Monday, May 2, 2011

Flash mob at the White House

Media Moment: Bin Laden death announced
Queen-related: We Are the Champions

In my opinion, “breaking news” rarely warrants any pre-emption of trash TV that I might happen to be watching at any given moment.

Usually it’s a severe weather warning or some other local situation that has no immediate bearing on my apathetic well-being. So when “breaking news” cut into the boardroom showdown between Nene and Star on the Celebrity Apprentice last night, my wife and I were quite annoyed that we were going to miss some major sparks flying between these two players.

But this breaking news was actually worthy of the interruption. Our local broadcaster, Global National, announced that it had been reported that Osama Bin Laden was dead and that President Obama would be making an announcement on the matter shortly. After nearly a decade of hearing that Bin Laden was skirting in and out of Pakistan while international forces were (and are) preoccupied with Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and others, this news came as a genuine surprise.

The NBC channel that we recorded The Apprentice from went “live” once we were finished watching Trump punt Hope from the show. Brian Williams, the chief anchor for NBC News, was introducing Chuck Todd (pictured above) who was their White House correspondent. Todd had this to say about the crowd that had gathered outside of the White House as more and more people were hearing about the death of Bin Laden:

“There’s a small crowd gathering outside the White House right now . . . chanting and cheering. They sung the national anthem . . . they’ve been cheering ‘USA’ . . . singing We Are the Champions . . . a little bit of a flash mob as this word has trickled out. A different type of protest, if you will. Not a protest but a different type of gathering. We’re used to seeing crowds, small groups gather outside the White House for various topics . . . rarely for something that seems to be collective good news.”

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the game-winning connotation that the song implies as it relates to the hunting and killing of Bin Laden. But the fact that Todd mentioned the song by name means that its appearance was noteworthy enough to suggest an air of patriotism that seemed to be on par with the national anthem.

Again, this story echoes Bush Sr. intercutting snippets of WATC into one of his Desert Storm speeches. 

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