But the good news, as far as the media is concerned, is that they'll probably never ever have to spend as breakneck a period of time on a story that involved both Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden. So never again will there be a night when so many on-air talking heads confuse the president's name with the terrorist's.
Either way, I have a suggestion: Let's all stop worrying about it from now on!
Yeah, folks, I remember the halcyon days of yore, when Obama's rising popularity collided headlong with Osama's staying power as a news fixture. It wasn't long before folks on the teevee started having those unfortunate slips of the tongue and America's heroic chyron makers were accidentally broadcasting one name at the bottom of the screen when they meant the other. For a while, fans of Obama would catalogue every time Fox News would do it, as if it were -- you know -- the greatest burn ever! But by 2011, it's pretty clear that it's an accident.
Folks, everyone does it! Check out this post from Dan Amira at Daily Intel. Norah O'Donnell did it on Twitter. Mark Knoller did it twice. Keith Olberman did it minutes before making fun of someone else for doing it. It's done by pundits and newsmen. Cable aces and local anchors. Liberals and conservatives. Even British people. I've probably done it myself. This is something we really no longer need to make note of.
(Though, to be honest, I never understood why people just didn't use "bin Laden." BIN LADEN. Seems like a pretty straightforward way to keep this straight.)
Anyway, Ben Craw has made up one last highlight reel of people suffering from this lapsus linguae in the aftermath of the announcement that bin Laden had been killed. Let's enjoy! And then let's agree to just let this go, forever.
[Video produced by Ben Craw]