January 21, 2006


Tucker Carlson: Bin Laden Getting 'Talking Points' from 'NY Times' (E&P Staff, January 21, 2006)

While much of the liberal blogosphere, and political figures such as Sen. John Kerry, remain inflamed over comments by MSNBC's Chris Matthews on "Hardball" on Thursday--in which he suggested that Osama bin Laden, in his latest video tape, sounded an awful lot like fillmmaker Michael Moore--The New York Times has also now been linked to Osama by another cable news pundit.

Later on Thursday night, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough weighed in on the subject, going beyond Moore to claim that bin Laden was also borrowing language or ideas from the likes of Howard Dean, Sen. Kerry and Sen. Ted Kennedy. His guest, Tucker Carlson, who has his own MSNBC show, then spread the net further, to include opinion columnists at The New York Times.

The exchange from the transcript follows.

SCARBOROUGH: Now, of course, Tucker, I'm not comparing these Democrats to Osama bin Laden, but look.

First thing, Osama talks about how our troops are terrorizing women and children in Iraq. John Kerry said the same thing in front of Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation."

Osama's saying that George Bush knows he can't win this war, something that Howard Dean said, and, also, that this was launched for political reasons, which of course Ted Kennedy said last year, that this was all dreamed up in Texas for political benefit.

CARLSON: By the merchants of war who financed Bush's presidential campaign, in the words of Osama bin Laden and many on the left. In other words, Halliburton is responsible for this war, every single talking point.

I hate to think of Osama bin Laden reclining in his cave in Waziristan, reading the op-ed page of "The New York Times."

But, clearly, he is. He's got every talking point. It's uncanny.

If they don't like being lumped with bin Laden they could switch to our side. At least that professor is honestly proud to have al Qaeda agreeing with him.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2006 5:06 PM

It's not like Moore himself should be all that angry with the comparison: he seemed awfully proud in October of 2004, when Bin Laden (or his Mini-Me) sounded like he was quoting from the talking points in Fahrenheit 9/11. I can't help but think that this seems like a certain amount of projection from the left, after conservatives were angry over the endless Bush=Hitler rants from the Move On crowd during the election year.

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at January 21, 2006 5:36 PM

And Moore was a guest of honor at the convention, seated next to Jimmy Carter IIRC.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 21, 2006 5:47 PM

Why should Michael Moore be upset - after all, he said America deserved 9/11.

And as for Kerry, well, he must be dumber than even his grades indicate if what Chris Matthews said upsets him. The chickens (so to speak) are coming home to roost. And they aren't laying Grade A Jumbos.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 21, 2006 6:36 PM

When the 1991 Gulf War broke out, it happened that I was reading a book about Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. He circulated a memo to his minions listing the five basic propaganda attacks on a coalition. So I ticked off each of the five as I heard them in the MSM in 1991. It didn't take long.

Did the protestors and pundits read Goebbels' memo? In almost all cases, no. It's just that, if you want to do the same thing, you tend to come up with the same methods. And without the idiosyncrasies that would be introduced by actual, specific reasons, the similarities tend to be clearer.

What I'm saying is, don't jump to the conclusion that UBL(TM) is cribbing from Cindy Sheehan or the NYT. Under the assumption that all of the above are engaging in pure propaganda unperturbed by fact, and have the same objective at some relevant level, the similarities can be explained.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at January 21, 2006 7:45 PM

While the basic outline of propaganda may not have changed over the years, it's pretty obvious that while the missives sent out by bin Laden before 2002 were simply statements based on his actual beliefs, anything purported to have come from him in the past 15 months has been focus group tested by some sort of consulatants familiar with western media and politics.

The key words and talking points all seem to be designed to play best among those opposed to Bush's policies and/or the war on terror in general, though you would think even in the worst stages of Bush Derangement Syndrome, those on the left would be able to figure out that acting pleased that Osama's seeing things their way probably isn't the best path in the world anywhere in the world to an election majority.

Posted by: John at January 21, 2006 8:12 PM

Thomas Lifson from The American Thinker has received an e-mail from the NY Times Executive Editor's desk (unsigned), complaining about his observation regarding the photo of an artillery shell that the Times stated fell from a Predator in the US attack on the terrorist picnic last week.

If Bill Keller sent it, then the Times in worse shape than we think. If he didn't, then he owes Lifson (and the rest of the public) a rebuttal and an explanation, presuming he believes that the 'honor' of the NYT is worth defending.

It will be interesting to see if (how) he responds to Tucker.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 22, 2006 12:24 AM

"I can't help but think that this seems like a certain amount of projection from the left,"

Projection? No poor Matthews is too dumb to censor himself on this one. Of course OBL is getting his talking points from the NYTimes (or the Guardian or the Independent), he undoubtedly has minions in Londonistan who write weekly reports.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 22, 2006 11:26 AM

Who says it really was a recording of OSbL? The CIA? Or was it a Karl Rove initiative setting up some 2006 issues? Whoa!

Posted by: Genecis at January 22, 2006 10:02 PM

On another tack, I do believe the message is a sign OBL is looking for a time out to reconstruct his fractured following before it's too late. Too bad OBL ... it's too late.

Posted by: Genecis at January 22, 2006 10:07 PM