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Al Qaeda Watch: AP Photo Caption Has it WRONG

** FILE ** Exiled Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is seen in this April 1998 file photo in Afghanistan. Al-Jazeera aired an audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2006, saying al-Qaida is making preparations for attacks in the United States but offering a truce to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

Michelle Malkin: AP: TERRORIST=DISSIDENT

You have to be kidding me!

The link to the photo is here.

A summary page link on Yahoo! is here.


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10 thoughts on “Al Qaeda Watch: AP Photo Caption Has it WRONG

  1. Is Osama bin Laden not, in fact, a Saudi dissident? Is he not, in fact, exiled from Saudi Arabia for being a dissident?

    So how exactly is the AP, which clearly mentions the fact that he intends to attack the US (and frankly, is there ANYONE who doesn’t know that Osama bin Laden is a known terrorist?) wrong?

  2. Flap,
    You call it as a mischaracterization, so again, I’m wondering – is bin Laden not an exiled Saudi dissident?

    Is the AP obligated to rereport facts everyone knows every time they might possibly be relevant? Should they caption every photo of President Bush, “President George W. Bush, the president of the United States, speaks at x location”?

  3. Most photo captions say President George W Bush.

    Osama Bin Laden is a TERRORIST! Not a dissident. There is a difference.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  4. Yes, they say President George W. Bush, as that’s his title, but they don’t feel the need to specify what he’s president of, do they? Sort of assumed, right?

    “dis·si·dent Audio pronunciation of “dissident” ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ds-dnt)
    adj.

    Disagreeing, as in opinion or belief.

    n.

    One who disagrees; a dissenter.

    adj 1: characterized by departure from accepted beliefs or standards [syn: heretical, heterodox] 2: disagreeing, especially with a majority [syn: dissentient, dissenting(a)] n : a person who dissents from some established policy [syn: dissenter, protester, objector, contestant]”

    No, I wouldn’t say there’s necessarily a difference. It’s more like the relationship of a square to a rectangle: a rectangle does not have to be a square, but a square has to be a rectangle. Similarly, a dissident does not have to be a terrorist, but a terrorist has to be a dissident.

    And what’s clearly true is that bin Laden is exiled from Saudi Arabia for his dissent about that country’s policies.

    You might disagree with the AP’s characterization in their caption, you might say they should specify what everyone knows, that bin Laden is the head of al Qaeda, a terrorist organization, and is himself a terrorist, and you’d be entitled to those belifs, though as someone in journalism myself I think you’d be mistaken. But you called the AP wrong; it wasn’t.

    I was going to list all of the references to bin Laden as a Saudi dissident that are floating out there in the ether, but there are simply too many – try a Google search for “bin Laden” and dissident; you may well find that people who work with words for a living freely refer to bin Laden in ways you apparently consider un-PC.

  5. The Associated Press treatment of the caption is either mischaracterization or sloppy writing. It is probably both. If you are someone in journalism (whatever that means)you should recognize this. It is a no-brainer.

    Osama Bin Laden is NOT merely an exiled Saudi dissident – no matter how many times it is mentioned on Google.

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  8. The thing is though, to be fair to the AP, the photo is from 1998 – and that is stated in the caption. The caption should have been reworded, but keep in mind that if Michelle Malkin or others had read that caption in April 1998, then no one would have bothered pointing out this flaw. The caption was probably trying to effect a past-time contextual reference, which of course appears naively anachronistic in the present.

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