It seems to me that we’re in for at least a month of “shocking” pieces by CNN about various and sundry things seen on the recently-discovered al Qaeda tapes. Why do I think that? Because almost all the stories state that there are 64 of the tapes, and so far, CNN is revealing about a tape or two a day to us. On Monday, we had the tape showing dogs dying by poison gas; on Tuesday, we learned about Osama bin Laden’s declaration of war on the west. Yesterday was the day of urban terrorism training, and today’s revelation is the instructional tape on the assembly of explosives (released late yesterday on their “War on Terrorism” pages, but now carrying the lead on the website).

The sad thing about this is how up-front CNN is being about drawing out the news of the tapes. In the right-hand sidebar of most of their al Qaeda-related pages, there’s a box detailing the schedule for future stories about the tapes, and they even have a “Caught on Tape” gallery that breaks down the news by the day that it was released. The entirety of the coverage feels manipulative, and well-timed to coincide with the time when waning interest in the news coming out of the Middle East is crossing paths with the rising interest in the anniversary of the events of last September.


An interesting story by the reporter who brought the tapes to CNN, detailing how he got them out.

• Posted by: Anil on Aug 28, 2002, 7:47 AM
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