AL-QAEDA 24/7….James Fallows, just now catching up on TV coverage of the Petraeus-Crocker testimony after a few days in deepest China, notes that on CNN “every reference to the adversary in Iraq is to ‘al Qaeda.’” Michael Gordon talks about al-Qaeda, Michael Ware talks about al-Qaeda, and Anderson Cooper is a one-man al-Qaeda PR machine. Fallows wonders what’s going on:

Jeez louise! Even Petraeus’s own briefing slides, which I have just seen, refer to “AQI” — al Qaeda/Iraq, as distinguished from the actual al Qaeda that attacked the American mainland six years ago. Wasn’t there a fair amount of fuss a few months ago about the Bush Administration’s bait-and-switch trick in pushing the term “al Qaeda in Iraq” as a (bogus) way of stressing a link between Osama bin Laden and whoever is the enemy in Iraq? Why should CNN go along with this — and improve on it, by dropping the “in Iraq” part? Is it that anxious about shaking its “liberal” image? Just curious.

I’m curious too. Maybe none of these guys has read our October cover story.

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