This Girl's Voice

Tuesday, February 11, 2003  

••White House Press Office does al Jazeera's bidding?!••

so, earlier today, i watched the live telecast of CIA chief George Tenet, FBI honcho Robert Mueller and U.S. Sec. of State Colin Powell report to Congress about the state of affairs as it pertains to terrorism and hostile regions around the world.

Colin Powell, in his testimony, refered to a tape of what "may or may not be Bin Laden" that proves that "he is in partnership with Iraq"- a tape that he seemed to know at 10:30 in the morning would be played later on today on al Jazeera.

cut to today's White House Press Briefing, and Ari, who of course is the White House Press Secretary, announces in a live broadcast on all the cable news channels, that there will be a tape of Bin Laden that will be playing later on today on al Jazeera.

so, what's now rifling through my head at this point as i'm watching the live coverage of the briefing, is, how is it that Ari Fleisher, and Colin Powell on behalf of the rest of the Bush administration already knows IN ADVANCE that there is going to be a tape of Bin Laden played "later in the day today" on al Jezeera??

and since when has the U.S. government given us a "tip" about any tape about Bin Laden, nevermind do al Jazeera's bidding for them? it makes no sense.

(unless of course, the U.S. govn't supplied it - unbeknownst to al Jazeera, who would have received it "anonymously").....

so while i'm ruminating on all of this, CNN's John King raises his hand at the press briefing and asks Ari how it is, that in light of this administrations current policy of requesting to the U.S. television news media that they restrain from playing any tapes of Bin Laden, so as to not insight fear or give credence to al Qaeda, how is it that the White House itself has now come to announce the release of a Bin Laden tape on - of all things - al Jazeera, and King wondered aloud if the release of this tape wasn't in fact advantageous to making this administrations' case to the American people watching that al Qaeda was connected with Iraq, and is it that this administration prefers that all the cable news channels run the Bin Laden tape....

Ari spun in circles on his heels with this one, not fully able to spin his way out of it....

shortly thereafter, two other White House press corps journalists asked follow-up questions about this, and of course, Ari averted answering any of the questions.

John King already has this one figured out, as i'm sure most of the White House press corp has as well.

what i still can't figure out is how no one got around to asking just HOW is it the U.S. already knows IN ADVANCE about a Bin Laden tape that is "about to be played on al Jezeera later today"????? and why, for the first time ever, is the White House o.k. with having the U.S. cable news outlets do what they have previously cautioned them not to do, nevermind, act as the literal p.r. secretary for the al Jazeera cable news network?

it's incredibly convenient that Colin Powell just happened to be addressing Congress today and while having the address be covered live by all the cable news networks, he was able to drop that handy tidbit of news about news that had yet to become news, if you catch my drift.

i bet you this time out the White House will be eerily silent in cautioning the cable news media from playing a Bin Laden tape that "might give credence to al Qaeda"....

posted by voxpopgirl | 2/11/2003