Media top headlines August 3
In media news today, CNN’s Jake Tapper defends Nancy Pelosi after Sen. Susan Collins knocks speaker for ‘partisan’ Jan. 6 committee, PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor lobbies Biden to extend eviction moratorium, and the Washingtonian attempts to cover for DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s photo scandal
Robert O’Neill, the former U.S. Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden, took a swipe at The New York Times over a book review that labeled the infamous terrorist as a “devoted family man.”
While reviewing Peter Bergen’s book “The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden,” writer Louise Richardson highlighted bin Laden’s family life and how he was one of a whopping 55 children and how he himself ended up having 24 children of his own.
“When it came to his family, bin Laden was a man of contradictions,” Richardson summarized. “On the one hand, he required his daughters from the age of 3 to be separated from males and insisted that females leave the room when men appeared, even on satellite television. Yet two of his older wives were highly educated, with doctorates in Koranic grammar and child psychology. They helped write his public statements and curate his public image; they engaged in discussions with him on strategy.”
The review touched on the family drama among the bin Ladens, but also noted the terror leader’s parenting style, writing, “In the years before he was driven into hiding, he went to pains to ensure his sons were tough, taking them on arduous hikes in blistering heat and limiting their food and water. He refused to allow the use of any refrigeration or air-conditioning.”
However, the review’s title, which originally read “Osama bin Laden, the Fanatical Terrorist and the Devoted Family Man,” raised eyebrows on social media, including O’Neill.
“Family man. He used his wife as a human shield,” O’Neill reacted, adding, “Lucky for me he was taller than her.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, another former Navy SEAL, similarly scolded the Times, writing “Nothing screams family man like using your (multiple) wives as human shields.”
The Times has since retitled its book review, which now reads “A Fuller Picture of Osama bin Laden’s Life.”
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