CNN analyst: Americans ‘preoccupied’ with the Kardashians, not terrorism

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
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CNN national security analyst and author Peter Bergen said instead of worrying about another terrorist attack, Americans are “preoccupied” with the Kardashians.

“Terrorism as an issue of serious concern to Americans is actually pretty low at this point. Obviously an event would change that, but you know, Americans are preoccupied by things like, you know, I don’t know, the Kardashians, which is in a sense a sign of, you know, we won,” said Bergen, the director of the national security studies program at the New America Foundation, during a debate with Daveed Gartenstein-Ross of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies held at the National Press Club on Thursday.

The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism based at the University of Maryland, College Park, sponsored the discussion called “Catastrophe and Catalyst: 10 Years Since 9/11.”

The E! reality series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” starring Kim and Khloé Kardashian has been on the air for six seasons. Kim Kardashian recently made headlines for her marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries.

Bergen continued, “They’re not preoccupied by, it’s not like we’re living in Israel where we’re kind of cowering in fear of a potential Hezbollah or mass attack and that’s a good thing. As you said, terrorism doesn’t succeed if it doesn’t terrorize, and we’ve kind of moved appropriately beyond it because Americans just look at the evidence of ten years without a serious attack, you know, they can draw their own conclusions.”

A USA Today/Gallup poll released Thursday shows that Americans’ fear of terrorism is now “on the low end of the range seen over the past decade.”

Thirty-eight percent of Americans “currently believe terrorist acts are very or somewhat likely to occur in the coming weeks,” which is “down from 62% in Gallup’s May 2 poll “but comparable to its November 2009 poll results at 39%.”

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Nicholas Ballasy