Monday, May 2, 2011

Obama Gets Osama

Greetings Friends,

Yeah, I know; it's the catchphrase of the moment, but what better way to describe it? I remember thinking back in 2004 that Senator John Kerry actually had a chance to beat George W. Bush out of a second term, and that "miraculously", W would pull a rabbit named bin Laden out of a hole somewhere in the nasty tribal regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, right before election day, to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. We all know he didn't need to do that. And we all know the havoc two terms of W wrought on the world. Honestly, I didn't think it would matter so much if bin Laden was ever captured, given the rest of the atrocities that occurred during Bush's watch. But, last night proved that the downfall of the most hated individual since Adolf Hitler could galvanize a nation. As if there was any doubt.

I'm sure I don't need to verbalize that I am pleased with the fact that bin Laden got what he deserved. Of course, I sat glued to my television last night and early this morning watching the coverage on CNN; between Wolf Blitzer and John King (especially John King), I think they uttered the phrase "Osama bin Laden is dead" about 5,000 times over the course of two hours. You've gotta admire those two; they can repeat themselves into oblivion. 

It wasn't until after President Obama's brief statement that the tongues began to flap at warp speed. The American press wouldn't be the American press if they didn't attempt to be instantaneously gratified; not so much for the benefit of the American public, but for the benefit of their own egos. Earlier in the day, I watched video from the Correspondents Dinner held in Washington DC Saturday night, and really enjoyed the speeches given by Seth Meyers and President Obama. I enjoyed a few hearty belly laughs at the material directed at Donald Trump, and it was hard not to notice the slight bit of rancor with which Obama spoke, regarding the maelstrom of media attention the release of his birth certificate received. You can't really blame the guy - even if he is the leader of the free world. And who knew he had been plotting to kill bin Laden for the past 9 months?

Which leads me to my point: Now that the initial "ding dong the witch is dead" jubilation is winding down, the press actually seems a bit miffed that the Obama administration was able to keep such a tight lid on this operation. That sentiment really brings into focus the sense of entitlement the 24-hour news cycle has created on the part of the American press. No wonder Robert Gibbs couldn't get through one term as Press Secretary. I wouldn't do that job with a gun to my head. Journalism has gone from a serious craft to a never-ending battle of brinkmanship that literally never stops. Who in their right mind would want to deal with that for a living?

When it comes to covert operations, such as attempting to take down the world's most notorious terrorist, a line must be drawn; this isn't like interviewing the coach before the big game. There are some things that must remain classified at all costs. And if this operation wasn't the big Kahuna of classified, I don't know what would be. The media is just going to have to lick their collective wounds and move on. It's not all about them. Never was; never will be.

One thought I had last night relating to elections, besides the fact that today is election day here in Canada, is that the death of bin Laden is a major coup for Barack Obama. One of the more obvious by-products of a 24-hour news cycle is a never-ending election cycle. I'm thinking this event has sewn up his re-election to a second term. I'm not exactly "Carnac the Magnificent" here, but based on the potential Republican candidates at this stage, and the fact that Obama now has major foreign policy cred, it doesn't seem to be that far of a stretch. Then again, you never know how anything will get spun in the press. 

As I write this, I am still unsure of which party I am voting for in today's federal election. Stay tuned...


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