Regarding exploiting American news stations, Gadahn recommended that
no matter what material we send, I suggest that we should distribute it to more than one channel, so that there will be healthy competition between the channels in broadcasting the material, so that no other channel takes the lead. It should be sent for example to ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN and maybe PBS and VOA.
Gadahn had his doubts about CNN, although its Arabic version “brings good and detailed reports”:
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). 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 Olbermann and Octavia Nasser the Lebanese.
Nasser was canned from CNN after she revealed her pro-terrorism bias in a tweet mourning the death of a Hezbollah leader. The rabidly partisan Olbermann, who relentlessly attacked Bush’s “war on terror” and helped whitewash Islamists by hosting representatives from Muslim Brotherhood front groups on his show, parted ways with MSNBC after his controversial financial donations to Democratic party politicians. It is telling that Gadahn views these two and MSNBC as “good and neutral.”
As for CBS, Gadahn muses, “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.” ABC “is all right; actually it could be one of the best channels, as far as we are concerned.” And his judgment of Fox News? “Let her die in her anger.”
After considering the pros and cons of the major U.S. broadcasters, Gadahn couldn’t make up his mind, and:
As far as the American channel that could be used to deliver our messages, whether on the tenth anniversary or before or after, in my personal opinion there are no distinct differences between the channels from the standpoint of professionalism and neutrality… they are all on one level except (Fox News) channel which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks neutrality too.
Ultimately Gadahn was skeptical of the American TV news media and “their cunning methods,” and he worried that no matter which outlet al Qaeda chose, the group’s message would probably end up being distorted somehow. “Or they may ignore the message and conduct a smearing of the individuals.”
In conclusion, al Qaeda seems to view MSNBC and Keith Olbermann as fair and balanced, while Fox News is hopelessly biased and Islamophobic – a perspective that is unsurprisingly identical to that of the American left.
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