Real Reality Television: Link TV

Link TV is a treasure chest of vital international television
by Anthony Kaufman
May-June 2009
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Link TV is television unfettered by national allegiance. The San Francisco–based TV network launched in 1999 with a mission to engage and educate American audiences about world affairs. With 5 million faithful viewers, Link is best known for Mosaic: World News from the Middle East, a daily 30-minute show started shortly after 9/11 that highlights coverage from more than 35 Mideast news programs. (The White House and the U.S. State Department are among its fans.)

Taking a break from politics, the network is also the only place on TV where you’ll find the music video for Serbian-Slovenian rock star Magnifico’s cover of the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun”; episodes of the popular Israeli show Arab Labor, a culture-clash comedy about a Palestinian-Israeli journalist; and hard-to-find acclaimed foreign films shown as part of Link’s Cinemondo series, including Russian auteur Alexander Sokurov’s recent antiwar meditation Alexandra and Egyptian director Youssef Chahine’s classic 1958 noir Cairo Station. Who said TV is just chewing gum for the eyes?

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