TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

The Osama Bin Laden Death Story’s Flawed Spin Job

Is the media to blame here, or the White House?

There has been a great deal of back-pedaling and rewriting and general muddling of the story of Osama bin Laden‘s death since it was first announced by President Obama on Sunday night. And everyone’s been looking the worse for it.

The Wrap provides a summary of the events:

  1. Sunday, May 1, 11:30 p.m. | President Obama Addresses the Nation, in Which We Learn of a “Firefight”
  2. Monday, May 2, 2:00 p.m. | John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, Introduces “Human Shield” Myth
  3. Tuesday, May 3, 1:57 p.m.| White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Bin Laden Was Unarmed, But Dangerous”
  4. Tuesday, May 3, 7:00 p.m.| CIA director Leon Panetta Says Bin Laden May Not Have Had a Gun, But Made “Threatening Moves”
  5. Tuesday, May 3, 8:27 p.m| Unnamed Senior Congressional Aide, Says Bin Laden Surrender Would Have Had to Take Place in the Nude (seriously)
  6. Wednesday, May 4 | U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Says All It Takes for Self-Defense Is No Surrender
  7. Wednesday, May 4 | The New York Times Reports There Wasn’t A Whole Lotta Shooting Going On in Abbottabad
  8. Thursday May 5|  Press Secretary Carney: Accuracy Was Another Casualty

Phew! It’s difficult to keep up. As The Wrap says, “Carney told the media that the administration was still in the process of cobbling together all the facts.”

Take a little time on this one, administration. Maybe do some fact-checking this time around. We’re in no hurry.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!