• One man’s terrorist is another man’s loser. A NY Times memo instructs the newsroom not to refer to Bin Laden as Mr.
At Jill and Bill’s request, we dropped the honorific for Bin Laden.
Without a “Mr.” in front of his name, it was decided that we should capitalize the “B” in Bin Laden on second references.
A somewhat fitting response to a decade-old Reuters memo explaining why the wire service would specifically not use the word “terror” to describe 9/11:
We all know that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter and that Reuters upholds the principle that we do not use the word terrorist.
• Alan Dershowitz points out that the strike on Osama Bin Laden vindicates Israeli targeted assassinations:
Yet none of these nations, groups or individuals have criticized the targeted killing of Osama Bin Laden by the US. The reason is obvious. All the condemnations against targeted killing was directed at one country. Guess which one? Israel, of course . . .
But now that it has been used against an enemy of Britain, France, Italy and other European nations, the tune has changed. Suddenly targeted killing is not only legal and moral, it is praiseworthy (except, of course, to Hamas, which immediately condemned the US killing of Bin Laden).
Should the mourner of bin Laden be recognized as a worthy partner for peace with Israel, or a potential leader of a new Arab state?
• The Columbia Journalism Review looks at how news sites handled coverage of Bin Laden’s death in the earliest period. It’s a case study of how to keep readers interested in a big story when there’s very little info.
If you want a sense of how fast the news cycle is, all the CJR screenshots are from a 10-minute period:
That was after the news of bin Laden’s death had been confirmed, but before any details about the raid had come out and before President Obama addressed the nation.
There’s a lot riding on attracting (and keeping) readers despite the dearth of detail. Bin Laden news caused a bigger web traffic spike than the royal wedding.
• Politico: The commandos who killed Bin Laden snagged his electronic equipment too. Intelligence officials are looking forward to seeing what’s on the terror king’s hard drive. Omri Ceren thinks he knows what they’ll find . . .