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Who is your favorite late-night comedian?
David Letterman 20%
Jay Leno 10%
Craig Kilborn 3%
Conan O'Brien 30%
John Stewart 13%
Bill Maher 5%
Ted Koppel 11%
Jim Davidson 6%

Votes: 60

 Please Don't Kill Osama Bin Laden

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Nov 25, 2001
I, like so many people, am a news junkie. I spend many hours of my day flipping back and forth between CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and the BBC, seeking to satiate my thirst for the latest information in the hunt for Public Enemy #1: Osama bin Laden. Invariably, when you encounter a discussion with so-called "experts", they come to a singular conclusion: bin Laden is a subhuman freak who must be "taken out", which is military slang for "blown to bits."

And with that, I have a single, simple plea for the United States military: Please, for the love of God, don't kill Osama bin Laden.


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"President Bush has authorized the drop of 15,000-pound bombs on Osama bin Laden. I believe that is the heaviest ordered drop by a president since ... well, Monica." -- David Letterman
The undeniable fact of the matter is this: for better or worse, Osama bin Laden has been a boon for the United States' late-night talk show industry. Comedians such as Letterman and his compadres Jay Leno, Craig Kilborn, Conan O'Brien, and John Stewart had been floundering in recent months. However, the war on terrorism has ushered in a new era in monologue comedy: the Era of Osama. It has revitalized a stagnating industry and has injected new life into a series of television programs that were becoming so vapid and banal that they had virtually no redeeming qualities whatsoever. There's no question but that Osama bin Laden gets the laughs.
"There is now a $5 million dollar bounty on Osama bin Laden. Which marks the first time in history there has ever been a bounty on a guy's head who wears Bounty on his head." --Jay Leno
Here's why I believe that it would be most unwise to kill Osama bin Laden: with him out of the picture, who would late-night comedians have to write jokes about? Obviously, comedians are no longer allowed to make jokes about President Bush. It has been demonstrated that this will no longer be tolerated in the post-9/11 era. Making jokes about President Clinton used to be all the rage for the Lenos and Lettermans of the country, but he isn't in office any more. The media has all but ignored all previous late-night targets, such as Gary Condit and Al Gore. So who is left? Let there be no doubt: Osama bin Laden, evil as he may be, is essential to the economic well-being of the late-night talk show industry.

"It was reported today that Osama Bin Laden has 50 brothers and sisters. Which absolutely shocked me because I had no idea he was Catholic" -- Conan O'Brien
I was at a meeting of the local chapter of the Lion's Club on October 30th, and at one point the emcee stood up on stage and said, "Do you know what Osama bin Laden is going to be for Halloween? Dead." The audience completely broke up. I looked over to my left and there was a man who must have been at least eighty years old who was doubled over in laughter, tears streaming down his cheeks, clutching his chest and mumbling something about pills. The roaring and applauding lasted for at least three minutes. This is the kind of reaction that our late-night talk show industry depends on. If bin Laden is out of the picture, they can kiss this kind of reaction goodbye, and that could severely cripple them.

"It looks like now the military action is taking effect. They think that bin Laden's organization is starting to break down. Today satellite photos actually show the sand fleas are leaving his beard." -- David Letterman
The economic roller-coaster ride that we have witnessed since the 9/11 attacks has demonstrated a very important point: there is no unimportant sector of our economy. The health and well-being of the airline industry is just as important as the status of the Internet providers and the industrial defense contractors. The same is true of the late-night talk show industry. If bin Laden is "taken out", expect the stock values of Viacom (parent company of CBS), General Electric (parent company of NBC), and AOL/Time Warner (parent company of Comedy Central) to tank. These are not small, no-name companies. They are major players in our nation's economy, and if they go down, we all go down.
"More and more details coming out now about spoiled rich kid Usama bin Laden. Time reports this week he was one of 52 kids. Mother must be exhausted. This guy inherited $80 million at age 13 and has since expanded it to $300 million through construction, smart investments and gas and oil investments. This way, he can use the money in his war against capitalism." -- Jay Leno
For the love of God, Mr. Rumsfeld .. don't kill Osama bin Laden. I want to be very clear about something: I am in no way condoning this man or his actions; as far as I'm concerned, he is a genocidal maniac who needs to be brought to justice. But this country has already been through a decade-long depression, and if we want to avoid a repeat of the 1930s, we need to recognize that bin Laden, bearded freak that he is, is far more valuable to the economic health of this country alive than he is dead. Blowing him into millions of itty bitty pieces might "scratch an itch" for a large segment of our population, but having him rot away in a jail cell for the rest of his years will guarantee decades of future economic prosperity.

