Al Qaeda as media source
Captain's Quarters reports, (via this Washington Post article) that al Qaeda is now skipping the media middle man, and debuting its own internet video news site. I guess even al Jazeera isn't good enough for al Qaeda--everyone seems to be dissatisfied with the media these days.
I'm not sure why al Qaeda isn't more pleased with its coverage, though. Here, for example, is today's Reuters report on the killing of Abu Azzam, said to be Al Qaeda's second in command in Iraq, by combined US and Iraqi forces (and how that combination would have seemed an unbelievable pipe dream just three short years ago!).
In the Reuters article, writer Luke Baker is very careful not to crow too much about Azzam's capture. A goodly portion of the article is devoted to "balancing" the good news: coalition statements are couched in the language of "US and Iraqi forces said" rather than of established fact. And al Qaeda statements on the killing are treated almost as respectfully, although Reuter's does at least mention that the Al Qaeda's sources' authenticity could not be verified--that is, Reuters isn't sure the speakers are actually from Al Qaeda.
Baker is quick to bring more "balance" to the story, which cannot be allowed to be limited to what seems to be an unequivocal US and Iraqi forces victory. Much of the article is devoted to downplaying the possible effects of the capture, and of course the obligatory "but things are still awful" appears fairly early on:
But attacks continued unabated.
In the latest act of violence, a suicide bomber...
I've often wondered why two stories such as this can't be separated into--well, into two stories. But they almost never are.