When the media attempts to portray a person or event to the public, the absolute truth is never completely achieved. The way people think about themselves is never exactly how the media will portray their image. Take for example, Harry Truman’s decision to drop the Atomic Bomb. One knows that the citizens of Japan have a very different interpretation of Harry Truman than he does of himself. The same effect was born once again when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. The medias interpretation differs significantly from the thoughts of Bin Laden himself.
The American media has portrayed Osama Bin Laden as evil, irrational, and weak. To the American people he has become a heartless coward, achieving the title of “Most Hated Man”. The reasoning behind their feelings comes from the terrorist acts Bin Laden is accused of as well as his cowardly approach of denying his actions. When Bin Laden interprets himself, he sees power, vengeance, and holyness. He believes that any place he calls home is the “Holy Land”, and that the mission of his followers is to take action against all Americans for what they have done in the past.
While one will never be able to truly separate the facts from the myths, an understanding from each side will allow one to generate an overall interpretation of Bin Laden. The American media portrays Osama Bin Laden as the archenemy of the United States. In a comic book saga, readers would see the U. S. government as the superhero, and Bin Laden as the evil mastermind. The American media has rendered Bin Laden into the most inhumane person possible. The media seemingly overlooks any attempts to make Bin Laden appear to have any reasons for his actions and immediately accuses him guilty.
As citizens of the United States, we can only interpret Bin Laden after receiving input from the media. With a very biased media, there is not much room for any American to portray Bin Laden on their own. The media expresses Bin Laden as evil, irrational, and ruthless everyday. In newspapers we see quotes that read, “… he (Bin Laden) has devoted his pathetic life to annihilate everything the United States stands for. ” Also on a daily occurrence, governing officials make statements like “Americans will stand united and not tolerate the terrorist acts against our nation”.
The American media tends to over use these statements in order to somewhat hypnotize its citizens into a specific mindset. With enough influence and consistency in their reasoning, the media can change a persons feelings or thoughts over a situation. The media is forcing its citizens to see the entire situation in only one way. Although this is not bad, it does not allow for as much diversity, and multiple solutions to the situation come hard to find. The American media’s objective is to portray Bin Laden just as we see him, the man who has killed thousands of Americans for no apparent reason.
Continuing the comic book like saga, when you ask a villain about himself, everything that people consider him evil for always has its reasons. When considering Bin Laden, that definitely seems to be the scenario. In general, the American media makes an enemy of Bin Laden because of the terrorist attacks he has preformed against the U. S. for no apparent reasons. On the other hand, ask Bin Laden himself and the story takes a full turn in the opposite direction.
Not only does he have multiple reasons for his beliefs about America, but he stands behind each one of them. When the American media explains why Bin Laden attacked the US, they state something to the effect of “He has nothing to live for… ” or “… he hates all Americans”. Basically the media is telling the public that there was no apparent reason for Bin Laden’s attacks. When Bin Laden is asked why he took the action he did against America, his reasons are far from blunt. He proclaims the “… US as the leader of terrorism and crime in the world. The US defines poor Palestine children throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers as terrorism, while a US blockage that causes thousands of innocent people in Iraq to die from lack of food or medicine is not considered terrorism.
He explains how “… any mention of the US reminds us of those innocent child who were dismembered by US explosions… ” in the Middle East, as well as the fact that U. S. troops are stationed in his country only to “… steal our oil and attack our religion. ” He believes the actions taken by the U. S. n his homeland are acts of terrorism, while his attacks on America are ways of revenge and tolerance. Also, Bin Laden excessively refers to “God” and “Allah, the Almighty. ” One would believe that following the word “God” would come expressions of peace and forgiveness. Yet in Bin Laden’s religion, sacrifice is acceptable and honored. He states that, “… this kind of death is honored. We have nothing to fear. It is something we wish for. ” The environment he lives in and the power he has inherited has transformed Bin Laden into a walking god for his followers.
He gives his people hope in life, something to life for. Although in many other counties the suicidal beliefs of Bin Laden’s followers are looked down upon, in their own minds it’s a virtue that only chosen people are granted. Just as other countries are influenced and manipulated by their media, Bin Laden and his followers are influenced by their religion and traditional beliefs. Bin Laden sees himself as the savor to the “Holy Land”, with a mission from “God” to repay all Americans for the carnage they have delivered against his people. When a worldwide event occurs, people either agree or disagree with you.
When Harry Truman dropped the atomic bomb, no one was left undecided. You either agreed with the decision to end the war, or severely hated him for the inhuman acts he delivered to innocent people. The current situation with America and Bin Laden has the exact same effect. As Americans we will always judge a person by the way they are portrayed in the media. Even though the medias interpretation is never 100% correct, we come to believe most of everything that is said.
When we see provocative signs about Bin Laden, or patriotic signs displaying “America the Beautiful” on T. V. e remember everything that has occurred and all the negative things that were said. We never give ourselves enough time to find our own place in the situation. Generally when one does hear Bin Laden speak, they are completely against anything he says and nothing seems to have any logical reasoning. Once one is given the time to collaborate on the ideas and reasons of Bin Laden, they will start to understand his reasoning and question the reputation made by the media. Is he an evil and irrational coward, or a heroic savor with a need for vengeance on those who despise him? Only time itself will allow the ongoing saga to end.
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