So let's not let our bloodlust get the better of us. Let's make an informed decision in the best interests of the United States, and by association, the rest of the free world. It might feel good to kill bin Laden, but the only responsible course of action is to keep him alive and guarantee the vitality of the world economy. We can lock him in a jail cell and drag the legal process on for decades with appeals and procedural nonsense. And we can keep our late-night television industry vital, which in turn will keep our general economy vital. To pursue any other course of action would be tantamount to declaring war on our children, our elderly, our pets, and our own way of life. This I cannot do.


gbd? (1.00 / 3) (#2)
by philipm on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 05:42:37 PM PST
Listen you stupid moron, why is your name gbd? If you want to make a play on words about how you debug people's opinions, your name should be gdb, like the one true debugger. Can't you even spell?

I don't watch late night talk shows you elitist. I have a job and I need my sleep. Can you imagine actually working for a living?

P.S. It's spelled Usama.


transliteration (5.00 / 3) (#4)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 06:25:48 PM PST
P.S. It's spelled Usama.

Nope. The "right" spelling is in the arabic alphabet. Any other spelling is a transliteration of the arabic, and there can be several schemes for doing this. For example, in French the first name is variously rendered as either Oussama, Ossama, Osama or Ousama, while the last name as ben Laden, bin Laden.

More importantly: Arabic has a 3 cardinal vowel system; the only distinctive vowels, in phonological transcription, are /i/, /u/ and /a/. The phones [o] and [u] realize the same phoneme. It makes no difference from the POV of Arabic phonology to transliterate it one way or the other.

Jesus (none / 0) (#15)
by gbd on Mon Nov 26th, 2001 at 09:24:28 PM PST
My nickname is "gbd" because my name is George B. Donnelly. Get it? It's my initials. If you want to frequent a juvenile Web site where regulars base their nicknames off of pieces of mediocre Open Source software, here's a start.

This you call adequacy material? (1.33 / 3) (#3)
by Inden on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 05:45:32 PM PST
This irresponsible trivializing of the deaths of thousands of people all over the world you elite editors deem to be superior material for our consideration?

How about we just force a sex change operation on Osama and make him spend the rest of his life as woman? Would that be justice?

What About Diminishing Returns? (3.66 / 3) (#5)
by codystinks on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 06:35:03 PM PST
This is a good idea, but you overestimate the comic possibilities from one crazy foreigner. Inevitably, the audience will tire of towelhead jokes, and we'll need something else. So, I propose we let him live for another month, and then kill him in the funniest way possible, perhaps being crushed by a big fat lady or being electrocuted by a malfunctioning dildo.

Then, the comedians can milk this for a few more weeks, and we can find another foreigner to ridicule. Maybe a Jamaican guy? I don't know; I am flexible on that part.

"You can't kill Saddam--he's half my act!&quo (2.50 / 2) (#6)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 07:39:23 PM PST
"Saddam Hussein? More like, so damn insane!"

Disgusting. (none / 0) (#22)
by RobotSlave on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 02:21:40 PM PST
Look, I haven't been around long enough to know how the adequacy editors feel about unshielded Simpsons quoting, but personally, it really makes my blood boil.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Don't worry... (none / 0) (#26)
by tkatchev on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 11:34:15 PM PST's called "post-modernist art".

Peace and much love...

No, no. (none / 0) (#27)
by RobotSlave on Wed Nov 28th, 2001 at 01:25:21 AM PST
It's called "fear of any original attempt at wit, justified by cowardly 'end-of-irony' groupthink."

But maybe that's what you had in mind to begin with.


Damn, but I love this site when I'm plastered.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Re: Disgusting (none / 0) (#28)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Nov 28th, 2001 at 01:24:28 PM PST
I was going to shield it in a tedious, repetitive opinion piece, citing the leading human funnymen of our day. But I think it's been done.

Osama vs. Bush (none / 0) (#7)
by mauri on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 07:51:41 PM PST
Well, I think the story is stupid. Its written by american brown nose. Osama wants american troops out of holy land of two mosques and if america doesn't comply it has to face consequences. As simple as that.

btw. I have poll on newssite which asks who is more intelligent Osama or Bush or fictitious character and you can look at it yourself :)

p.s. I'm not muslim nor arab. My views may be not popular in america but hey, america is not popular in world either.

