In the final six months of his life, Osama bin Laden received a 21-page letter from his media advisor, U.S.-born jihadist Adam Gadahn, that lamented the firing of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and wished death upon Fox News:
“It should be sent for example to ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN and maybe PBS and VOA. As for Fox News let her die in her anger,” Gadahn wrote. At another point, he said of the networks: “From a professional point of view, they are all on one level — except [Fox News] channel, which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks objectivity, too.”
As David Ignatius of the Washington Post notes, "What an unintended boost for Fox, which can now boast that it is al-Qaeda’s least favorite network."
Al-Qaeda's take on various media outlets offers an interesting window into terrorist perceptions of American media:
In the letter, the media adviser focuses on “how to exploit” the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, on television. He worries that CNN “seems to be in cooperation with the government more than the others,” though he praises its “good and detailed” Arabic coverage. “I used to think that MSNBC channel may be good and neutral a bit,” he continues, but then notes the firing of Olbermann.
The media chatter continues: CBS “has a famous program (‘60 Minutes’) that has some popularity and a good reputation.” ABC “is all right; actually, it could be one of the best channels,” because of its chief investigator and terrorism expert, Brian Ross. But all the networks, he complains, will bring in analysts who will “conduct a smearing” of al-Qaeda figures.
No word yet from Keith Olbermann or MSNBC as to whether they plan to tout their top-rated status among terrorists in future promotions.