Grapevine: Al Qaeda's PR Problem

Terror group reportedly trying to change name


And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Blame Game

Florida Republican Congressman Allen West has blamed Democrats' use of propaganda for the public's discontent with Congress and particularly Republicans.

West told a group of reporters -- quote -- "If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party because they have an incredible propaganda machine."

Goebbels was a Nazi propagandist.

West added the reference was not intended to link Democrats and Nazis.

He says he just meant to point out the similar use of propaganda to get a particular message across. Congressman Steve Israel, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, insisted that West has to apologize.

PR Problem

Companies often try to re-brand their image after something embarrassing happens or just in an effort to stay relevant.

Al Qaeda is apparently no different.

Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is said to be in the process of shifting its name to Ansar al Sharia which means army of Islamic law.

A senior Arab diplomat tells Fox - quote -- "After [Usama] bin Laden's death and the Arab Spring, the name [al Qaeda] seems to have negative connotations and baggage."

The change is seen as an attempt to recruit more foreign jihadists

Friday Follow-Up

And finally, a Friday follow-up story to bring you, that we brought you earlier this year.

This summer, celebrities Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake were invited to the Marine Corps Ball and both of them attended in November.

The trend must be catching on because today, first lady Michelle Obama was invited to next year's ball.

The first lady was delivering gifts from the White House to the Marine Corp's Toys for Tots campaign, when 20-year-old Lance Corporal Aaron Leeks extended the invitation.

Leeks said quote -- "She said she'd need to speak to her husband, too, but she said she'd love to go."