al-Qaeda Spokesman Ranks American News Media in Letter to bin Laden

No news stations meet the ‘professionalism and neutrality’ the terror organization desires.

By + More
Adam Gadahn
Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam al-Amriki, an American who grew up in southern California, converted to Islam and joined al-Qaida.

It's not just Rush Limbaugh who has a favorite news station. Turns out some of al-Qaeda's top leaders also have preferences when it came to American media.

In documents released Wednesday, al-Qaeda's American-born spokesperson Adam Gadahn revealed which news outlets the terror organization most preferred to get its message out on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Here's al-Qaeda's rankings of the top news stations and its strategy to "exploit the media in general."

ABC: According to Gadahn, ABC "could be one of the best channels, as far as [al-Qaeda] is concerned." Gadahn wrote that Brian Ross is one of the best terrorism journalists in the business and that the station is "interested in al-Qaeda issues … it also broadcasted excerpts from a speech of mine on the fourth anniversary [of 9/11]."

CBS: Gadahn thought that the long running time, popularity, and reputation of 60 Minutes made it a good program to send Osama bin Laden propaganda videos to. But Gadahn expressed some doubt.

"Only God knows the reality, as I am not really in a position to do so," he wrote.

[After bin Laden's Death, al Qaeda's Popularity Wanes]

MSNBC: Gadahn used to enjoy the station because it was "good and neutral," but he expressed outrage that Keith Olberman and Octavia Nasser were fired.

CNN: The pioneer of cable news "seems to be in cooperation with the government more than others (except Fox News of course)," Gadahn wrote, although he did praise the station's Arabic version.

Fox News: American news stations are "all on one level—except Fox News," Gadahn wrote. The channel "falls into the abyss … and lacks neutrality." Gadahn recommended sending material to all the major networks—except Fox News. "Let her die in anger," he wrote.

[Video: Osama Bin Laden Death Anniversary Prompts Terror Warnings.]

In the end, Gadahn wrote that no news organization was perfect—that no matter what message the terror organization sent, all stations would use "cunning methods" such as bringing in analysts and experts to "interpret [the video] in the way they want it to be." No station has "[reached] the perfect professionalism and neutrality" that al-Qaeda desired.

  • See pictues of Taliban Attacks in Kabul.
  • Read Pakistani Border Efforts 'A Source of Frustration'.
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly: an insider's guide to politics and policy.