On Friday, 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden issued a new videotape in which he said, among other statements, that he will “escalate the killing and fighting against” Americans.
Yesterday, CNN Justice Correspondent Kelli Arena compared bin Laden’s tape to the writings of an “angry blogger”:
An obvious news junkie with a lot of time on his hands he makes several references to current affairs proof that the videotape is a new one. … At times he comes off like an angry blogger chastising Americans for electing President Bush twice and the Democrats for not doing more to stop the Iraq war.
The media continue to equate progressives with terrorists, echoing the rhetoric of the Bush administration. As ThinkProgress highlighted earlier today, New York Times columnist David Brooks yesterday said that in the newest tape, bin Laden sounds like he has been “reading lefty blogs.”
Right-wing bloggers have also joined in. At Hot Air, Allahpundit claimed bin Laden sounded like a “socialist icon,” invoking many of the same passages Brooks did. At Political Vindication, Uncle Seth the Noble went further, claiming bin Laden sounded like Daily Kos’s Markos Moulitsas. Frank J, a Pajamas Media blogger, concluded “Kos has to get this guy as a diarist before HuffPo does.”
E-mail CNN and request that the network stop equating progressive bloggers with bin Laden.
(HT: TP commenter Dan)
UPDATE: In 2004, Arena baselessly claimed that there is “some speculation that Al Qaeda believes it has a better chance of winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White House.”
UPDATE II: On his radio show Friday, John Gibson compared MSNBC Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment segment to bin Laden’s tape.
KELLI ARENA: Experts say it is an effort to re-establish his relevance. Bin Laden remains a unifying figure for the many terror groups that have drawn inspiration if not actual support from al Qaeda.
JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: He gets to reach out to followers, who according to jihadist Web sites have been wondering where is the leader and he also gets to rail about the Iraq war which is his strongest propaganda point.
ARENA: An obvious news junkie with a lot of time on his hands he makes several references to current affairs proof that the videotape is a new one. He refers to a news report from Iraq that aired in July, the 62nd anniversary of Nagasaki (ph) and Hiroshima (ph), this past August. He names the new French president who was elected in May and the U.S. mortgage crisis. But bin Laden’s commentary is not prompting change in security.
FRANCES TOWNSEND, W.H. HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: We don’t have specific or credible information indicating an imminent attack and so I would not anticipate any change in the threat level, certainly not because of the tape.
ARENA: At times he comes off like an angry blogger chastising Americans for electing President Bush twice and the Democrats for not doing more to stop the Iraq war.
ARENA: But bin Laden’s need to stay in the spotlight may also put him at risk.