Popularity? Heh. (none / 0) (#9)
by nx01 on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 10:34:21 PM PST
You seem to be forgetting something. It doesn't matter if us Americans are popular or not. Instead, what matters is power. You see, we have it. You don't. It's as simple as that.

Power lies not in "people", or "free speech", or "liberty" or some such thing. Instead, power lies in weapons. Big weapons. Big, shiny weapons with yeilds large enough to take out small countries, and to leave them completely sterile for thousands of years as an example to all of those who would dare challenge our might.

We have them. You don't. It's as simple as that.

And please. Please. Learn to speak English. I mean American English, the evolution in language which finally led to perfection.

Have a nice day!

"Every time I look at the X window system, it's so fucking stupid; and part of me feels responsible for the worst parts of it."
-- James Gosling

Ugly American Says "Might Makes Right" (none / 0) (#11)
by Inden on Mon Nov 26th, 2001 at 04:34:37 AM PST
Justice makes even the mightiest armies tremble, my fellow "patriot". Mao is the one who said "power comes from the barrel of a gun". There is a mightier power than the force of arms in the longer run, my sad proud fellow Amerrrican.

If we are to lord our power over the rest of the earth, we must do so with humility and for a higher purpose than playground bully points.

The punchline... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by tkatchev on Mon Nov 26th, 2001 at 06:53:26 AM PST
You probably think that "higher purpose" means providing every creature a dry corner and plenty of nourishing feed. Sad.

Peace and much love...

In your case tkachev an exception may be made (none / 0) (#17)
by Inden on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 08:39:33 AM PST
There is a place for the higher purpose of the Great Russian soul also in this higher purpose of benevolent cooperative despotism. It is to sing heartbreaking songs, live in the woods in your dacha, drink as much as you like, write and perform poetry, novels, drama, symphonies. Your place is to make good culture, not empire.

You are confused. (none / 0) (#20)
by tkatchev on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 10:15:35 AM PST
You seem to be battling the shadowy liberalist phantasms of your own invention.

Belive me, "empire building" is the last thing on my mind. Really, you should get out more. Your liberalist social circle is quite cloying.

Peace and much love...

Realpolitik (none / 0) (#13)
by hauntedattics on Mon Nov 26th, 2001 at 11:25:40 AM PST
If we are to lord our power over the rest of the earth, we must do so with humility and for a higher purpose than playground bully points.

And then, after humbly and with higher purpose attempting to extend our enlightened philosophy all over the globe, we realize that everyone else in the world is playing a different game with different rules. So we retire petulantly and focus internally for a couple of decades. Then, when some foreign-perpetrated domestic catastrophe forces us to 'go global' again, we...

Jeez, all this is sounding eerily familiar. Maybe we should just retire the naivete a little sooner this time.

That's No Fun (none / 0) (#16)
by Inden on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 08:35:15 AM PST
Naivete is what makes it worth going for the gusto dude! Pity the poor 'realist' such as yourself who thinks they have no illusions. Illusions and dreams are not necessarily the same thing but when it comes to foreign policy its hard to separate them from their other aspect 'idealism'.

All life is ultimately illusion and thus politics are not worth spending any time in the long run hassling over. Justice is also an 'illusion' is that right? Or at least Justice on the social level. There is only individual Justice? I'm asking.

Hmm. (none / 0) (#23)
by hauntedattics on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 04:53:39 PM PST
Well, I never said I had no illusions, or even that I think I have no illusions. But it's a bit more dangerous for the U.S. to have illusions, don't you think? My whole point was that the U.S. should engage in the world with its eyes open, and not just assume that every world actor has the same goals, intentions and ideas that we do.

And all life isn't illusion, unless you're a Buddhist.

And all life isn't illusion, unless you're... (none / 0) (#24)
by osm on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 05:25:55 PM PST
or a liberal.

Illusions in US Foreign Policy (none / 0) (#25)
by Inden on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 08:18:01 PM PST
You are possibly referring to the illusions that you believe USians have or the illusions that you believe US policy pros have.

We have already gone far beyond the realm of knowing what we are both talking about. What are you talking about?

Point by point (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by nx01 on Mon Nov 26th, 2001 at 08:41:20 PM PST
Justice makes even the mightiest armies tremble, my fellow "patriot".

Exactly. By the Grace of God, We have been given the power to dole out justice on all the mightiest armies of the world. I know I do not take the responsibility lightly!

