Competition heats up for global extremist viewers
In one of the most highly anticipated debuts in network television history, last night a new madman made his inaugural appearance in the anchor chair of "The Al-Jazeera Evening News," the nightly newscast of the Arabic-language network.
For months, underground caves around the world have been plastered with advertising trumpeting the ascendancy of Hassan El-Medfaai, the jihadist lunatic who was anointed to take over the Al-Jazeera broadcast this fall.
But with the global audience of extremist viewers fragmented as never before, the stakes for "The Al-Jazeera Evening News" could not be higher, an Al-Jazeera executive said today.
"Gone are the days when people would tune in to the nightly newscast to get their insane extremist rants," the executive said. "Today's global madmen are getting their terror threats on the Internet, their mobile phones, and even on their iPods."
Against this competitive backdrop, Al-Jazeera executives were holding their breath to see how Mr. Medfaai's debut would be received by the global audience of jihadist whackjobs and wingnuts, a notoriously hard-to-please viewership.
While some television critics said that the white robe worn by Mr. Medfaai in his initial broadcast made him look "pudgy," the Al-Jazeera executive said that such critiques "miss the point."
"The only legitimate question would be, was he insane enough?" he said. "And by any measure, he was really, really nutso."
The executive also had high praise for Mr. Medfaai's broadcast signoff, a simple "Death to America."
"That's a keeper," he said.
Look out Katie Couric...