And now the most interesting two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Al Jazeera Agreement?
Arab news network Al Jazeera has reached an agreement with a terrorist-linked media group to broadcast any and all videotapes of Al Qaeda (search) and Al Qaeda attacks provided by the media group, that according to the Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi. The information coordinator for the Sahab Institute Media organization says he, under orders, edits and duplicates Al Qaeda footage in -- "special ways" before sending it to news channels, and that -- "the Institute would sever its relations with Al Jazeera if it refused to broadcast a videotape." He says Al Jazeera will soon air a new Usama bin Laden (search) tape, detailing a -- "great event that will shake the region." Al Jazeera refused to comment.
Protest in the Papers?
As we told you last night, thousands of Iraqis took to the streets of three Iraqi cities -- Baghdad, Ramadi and Baquba -- to denounce terrorism and pledge support for the Iraqi Governing Council ... but you'll have a hard time finding it in today's major papers. USA Today doesn't mention it. The Washington Post doesn't mention it. The New York Times, meanwhile, does mention it ... in one sentence, nine paragraphs down in a story on page A21.
The L.A. Times this week published a glowing profile of a former Tyson (search) chicken employee who now writes an online journal and says he is -- "ashamed" to have killed chickens. The Times says Virgil Butler found his work at Tyson more haunting than when he -- "spent three years in prison for manslaughter" and when he killed -- "enemy soldiers at close range" during the American invasion of Panama (search).
The Times notes Butler is a recovering drug addict some of whose claims against Tyson could not be substantiated by police and government investigations. What The Times does not report is that police records show no manslaughter conviction and a military-records search shows no Virgil E. Butler ever served in the military, let alone in face-to-face combat in Panama. Indeed, Butler seems to have been working as a bricklayer's assistant at the time.
Two days after ABC anchor Ted Koppel (search) asked struggling presidential candidates if they would drop out of the race, ABC News has now pulled its people from the campaigns of Al Sharpton, Carol Moseley Braun, and Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich says -- "obviously, ABC is retaliating for my challenge to Ted Koppel in [Tuesday's] debate. They have proven my point, which is the media, and now specifically ABC, is now trying to set the agenda for this election." An ABC spokeswoman, however, insists her network is just redirecting resources to prepare for the upcoming primaries.
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report