David Frost on Nixon, Yoko Ono, Al Jazeera 2009 07 12 CNN
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Sir David Frost has been anchoring a news program Frost Over the World since 2006 but until just recently, virtually no one in Washington could watch. The problem? The legendary journalist – best known for his incisive interviews with former president Richard Nixon – works for al Jazeera’s English channel and cable providers only began carrying it in the U S capital on July 1, while over 100 countries have watching for a long time.
On Reliable Sources, Frost told Howard Kurtz why Al Jazeera English may have gotten a bad rap from its association with its Arabic counterpart, famous – or infamous, depending on your point of view – for carrying many of the video and audio messages from Osama Bin Laden.
"Every company… delighted at those Osama bin Laden tapes. You see, they'd drop them through the letter box. They seem to be dropping them through our [Al Jazeera English's] letter boxes now. But from that, I mean, once they decided to use them, and there are lots they didn't use. But I mean once they decided to use them, so did the BBC, so did ITV, so did CBS, NBC, ABC. Everyone wanted them. And they just happened to be the lucky recipients," Frost said.
"Al Jazeera English came along and it immediately, people see it, they realize that it's independent, that it's international, that it's for the south as well as the north. And you can see it's not about Osama bin Laden any more than any other network is."
Frost was one of the well-known personalities who gave the channel instant credibility, and said that he has complete editorial independence.