Osama is running, but not for the presidency

It happened again, a goof-up by a television network at Barack Obama’s expense and this time it wasn’tObamaosama
just a typo or slip of the tongue.

NEW YORK – NBC News said Tuesday it has reprimanded the employee
responsible for mistakenly flashing a picture of Osama bin Laden on MSNBC as Chris Matthews talked about Barack Obama.

"This mistake was inexcusable," MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.

It happened during the opening of "Hardball" Monday evening.
Matthews was previewing a story on the controversy over Obama’s use of
another politician’s words, and a picture of bin Laden briefly flashed
on the screen beside him with the headline "Words About Words." [Link] [video clip]

Inexcusable indeed. They need to apologize not only to Obama, but also to Osama. He hates America and the last thing he wants his followers to think is that he’s running for president.

The Obama campaign immediately called NBC
to complain, and Matthews apologized on the air a few minutes later.
When "Hardball" was rerun later that night, a picture of Obama replaced
the picture of the terrorist leader.

The mistake was made by someone in the network’s graphics department
whom MSNBC would not identify. The network did not explain exactly how
the mistake was made nor detail the punishment for the employee. [Link]

This is what happens when you outsource your graphics to Bangalore. Or maybe it’s what happens when you don’t outsource your graphics to Bangalore. Whatever the case, it looks like someone’s going to be spending the next few months fetching coffee for Keith Olbermann.

Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor noted the apology and said the campaign had no other comment.

It’s hardly the first time the presidential candidate and terrorist
leader have been confused in the media. CNN apologized last year for
promoting a story on the search for bin Laden with the headline,
"Where’s Obama?"

One other time, CNN’s Alina Cho reported that "Barack Obama’s campaign has been dogged by false rumors, among them that Osama is a Muslim, Obama rather." [Link]

Perhaps all the networks should give their employees a chart:

Obama                                                           Osama

Loves America                                                Hates America

Running for president                                      Running for his life

Clean-shaven and has nothing on his head         Bearded and has nothing in his head

Graduated from Harvard Law School                 Graduated from Riyadh Elementary School

Has one wife and two daughters                       Has five wives and a soccer team

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. A great take on the affair. Its always fun to read you. Just keep them coming…

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