Mao is the one who said "power comes from the barrel of a gun".

Sorry, I prefer spicy mustard. Though I can't quite figure out why you're quoting some condiment tycoon.

There is a mightier power than the force of arms in the longer run, my sad proud fellow Amerrrican(sic).

You are so right. I'm glad we have nuclear weapons and fuel air bombs. That way, we don't have to deal with arm-to-arm combat. I thought that most armies had given that up back in the times before Christ? Maybe those silly muslims still cling to arm-to-arm methods of warfare. Their loss.

If we are to lord our power over the rest of the earth, we must do so with humility and for a higher purpose than playground bully points.

We are! We rule over all of humanity as a glorious king, and our servants in all the countries of the world think we're great! Didn't you see the pictures after the Sep. 11 attack of people throughout the world? They see us as a benevolant dictator.

I find no behavior that we, as Good Americans, need to change. Thanks for trying, though!

"Every time I look at the X window system, it's so fucking stupid; and part of me feels responsible for the worst parts of it."
-- James Gosling

Amerrrican was intentional spelling (none / 0) (#18)
by Inden on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 08:43:24 AM PST
(sic) to you too bud!

When lacking a argument to reply, make light and distract by bringing up condiments and word games. Word games and puns are the truest sign of us nerds.

Ha! Vapid personal attack, you lose! (none / 0) (#19)
by nx01 on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 09:50:30 AM PST
Amerrrican was intentional spelling

Right. And in WW2, we meant for Pearl Harbor to happen. It was all planned! Seriously!

You know, it's all right to admit that you were wrong. You don't have to try and cover it up in a bumbling, Homer Simpson-ish manner; it's just a spelling mistake!

Furthermore, I replied -- to each point -- in a concise, clear and logical way. Your inability to answer me just shows that I have come out on top.

As for my "bringing up condiments": If you didn't want me to talk about Mayo, you shouldn't have brought it up in the first place. I know that I am trying to have a rational discussion here... I don't know where you get off trying to distract me by throwing in silly food jokes. Mayo and guns. Sheesh. Some people.

I do hope you will be able to reassess your immaturity and learn to discuss in a logical manner. Only then will you truely be adequate.

"Every time I look at the X window system, it's so fucking stupid; and part of me feels responsible for the worst parts of it."
-- James Gosling

popularity yes ! (none / 0) (#31)
by mauri on Fri Dec 14th, 2001 at 06:04:56 PM PST
You seem to forget that guns make no sense of the enemy likes bullets & martyrdom. Yankestan has many nukes, but it cannot kill all people in the worrld, then other powers take their turns. Yankestan has still no star wars shield(and probably never will).

Popularity is the blood in Yankestan vessels. If Yankestan loses its popularity (eg. rise of Europe) then noone is interested in yankee music, films, propaganda, lifestyle and other production and suddenly its warmachine no longer matters...

On behalf of the Christians exiled from Saudi... (none / 0) (#10)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Nov 26th, 2001 at 12:15:09 AM PST
... so long ago, i DEMAND that Muslims leave.

your opinion (none / 0) (#29)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Dec 1st, 2001 at 08:13:45 PM PST
if you don't like the team, get the hell out of the stadium!

I'm sorry but bin Laden must die (none / 0) (#8)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Nov 25th, 2001 at 08:06:32 PM PST
Think of a world where 9/11/01 never happened. Don't you remember those innocent days of autumn? Jay, Dave, Craig, and Conan had us convulsing with laughter at their jokes, gibes, quips and zingers about Gary Condit, George Bush's feeble intellect, and Rudolph Giuliani's marital problems. Had the Emmy awards gone on as planned, think of what rich veins of humor could have been mined at the expense of badly dressed attendees: oh Jennifer Lopez' asscrack, we hardly knew ye!

And today, what source do our bards of the post 11:00 pm timeslot have for their customary distribution of giggles, chuckles, smirks and smiles? Bin this, Laden that. This monotony must end. It's a truism among serious scholars of history that no great nation has ever been sustained for long with only a single source of talk show humor. For the good of all, we must kill Osama bin Laden, and do it soon.

Rabid generalizations (none / 0) (#21)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Nov 27th, 2001 at 02:06:51 PM PST
oh Jennifer Lopez' asscrack, we hardly knew ye!

Speak for yourself :)

you guys are all wrong! (none / 0) (#30)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Dec 8th, 2001 at 10:19:13 PM PST
This site CLEARLY states the reason why osama should live


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