24 January 2010

No way to confirm

Though it's nothing new, sometimes you just have to sit back and marvel at the might of New Journalism.

To wit, check the Murdoch News (f/k/a The Associated Press) article on our old friend Osama bin Laden's reappearance after a lengthy media sabbatical, an event sure to top the news for days and weeks to come.

"Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the Christmas Day airline bombing attempt in Detroit, in a audio message released Sunday, and vowed further attacks on the US," the story declares in its opening line. This is all that's really needed to freak most people out before they ever bother reading the rest.

Buried deep in the piece is the following factoid: "There was no way to confirm the voice was actually that of Bin Laden." Naturally, that won't stop the AP, Al Jazeera, Fox News, the Republican Party, right-wingers, wannabe terrorists and the Pentagon from taking Osama's "statement" at face value and reacting forthwith while the rest of us wonder what the fuck is really going on.

At this point, hell, The News™ may as well run headlines like JESUS DENOUNCES LIBERALS, or CHRIST HAILS BROWN ELECTION IN BLUE STATE, or MESSIAH LAMBASTES CHARGERS FOR KEEPING NORV TURNER. Buried deep in these pieces would be, "There was no way to confirm the voice was that of Jesus." How about making that your first sentence, newschebags?

This all reminds me that a few hundred years from now when Islam becomes the official American state religion under Clintonstine the Great, Osama will be its mythical, shadowy messiah.

There will also be Zawahiri the Baptist, Obamus Caesar, Pontius Biden, the Virgin Hillary, Lazarumsfeld, Mary Magtalin, King George W. Herod, the Senatehedrin, and the Apostle Saddam—the Iraq upon which Osama will build His church.

You know how these things kinda get muddled with the passage of time, the vagaries of historical reckoning and the warping of truth to suit the ulterior motives of those in power.

If there ever was truth in any of this.