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By Michelle Malkin  •  January 31, 2007 01:33 PM

Following up on yesterday’s post, here’s our video analysis of Lara Logan’s online Haifa Street report for CBS News. Click to watch:

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Bryan Preston’s memo and questions are here. My syndicated column on the subject is here. The latest word I’ve received from CBS News Public Eye blogger Brian Montopoli:

I didn’t get a comment on whether CBS News knew the video had aired on Al Qaeda’s site in advance. And no word from Lara so far. Will let you know if and when I get more. I get the feeling the intention is to let this rest with Friedman and Genelius, but we’ll see.

Robert Stevens follows up:

If CBS News occasionally uses AQ video from jihadist websites – Genelius said “an AQ website” but I won’t split hairs – doesn’t this suggest at least some familiarity with AQ’s product? And what about its methods of collecting that product? Does CBS News have Arabic-fluent researchers or interns or reporters who scour the web in search of AQ product? Or do their sources supply it? Could we have some transparency there, Sandra?

What strikes me as odd is that CBS News would be unaware that AQ was waging an aggressive propaganda campaign simultaneous to its field operations on Haifa Street in response to the Baghdad security plan. For a news organization with a self-admitted record of using jihadist video in its reporting – there is nothing inherently wrong with this if it is identified as such – I find it hard to believe CBS News would have no knowledge of AQ’s involvement in the Haifa Street fighting – be it on the ground or in cyberspace. I cannot accept CBS News’ dodge of this question by resorting to a closed circle explanation: We didn’t obtain the video from AQ or one of its websites but we can’t tell who provided it. Yes, I understand that someone’s life may be at stake, but how are we, the consumer, to know that CBS is not falling back on a hermetic defense?

How are we to know that CBS’ metanarrative of the war in Iraq is not of a kind with AQ’s? For by not identifying the footage for what it was – AQ waging holy war against apostates and crusaders with the aim of establishing an Islamic State in Iraq – CBS News handed AQ a propaganda victory by turning a piece of jihadist porn (tame in comparison to most) into the very thing that it wants Americans to believe: The war in Iraq is a religious civil war that does not concern America’s national security and it is prudent to withdraw rather than keep throwing blood and treasure into a fight that is not ours.

Who’s being duped by whom, I wonder?

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