Media Junkies on OBL

Needless to say, like the rest of the world, I too was ecstatic when I heard about the demolition of a man who caused the world to be afraid: Osama Bin Laden. The world has reacted, for the most part, with happiness. The idea of “being able to sleep peacefully” was reiterated by people, writers and bloggers everywhere. What I found most interesting was the celebration that took place in the country. While most would feel this kind of celebration is rather morbid, people in the country, who had lost family, friends and citizens, felt the need to rejoice over the death of a man who showed zero remorse. And yet, there were a few Americans who were slightly disgusted by the merry-making. Renowned CNN religious columnist, Stephen Prothero, “cringed” when he saw people waving flags at landmark sites such as Ground Zero and Times Square, New York. He went on to talk about how he bought up his hesitation of the partying over a piece of news that was worthy of salutation but did people really need to take to the streets? What I found interesting was the fact that of course, he too is an American, but even then felt the need to express his feelings. He was reminded quickly by his students that the Muslim world did exactly the same when 9/11 occurred. But then again, that is them…so how are we any different then?

And then there was the next take, how Osama and Obama really have much in common, believe it or not. The “mythos” according to, Larbi Sadiki of Al Jazeera, explained how both leaders were shared much more than just a difference of a single letter in their names. One is deemed, the “hunter” (Obama) while the other is the “hunted” (Osama), both chiefs of different ideals, both iconic, and both in positions of power, one alive, and the other dead. But a running theme that keeps cropping up is the idea of the civilized world celebrating a death. It seems that people cannot understand why this is a celebratory situation. While yet again we are reminded that the Muslim world has always cheered when America was hurt and struggling courtesy of them, it doesn’t seem to work when the roles are reversed. We, are a civilized educated society, and they are looked at as the quite the opposite. “Celebration of fallen enemies – without self-reflection – may be no more worthy than celebrating a victory at a football match,” he concludes.

But if there is anyone who has truly benefited from the death and eradication of Osama is the big O himself, President Obama. He has earned himself bragging rights as the only successful president who went out there, used his intelligence, took a risk and well, succeeded. “He did not simply go for bombs or drones but rather a helicopter raid. One insider is quoted as saying that Black Hawk Down was mentioned a few times in the discussions,” writes Mark Mardell of BBC. And what immediately came to everyone’s mind as soon as the news broke was Obama’s re-election. The death of Osama, everyone believes, almost assures his re-election and another term as the President of America. “It assures no such thing. Apart from the obvious point that there can be many other unexpected events that will have an impact, positive or negative; it just doesn't work like that. However huge this event snow seems, wait a couple of months. In the relentless frenzy of the 24-hour media cycle, it will probably be half forgotten by the time of the election,” the writer writes. This speaks volumes about the media today. Using the word, “frenzy” clearly depicts the manner in which we allow information to literally swoop past us. Yes, he is the flavor of the moment, but this is so true; come election time, will we really remember this epic victory? And yes, it is huge but is it enough for us to forget about other boiling issues which the country has had to endure up until now?

A piece of information I’d like to point out which is rather interesting is that while we relied on the American media for the initial news, it is the Indian media that has been on the ball with information. Last night, I read about how the entire operation went down and only heard it 12 hours later did the American media come out with the raw particulars on the operation. Pretty interesting. I believe it may have something to do with the close proximity to India and of course, the number of internal sources that are in Pakistan.

Osama is dead and whether like myself you have dying questions, the media is having a field day with it and in all honesty, who can blame them? What is most interesting is that the information is still coming in. As a media junkie, I’m on the biggest high of my life.

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