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Parsing the cheers at Osama’s demise

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

image L. A. Times media reporter James Rainey takes a look at the pep rally atmosphere surrounding news media coverage of Osama bin Laden’s death, particularly the on-air backslapping indulged in by Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera (pictured). Among his observations:

If you watched coverage across television this week, you saw people react to Bin Laden's death in inverse proportion to how closely 9/11 touched their lives. Those closest to the hijacked jets — victims' families, surviving New York City firefighters, colleagues of flight attendants who died — greeted Bin Laden's death with solemnity. Those who came to know the terrorist mastermind mostly as a symbol — the young who grew up under the terrorist threat but didn't suffer personal losses — tended to holler, preen for cameras and carry on as if they were watching a ballgame.

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