As reported yesterday by NewsBusters’ Mark Finkelstein, Katie Couric of NBC’s “Today Show” wondered aloud on yesterday’s program if Osama bin Laden might be getting information from the New York Times. It turns out that Couric isn’t the only media representative asking this same question. A just released Editor and Publisher article reported on more such media opining. First, MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson said the following on that network’s “Scarborough Country” Thursday evening (full transcript to follow):
“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.”
According to E&P, Carlson wasn’t the only one to suggest that Osama is paying attention to the American press:
“Meanwhile, appearing on the Fox News show ‘Hannity & Colmes,’ former Rep. Newt Gingrich said, ‘I think it's quite clear as you point out, Sean [Hannity], that from this tape, that bin Laden and his lieutenants are monitoring the American news media, they're monitoring public opinion polling, and I suspect they take a great deal of comfort when they see people attacking United States policies.’"
Isn’t that special?
What follows is a full transcript of the segment between Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson.
SCARBOROUGH: I want to bring in Tucker Carlson right now.
You know, Tucker, it struck me, listening to the words of Osama bin Laden today, that they were awfully close to some of the president`s detractors.
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, "THE SITUATION WITH TUCKER CARLSON": Yes.
SCARBOROUGH: I want you to listen first to some of the statements made by Osama bin Laden.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
BIN LADEN (through translator): The U.S. Army and its agents take to the point where there is no significant difference between these crimes and those of Saddam. These crimes include the raping of women and taking them hostage, instead of their husbands. The wise ones know that Bush has no plan to achieve his alleged victory in Iraq.
Bush and his administration do not have neither the desire, nor the will, to withdraw from Iraq for their own dubious reasons.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCARBOROUGH: And, of course, he went on to talk about, Bush lied to get into the war because of oil.
Now I want you to listen to some leaders on Capitol Hill and their words.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FACE THE NATION")
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: And there`s no reason, Bob, that young American soldiers need to be going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, you know, women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Our military`s done everything that has been asked of it. The U.S. cannot accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. It`s time to bring the troops home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN, DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: The idea that we`re going to win this war is an idea that, unfortunately, is just plain wrong.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "MEET THE PRESS")
SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This administration had made its mind up with regards to Iraq long -- in the early part of its administration. It was a part of their ideology and a part of their politics. That is the...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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."
CARLSON: But, clearly, he is. He`s got every talking point. It`s uncanny.
SCARBOROUGH: I mean, seriously, and, of course, a lot of Democrats are going to be enraged that I would compare the words of Osama bin Laden to these Democrats.
And you always have -- you had this battle in Vietnam. You have had it in Iraq, where a lot conservatives will say, well, gee, when you attack the president this way, you`re offering aid and comfort to the enemy. But, my gosh, it certainly looked like Osama bin Laden picked up all the talking point from these Democratic leaders and Michael Moore.
CARLSON: I don`t think the implication is that Howard Dean is evil, like Osama bin Laden.
SCARBOROUGH: No, absolutely not.
CARLSON: Of not. Howard Dean is not evil. He is just wrong.
Osama bin Laden is, of course, evil. But it is exactly the same rhetoric. And I`m amazed by what an astute student of that rhetoric Osama bin Laden has proved himself to be, I mean, every single line. There`s none of this sort of crackpot, "We will fulfill the prophecy of Allah" stuff that his previous communiques have been stuffed with.
This is not an Islamic tape. It`s a propaganda tape parroting the DNC. It`s bizarre. And I wonder what the Democrats think tonight.
SCARBOROUGH: It is bizarre. What`s the political fallout?
CARLSON: I`m not sure there is any. I think Republicans would be wise not to press too hard.
I mean, I find it incredibly amusing. I`m not exactly sure what conclusions to draw from it. I don`t think you are going to see the RNC out there tomorrow saying Osama and the Democrats singing off the same hymnal. That probably wouldn`t be a wise idea, but it`s got to be kind of embarrassing.
I mean, people should read this, if they haven`t read it. If you`re used to reading boring Osama communiques, this one is just riveting. Every single line, you will recognize all of it. He even attacks Bush for his aircraft press conference, the "Mission Accomplished" one.
CARLSON: I mean, really, you couldn`t make this up.
CARLSON: Is this really from Osama? I guess it is.
But if the CIA hadn`t verified it, if NBC News hadn`t verified it, I wouldn`t believe it.
I wouldn`t either, Tucker. And when I read it, I started laughing and I was thinking the same thing. And, of course, the RNC shouldn`t come within 100 miles of this.
CARLSON: I agree.
SCARBOROUGH: But, at the same time, the parallels are really surprising.
CARLSON: No blood for oil!
SCARBOROUGH: That`s right, war for oil.
Anyway, Tucker, thanks for being with us.
CARLSON: Thanks, Joe.