Bin Laden in Culture

Friday, May 06, 2011


Osama bin Laden has made an appearance over the years in popular culture, from television shows to advertising to conspiracy theories. Brooke looks at how the various depictions of bin Laden represent both our dreams and our nightmares.

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Comments [8]

Connor from Raleigh

I think that people used him as a pun to so many jokes to help themselves come to terms with what he had done. Humor is a common form of deflection when it comes to dealing with stuff we can not comprehend. I think putting him in so many advertisements was rediciolous however because at some point you have to say enough is enough and using him to sell a product is vastly different from using him for comidic relief.

May. 12 2011 07:17 PM
Charles Primm from Knoxville, TN

Great story, but as I was listening, I kept waiting for a mention of my favorite Bin Ladin pop-culture moment: Bruce Willis taking credit for killing Bin Ladin in Robert Rodriguez' "Planet Terror," the first segment in the Quentin Tarantino film "Grindhouse." Turns out the zombie-gas canisters that Willis and his troops found in a cave in Afghanistan were part of an evil Bin Ladin plot to destroy the world. That one minor disappointment aside, I enjoyed the story.

May. 12 2011 03:18 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Whew! That last comment was even stranger than anything I've written on your site.

Thanks for the survey. I hadn't really noticed. I really took that man seriously, except for when I suggested that he was really Pinky to Ayman al-Zawahir's Brain.

May. 11 2011 01:40 PM
Demesha, Kaleisha, and Jejuan from OTM #2

OTM #2
The title of the report is Bin Laden in Culture. The date that this was aired was on May 6, 2011. This report simply describes the appearance of Osama Bin Laden and how we view him in a negative way. They discuss the different televisions shows, advertisements, and conspiracy theories that people assume of Osama Bin Laden. She also discusses the depictions of Osama Bin Laden that represent both dreams and nightmares.
Brooke Gladstone is discussing with Chris Cunningham the different theories of people from around the world. They discuss that there was a theory that Osama Bin Laden died in the bombing of Tora Bora, the battle of Tora Bora in 2001. They also discuss that he had a lot of different medical conditions that would have eventually had him dead. Bu if this was the case, then why did they want to find him so bad? Did they prove that he was the cause of the many terrorist attacks that America was involved in?
There could be many points of views on this topic. Many people could believe that Osama Bin Laden was not the cause of the many terrorist attacks but others would believe differently. They may believe that Osama Bin Laden should be punished for his wrong-doing. Quite frankly, most Americans would want Osama Bin Laden killed; they got their wish. He was recently found and killed.
My overall reaction to this report is that many people have their own depictions of Osama Bin Laden but we have never met him. So how can we judge an individual based on their actions? The sad part about is that many people judge others just based on their actions but not on their personality. That should change so that we can become a better “America”. I would recommend this report to anybody who is interested in Osama Bin Laden and the government.

May. 11 2011 10:36 AM
Bri okamoto from Raleigh

These conspiracy theories about having Osama frozen, doesn't seem very likely to me. I agree with the statements how they would have wanted to release the body much sooner.
Many people come up with these jokes to lighten the mood from the scary reality that he was the most wanted man alive. He had become a pop-culture icon and not a terrorist anymore.

May. 10 2011 11:35 AM
Jasmine Holton

Who was standing there with a video camera recording the whole thing? And why did someone take a picture right after his death? There are so many unanswered question when it comes to what happened to Ben Laden, but we will never know the truth.
We don't understand why people just cant be happy that he is dead. I know that sounds horrible but I mean its true. First people complaining cause no one have caught nor killed him, and now there complaining cause that cant see everything happen. Lets just accept the fact he is dead and move on.

May. 10 2011 10:50 AM
Jasmine Holton

I think that the whole reason that people laugh and make jokes about Osama is because it make use suppress the horrible memories of what we went through with him. Like they said in the article, we can make jokes about him but not what happened. Also people do it out of anger. When so one is mad at someone or something, they talk bad about it.
As far as what they said about all the theories about his death, people make up rumors because they try to find the truth and cant. If they really did have Osama hidden somewhere they had many opportunities to expose him in Bush and Obama office. Bush could have done it when everyone started to hate him and the economy was going bad and Obama when he first was elected to gave the countries trust and faith.
WHo really knows the truth though. A lot of theories are out there and the main reason people are starting to beleive them is because the governmnt wont release the tape of Osama's death. And my question is why do they have a tape?

May. 10 2011 10:04 AM

What was the song used at the last 16 seconds before the interview ended?

Much thanks!

May. 08 2011 07:55 AM

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