The Daily Beast just posted an “exclusive” look inside the White House’s “scramble” to find the right response to the unfolding crisis in Egypt this week.
The short version is that the crisis caught U.S. intelligence off guard and they were slow to react. But here’s the line that jumped out at me.
Now, huddled in the big office of their boss—one of the administration policy-makers trying to calibrate the U.S. response to the unfolding drama—the advisers watched Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak‘s first statement. Two television sets were running, one showing CNN and the other a satellite feed from Al Jazeera.
That’s right, even the President of the United States is watching Al Jazeera. Needless to say this is a far cry from the time (just two years ago!) that Colin Powell declared on Meet the Press that “those kind of images going out on Al Jazeera are killing us.”
More than a few media people have noted that the Egyptian crisis is for Al Jazeera what the Gulf War was to CNN. Without question the network has been putting US coverage to shame — ‘reports Al Jazeera’ is the new news verifier on Twitter.
One can only hope the one the results of this is that the channel will at some point actually be available on U.S. cable.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.