When his career in terrorism reaches its inevitable end, might there be a place for Osama Bin Laden at the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Project for Excellence in Journalism? Here is how the PEJ, headed by the relentlessly right-thinking media critic Tom Rosenstiel, defines its mission on its Web page:
Increasingly, the profession seems overwhelmed by the sheer size of the media, by hidebound habits, by infotainment, by the quest for sensation and gossip, by the imperatives of the stock market or by a pursuit of ever-fragmenting audiences that lead us ever-farther from home.It is uncertain whether the essential mission of journalism–to be a public service for democracy–always remains clearly in mind. The crisis in journalism is a crisis of conviction.
And here is how Osama Bin Laden, the homicidal madman who heads al-Qaida, expressed his views on the press in a 1996 interview reprinted in Usama bin Laden’s al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network:
The media sector is in the same category as it strives to beatify the persons of the leaders, to drowse the community, and to fulfill the plans of the enemies through keeping the people occupied with the minor matters, and to stir their emotions and desires until corruption becomes widespread among the believers.