Fox News Channel was the only all-news network to simulcast Al Jazeera's
broadcast Tuesday of a taped message from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden,
carrying the 16-minute audio message in its entirety.
In October 2001, executives at Fox News, Cable News Network, NBC News, ABC
News and CBS News -- after meeting with national security adviser Condoleezza
Rice -- agreed to not run messages from al Qaeda without screening them
The concern was that messages al Qaeda broadcasts may contain coded messages
that could trigger terrorist attacks.
Both CNN and MSNBC followed through on that agreement Tuesday, running
portions of bin Laden's message after screening the broadcast.
"We just felt it was the prudent thing to do," MSNBC spokesman Alan Winnikoff
CNN spokesman Matt Furman said the network's policy is to screen messages
from al Qaeda before running them. Running the message in its entirety "without
looking at it would be irresponsible," he added.
Fox News spokeswoman Irena Steffen didn't return a phone