States as “home”) and the not-so-subtle implication that other American TV news networks lack seriousness.

Al-Jazeera and America, two name brands often at odds since 9/11, were wed as one on Tuesday (Aug. 20) when the Qatar-based media network began broadcasting its U.S. news channel Al-Jazeera America from New York. This is not the first time Al-Jazeera has tried to find a home on American TV. Al-Jazeera English debuted with an international focus in 2006 but was never picked up in major media markets outside the Northeast.

You have to give Al Jazeera America major points for chutzpah. In the face of fears that its parent company is essentially anti-America, it launched its new network with a tear-down of the American television news media. Its Tuesday premiere on the network formally known as Current TV opened with an hour dedicated to Al Jazeera America's mission statement: Offer an intelligent, unbiased, wide-reaching alternative to the broken and pitted mess that is currently in place.