A limited series of writings from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad were declassified and released today by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. You can peruse the entire release here, but Byron York on Twitter flagged what is likely to garner the most attention in conservative media circles. With their top leadership holed up in compounds and caves throughout Pakistan, I guess they have a lot of time to watch and analyze the news. This doesn’t appear to be from Bin Laden, but rather an Al-Qaeda media flack preparing analysis for “the Shayk”. But whoever he is (Adam Gadahn maybe?) he seems to have a pretty decent understanding of the U.S. media landscape.
From the professional point of view, they are all on one level-except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too.
As for the neutrality of CNN in English, it seems to be in cooperation with the government more than the others (except Fox News of course). Its Arabic version brings good and detailed reports about al-Sahab releases, with a lot of quotations from the original text. That means they copy directly from the releases or its gist. It is not like what other channels and sites do, copying from news agencies like Reuters, AP and others.
I used to think that MSNBC channel may be good and neutral a bit, but is has lately fired two of the most famous journalists –Keith Olberman and Octavia Nasser the Lebanese – because they released some statements that were open for argument…
CBS channel was mentioned by the Shaykh, I see that it is like the other channels, but it has a famous program (60 Minutes) that has some popularity and a good reputation for its long broadcasting time. Only God knows the reality, as I am not really in a position to do so.
ABC channel is all right; actually it could be one of the best channels, as far as we are concerned. It is interested in al-Qa’ida issues, particularly the journalist Brian Ross, who is specialized in terrorism. The channel is still proud for its interview with the Shaykh. It also broadcasted excerpts from a speech of mine on the fourth anniversary, it also published most of that text on its site on the internet.
The bit about Fox News leaked out a month or so ago, but as far as I know the rest of this is new. Something tells me the folks over at Fox don’t mind that they are media enemy number one as far as Al Qaeda is concerned, nor do they probably mind that they aren’t perceived as “in cooperation” with the U.S. government. That glorious distinction belongs to CNN, which is embarrassing enough. But perhaps even more troubling is Al Qaeda’s praise of their Arabic language channel for essentially re-broadcasting Al Qaeda press releases. Well, they are the “Worldwide Leader in News”…and Al Qaeda propaganda probably draws high ratings in some corners of the world.
ABC was also singled out for a bit of praise, but for the general quality of their journalism. At least that’s how I read this, so they earn a pass in my book.
The real loser of course is MSNBC, which has worked so very hard to align themselves with this Administration. “Cooperation” is not a strong enough word to describe the amount of water-carrying they do for the White House, and the President even swiped their tagline for his re-election campaign. This news must be absolutely devastating for them, but then I guess that’s what they get for firing the most important person in the history of news reading.