Best Defense Against Jihad: David Letterman

Stop the revolution, I want to watch Eva Longoria
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2010 1:59 AM CST
Updated Dec 8, 2010 6:00 AM CST
Best Argument Against Jihad: David Letterman
David Letterman yucks it up in an interview earlier this year.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Forget spending billions of dollars on spies and government propaganda; the best defense against jihad appears to be flooding the homes of young people with Desperate Housewives and David Letterman. That's the assessment of a WikiLeaks secret cable entitled "David Letterman: Agent of Influence" that found young Saudis "are fascinated by US culture in a way they never were before" because of the programs. The series are broadcast as part of Saudi Arabia's "war of ideas" against extremists, reports the Guardian.

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The entertainment is proving far more effective in winning hearts and minds than the US government-funded station al-Hurra, which features long interviews with American politicians. "It's still all about the war of ideas here, and American programming is winning over ordinary Saudis in a way that al-Hurra and other US propaganda never could," two Saudi media executives told a US official, according to the cable. "Saudis are now very interested in the outside world and everybody wants to study in the US if they can." (Read more jihad stories.)

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