How the News Should Have Been Announced

by Claudia Rosett

Bin Laden’s death is great news, but the president, in his rush to claim credit, made a mistake in delivering it himself. Osama bin Laden was a pied piper of mass murder, and every effort should be made to avoid in any way dignifying anything about him. Rather than using the presidential pulpit to break the news, President Obama should have left it to one of the U.S. military commanders or spy chiefs whose men took the real risks in this operation. (Recall how President Bush, rather than grabbing the center stage, and thus dignifying the ex-tyrant of Iraq, left it to Paul Bremer to announce the capture of Saddam Hussein.) Obama should have then followed up by explaining the broader context of this war, and putting terrorists from Hamas to Hezbollah to Moammar Qaddafi on notice that anyone who attacks or even mortally threatens America, or America’s allies, can expect the same fate.

Claudia Rosett is a journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and heads its Investigative Reporting Project.

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