The following is a short transcript of a potential show. Every word comes straight from Video Shows Another Side of Al-Zarqawi, a Yahoo News article.
|Ryan Seacrest:||Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's new video marks a shift by the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq toward a less radical image, one that might appeal to the Iraqi insurgency more than the beheadings for which he's become notorious.|
|Paula Abdul:||The video released Tuesday, the first by al-Zarqawi that shows his face, features scenes of the black-garbed terrorist firing a gun and hunkered over a map plotting strategy. The Sunni Muslim extremist, 39, looks youthful and healthy in the springtime desert.|
|Randy Jackson:||It's a departure from the past. There's no strident anti-Shiite rhetoric and no beheadings.|
|Simon Cowell:||He wants to be a 'good' insurgent in a more moderate sense — an Iraqi sense — to appeal to Iraqis.|
|Randy Jackson:||He feels very worried that he's losing popularity inside Iraq...This is a change of strategy. He feels that he needs to make himself visible more in order to get support.|
|Paula Abdul:||The video shows a "softer image" of al-Zarqawi. It suggests he isn't just the leader of a fanatical band, but a more general-like figure, and also an action man himself.|
|Randy Jackson:||Al-Zarqawi has done audiotapes, including one in January. But he has kept a relatively low profile since then, when his group merged with five other Iraqi insurgent groups to form the Mujahedeen Shura Council.|
|Simon Cowell:||The tape suggests al-Zarqawi is working to shore up his position within the insurgency...He appeared to have a sense of mystique by never showing his face. In choosing to come out of the shadows, he may be changing tack."|
And who might they bring in to help the contestants? Perhaps media consultant Nashat Aqtash. A Guardian article from January helpfully concludes with a summary of advice for Hamas on improving its image:
Don't talk about it.
The advice Nashat Aqtash gave to Hamas:
· Say you are not against Israelis as Jews
· Don't talk about destroying Israel
· Do talk about Palestinian suffering
· Don't celebrate killing people
· Change beard colour (if red)
Don't celebrate it.
But no need to stop it.
Image is everything.
Crossposted at Israpundit