In a June 26 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman accused Rachel Maddow "asking permission of her audience, which also occupies the fringe left, if it's 'OK' to ridicule al Qaeda," adding, "Suffice it to say, the notion of destroying al Qaeda never gets out of committee with this crowd."
Coleman's evidence for this is a statement by Maddow on her June 21 show: "I know that al Qaeda is al Qaeda, right? But is it OK to point out that they're ridiculous, that their propaganda is inadvertently funny, as in ha ha I'm laughing at you?" But Coleman quotes only this statement, and the accompanying video shows only this statement.
In fact, Maddow's statement placed in the full context of what she said shows that Maddow was pointing out that the media was ridiculing al-Qaeda enough, that it is instead being portrayed as the "mightly al-Qaeda" despite its amateurish recruiting videos:
Here's the thing I always forget about al-Qaeda. For all their murderous intent and demonstrated capacity for all their global plotting, for all the deadly serious implications of them getting access to even more deadly means of targeting us than they have already figured out, for all the truly scary things we have already figured out about al-Qaeda, it is easy to forget that on their own terms, they're often freaking ridiculous.
[clip of Adam Gadahn video]
That's not from The Onion doing a satire of a dorky American kid making a fake jihad video. This is actually the new al-Qaeda video.
Maddow goes on to reference "the al-Qaeda AV club," adding, "These guys are like the reject pile at talk radio tryouts." You'd think the latter statement would be more offensive to Coleman than the statement he highlighted; instead, he had to take Maddow out of context to smear her.
As if blatanting misrepresenting Maddow by taking her words out of context wasn't bad enough, Coleman goes on to suggest that Maddow is rooting for deaths of U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, claiming she was "oddly upbeat" in noting deaths of Australian troops to her guest, former Petraeus adviser and Australian native David Kilkullen.
Again, Coleman takes this out of context. Maddow's full interview of Kilkullen focuses on the mostly separate goals in Afghanistan of destroying al-Qaeda and nation-building. Maddow's statement on the Australian deaths can only be descibed as "upbeat" only if you divorce it from its full context -- which Coleman did.