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May 15, 2005 - Was he number three, or are you?

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Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, before those early days at CNN, used to work for Roger Ailes, the fellow who now runs “fair and balanced” Fox News.  I think he worked for Ailes twice, but one time was some sort of restaurant-bistro venture, so that doesn’t count.  Anyway, there is a blogger also named Roger Ailes – and his web log sometimes carried the subhead The Other One, or The Less Evil One.  At the moment the web log carries the subhead The Most Ethical Blogger… Ever.

Can this other Roger Ailes really use his own name to write political commentary without running into copyright or trademark issues?  You might recall that back in the early seventies when the Coca Cola folks from Atlanta bought Taylor Wines in upstate New York they also bought the family name – and when Walter Taylor started a boutique winery he called it Bully Hill, because he was forbidden to use the Taylor name if he was going to make wine.  He told me so.  I remember visiting the little winery near Hammondsport, overlooking Keuka Lake.  He has done pretty well since then.  And Taylor wines are crap.

Now this other Roger Ailes has politics that are about as far from the Fox Ailes as can be.  The Fox Ailes chats with the president and those in power.  The other one just writes short logic bombs, to borrow a term for the geek world, that explode under the silliness of what the current administration is up to.  You would think the Fox Ailes – as Chairman and CEO of the Fox News Network - would not like this, and make some move to protect the brand, so to speak – the political views associated with his name.

Ah, who cares about bloggers?  Not the Fox Ailes – and all PR is good PR, right?

As an example of what this other Roger Ailes is up to, last Sunday the other Ailes here does a number on the friends of the Fox Ailes.

His subject? “How goes the war on terror? Just peachy, if you're not too detail oriented.

Then he points to an item in the Times of London (UK) – and that newspaper is, curiously enough, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the organization that also owns “fair and balanced” Fox News. But they aren’t Fox News, or there is no London equivalent of the Manhattan Fox Ailes, as they run an item that contains this


THE capture of a supposed Al-Qaeda kingpin by Pakistani agents last week was hailed by President George W Bush as "a critical victory in the war on terror". According to European intelligence experts, however, Abu Faraj al-Libbi was not the terrorists' third in command, as claimed, but a middle-ranker derided by one source as "among the flotsam and jetsam" of the organisation.


We got the wrong guy?

The other Roger Ailes comments –


The suggestion is that the Administration confused al-Libbi with Anas al-Liby.

If Scooter Libby and Liddy Dole turn up missing, check Guantánamo Bay.

On second thought, don't.


Ha!  But I guess you have to know the players to get that complicated joke.

And he also notes this in the Times story –


A former close associate of Bin Laden now living in London laughed: "What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying."


Ailes’ comment?  Yeah, but so did Colin Powell, and they called him third in command too.

Cool. And there is this –

The Times: One American official tried to explain the absence of al-Libbi's name on the wanted list by saying: "We did not want him to know he was wanted."

The other Roger Ailes: "Otherwise, he'd just take us for granted."

Yeah, yeah. This whole thing smells a bit. And Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, goes further in an email we received in Hollywood on Tuesday.


The probable case-of-mistaken-identity angle aside, there's something else that bothers me about this story.
The closer I listen to U.S. claims coming out of this so-called "War On Terror," the more bells and whistles I hear in my brain that tell me something is not quite right. Those alarms were giving me migraines this past week with the announcement of the capture of some guy who nobody seems to have ever heard of, and who was not even on the FBI's most wanted list, but who was apparently the number three guy under bin Laden?

So if this guy was such an al Qaeda muckymuck, why WASN'T he on the FBI list? One answer -- and one that should give us all pause -- was found in the London Times story: "One American official tried to explain the absence of al-Libbi's name on the wanted list by saying: 'We did not want him to know he was wanted.'"

First of all, were this guy really al Qaeda's number three honcho, could one not safely assume he already strongly SUSPECTED he was wanted?

But that aside, why should this explanation of al-Libbi's name not being on the FBI list scare you? 


Here's why: Go check the list, then come back and tell me if you find YOUR name!


Now that is an interesting idea.

You mean they’re making this up as they go along, and trying to make us think we’re winning this War on Terror™ with some sort of deception?

Surely not!



Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, clarifies –


And interesting idea? I suppose so, but my main point when I wrote that was, of course, that if your name is NOT on the list, this could mean you could be in some sort of trouble. (I'm betting I, myself, fit this profile.)

But an interesting complement to that might be - and I say this not even having seen the list, mind you - that if your name happens to be Osama bin Laden, and (big assumption here) your name DOES happen to be on the list, then they obviously don't mind spooking you into thinking you are "Wanted, Dead or Alive," so to speak - but that otherwise, you can relax because you probably have nothing to worry about.




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