Fleet Center mystery: Al Jazeera's sign goes missing

Published July 26, 2004 4:12AM (EDT)

All of the major news networks have large skybox sets in Boston's Fleet Center replete with the new media-style glitz of fluorescent off-lighting and big plexiglass logos. Yet when Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language satellite channel, put up a more modest sign with the network's name transliterated into English on it, someone took it down. The network's Washington bureau chief, Hafez al Mirazi, wasn't clear on who stole the sign when he spoke to Wolf Blitzer on Late Edition today, but DNC officials have said that it's not going back up.

To be fair, Mirazi told Blitzer that some DNC officials claimed there was a lack of space for the sign and that other placards had also been removed from the Fleet Center's walls. He also said that "many of them apologized," especially considering DNC officials had earlier approved the sign. But, as Mirazi asked rhetorically on CNN, "who did it, and where is the sign?"

The sign's disappearance is especially ironic because Al Jazeera is devoting a lot more live coverage of the convention than all of the major American networks, including four straight hours of coverage Thursday night.

By Stephen W. Stromberg

Stephen W. Stromberg is a former editorial fellow at Salon.

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