This Al Qaeda media strategy story keeps getting weirder and weirder. Last week we noted that Al Qaeda really disliked Fox News Channel, according to documents seized from Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.
Now, new documents have been revealed, shedding a light on what the terrorist organization thought about other news outlets. According to the Washington Post‘s David Ignatius, Al Qaeda’s media adviser had kind words for ABC (including “Brian Russ,” presumably investigative correspondent Brian Ross) as well as CBS, mixed feelings about CNN, and preferred MSNBC when Keith Olbermann was hosting there:
In the letter, the media adviser focuses on “how to exploit” the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, on television. He worries that CNN “seems to be in cooperation with the government more than the others,” though he praises its “good and detailed” Arabic coverage. “I used to think that MSNBC channel may be good and neutral a bit,” he continues, but then notes the firing of Olbermann.
The media chatter continues: CBS “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,” because of its chief investigator and terrorism expert, Brian Ross. But all the networks, he complains, will bring in analysts who will “conduct a smearing” of al-Qaeda figures.