It’s the kind of spontaneous testimonial that any new outlet dreams of. For The Stream, Al Jazeera America recently dialed up Mel Brooks via satellite from Los Angeles. At one point, the 87-year-old comedy legend took a moment to praise the instrument of his interview:
“Let me say something about Al Jazeera. I’m doing this because when Al Jazeera was first on the air, and I first heard about it, I thought it was probably Arab, Muslim, you know, slanted and maybe a little anti-Semitic, I didn’t know. And then I got to see it on my local station in Santa Monica and it was like a breath of fresh air.”
“It was like the New York Times of [TV] news. It was either MSNBC on the left or FOX on the right. It was giving me the news as earnestly and as honestly as I ever got it, and that’s why I salute Al Jazeera, and that’s why I’m happy to be here doing this even though the money is very small.”
Brooks also talked during the conversation about today’s insanely high threshholds for political correctness and male prejudice against female comedians, but it’s the Al Jazeera America endorsement that will be the keeper. Brooks is the first celebrity to speak up in such a fashion on behalf of the channel launched last summer. Senator John McCain has previously commended the network for its coverage of the ongoing unrest in Egypt.