REALITY?: On the Death of a Terrorist and Social Networking Style Reporting

Last night, after having the critical last 10 minutes of a tv show interrupted by an impending Presidential announcement only to listen to the media speculate and time-fill while they waited for the President to get ready, and upon the media breaking the news (along with Facebook, twitter, etc.) that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, I went to bed in disgust. Since the President had already been scooped, it didn’t make any difference to me what he had to say–it would be old news and frankly, everyone was already giving him credit as if he’d wielded the knife himself.

This morning I checked through twitter and Facebook again and was put off by the reports and the sarcasm I saw there. At this point, I was thinking, jeepers, the U.S.A. spent ten years and thousands of people involved in the tracking-down of Osama Bin Laden when all we needed was one man. The Democrats were right; this is the second coming. People were cheering outside the White House, waving flags, singing patriotic songs. The election’s in the bag.

Then I knew I had to listen directly to the President’s speech. I grit my teeth and watched the 9-minute tape.

And once again I realized that despite his ego and attitude that I personally find abrasive, the President is a lot more intelligent than a great majority of his idolaters supporters. He wisely and honestly gave credit to the years put into this coup instead of taking all the credit for himself. It is, of course, a feather in a politician’s cap, but Obama was subtle in this regard and certainly gave credit where credit was due. While he attempted to bring back a sense of patriotism and pride by calling up the show of support and solidarity Americans felt after the 9/11/01 attacks, he noted that Bin Laden was just one man and would be replaced by another. I salute him for that.

Have I fallen for campaign schtick? Possibly. But I’m already well used to presidential speeches and what rings true and what doesn’t. Even with the political ramifications and forethought of same that the President put into this speech, it was to be admired that he presented it in the words that he did.

What this event has shown me is that I may just rethink my connection to the internet social networking system. That, as I’d always done before, get the story from the horse’s mouth and forego media speculation and the personal biases of individuals vocalized on these all-too-easy-to-rant online methods. I may just disconnect from it all.

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2 Responses to REALITY?: On the Death of a Terrorist and Social Networking Style Reporting

  1. Mary Ellen says:

    Thank you for directing me to your post! I did not hear about the news until this morning, and it was relatively unfiltered (local news coverage). However, when I got to work there was an alarming number of students professing utter disbelief that he was really dead at all, and that many again saying it was a stunt of O’s to get re-elected. I pointed out that he still had a year to go before that, which meant nothing. I am really disturbed by their lack of trust in anything, and I think media distortion has done this. When everyone is telling the news–excuse me, making the news–how can anyone know what the “truth” is? I’m really worried about what the next generation will put their faith in. Maybe they won’t have any, and that’s even scarier.

  2. susan says:

    I knew it was going to be screwed up when the news media themselves were letting it out before the President’s speech. The resulting joy and vitriolic comments in twitter and Facebook just added to my own anger and I was mad at myself for not just avoiding the furor and waiting to hear it officially–and then avoiding the aftermath. You’re right, it’s scary. Would you believe that a very liberal acquaintance read this post of mine and stopped following me on twitter? That’s how rabid people can get in their beliefs.

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