August 26, 2013 Lowell McAdams Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Verizon Communications Inc.

1095 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10036 Brian Roberts Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Comcast Corporation 170 JFK Blvd. Philadelphia, PA 19103 Dear Mr. McAdams and Mr. Roberts: Constituents recently contacted my New York State Assembly office to express outrage over the fact that as of last week, Al Jazeera America is part of the basic cable packages your company offers. Their concern is that as subscribers, they are being forced against their will to pay for a network that is owned by a foreign power with a long history of anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism and misogyny. Moreover, my constituents are rightfully infuriated that basic cable packages include Al Jazeera, a network that reflects the hatreds of its state-sponsor. As a New Yorker who lived through the deadly attacks of September 11th 2001 and subsequently served as a Marine Corps infantryman in Iraq, I too object to being forced to purchase Al Jazeera when paying for basic cable. I realize that Qatar allows the US to conduct operations within its borders. However, according to leaked cables and multiple reports, Qatar's record of counter-terrorism efforts was the "worst in the region." According to the New York Times, Qatar is "hesitant to act against known terrorists out of concern for appearing to be aligned with the U.S. and provoking reprisals." Why should your subscribers be forced to purchase a network owned by a foreign government that at best appeases Islamic terrorists? Similarly, why are your subscribers forced to purchase a network that has allowed Osama bin Laden and other terrorists to use it as a vehicle to communicate with jihadists around the world? To be clear, this is not a First Amendment issue. The free press clause of the First Amendment does not protect foreign powers who wish to broadcast propaganda into our

country. Moreover, at this time my constituents and I are not objecting to the existence of the channel. We object to Al Jazeera America’s inclusion as a basic cable channel that subscribers are forced to pay for and receive rather than as an a la carte channel that can be added to a basic package. I strongly urge you to transfer Al Jazeera America from the basic cable roster to a premium channel so that only those who wish to receive its programs have the channel. Should you refuse to remedy this problem by September 11, 2013, we will begin encouraging subscribers to drop your services and also work with municipalities to revoke the monopoly you currently enjoy. I can be reached at (845) 616-3509 if you have any questions about our objection to Al Jazeera America being part of the basic cable package don’t hesitate to contact me. Respectfully,

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor lalork@assembly.state.ny.us 1075 Rte. 82, Suite 1 Hopewell Jct., NY 12533

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