The bin Laden storytelling

Perhaps it’s because we’ve gotten so accustomed to vague answers to specific questions from government officials, or maybe it’s simply because of the compelling story of the death of Osama bin Laden, but today’s performance before the bright lights by a White House national security adviser was an extraordinary briefing to behold.

Over the course of 45 or so minutes, John Brennan skillfully outlined the details of the raid on bin Laden’s compound, and provided the occasional opportunity to read between the lines.

His briefing will be sliced up into small sound bites over the next news cycle or so, which is a shame because the only way to appreciate the information he shared was to watch (or listen) to the entire thing.

Meanwhile, the White House has released this photograph showing officials following the raid on Sunday.


  • I found it a pretty telling sign of the way the American media operates these days that Gary Eichten & Co. had to keep cutting from NPR’s feed to the BBC’s and possibly a few others just to bring us Brennan’s entire press conference uninterrupted by instant analysis, punditry, and listener feedback. I appreciated the extra effort by MPR to air it in full – I’m happy to listen to Ted Koppel’s take AFTER the press conference is over, but I’m pretty sick of TV/radio networks deciding when the event they’re covering is over or no longer worthy of not being interrupted by talking heads.