Al-Jazeera America, the soon-to-be-dead U.S. outpost of the Qatari government’s global television network, published an opinion essay on Thursday morning that satirized—subtly, but not that subtly—a number of new (or newly relaunched) media companies, including Mic, The New Republic, and Al-Jazeera America itself. Hours later, however, the network’s website replaced the entire essay with the following editor’s note:
Numerous outlets—including The Intercept, Politico, and The New York Times—are reporting that Al Jazeera executives have decided to shutter its U.S. cable news operation, Al Jazeera America, on April 30. According to a memo obtained by the Times’ John Koblin, the Qatari media conglomerate determined that the channel’s finances were “unsustainable”:
When readers in the U.S. click on this hyperlink, they’ll be taken to an Al Jazeera America op-ed criticizing Saudi Arabia for an uptick in executions of prisoners for apparently political reasons. When international readers click it, they’ll get a 404 error. According to Al Jazeera itself, this discrepancy is by design.