Tag Archives: osama bin laden

An uplifting story of a team and its biggest little fan. The NY Post does it again. And an outrageous false accusation has ripples

Here’s something that I hope puts a smile on your face as you start the week. The Albany (N.Y.) River Rats hockey team, despite having one of the worst nicknames I’ve ever heard, captured the heart of a little boy who was born with a rare, extremely painful disease that causes tumors to grow all over his body.
When the team was sold and moved to Charlotte, N.C., the kid, Zach Bennett, was devastated.
So devastated that the Bennett family took the crazy step of moving to North Carolina to be near the team. And then, well, this happened. Watch this 3-minute story (it’s worth sitting through the ad, I promise!), and become a fan of the Charlotte Checkers hockey team for life:

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**Ah, the New York Post has done it again. I’m sure you heard the story over the weekend that there was some pornography found inside Osama bin Laden’s compound there in Pakistan.

Well, the New York Daily News ran with the headline “Osama Porn Laden.” Which was solid. Good job, News.
But the Post, well, they’re the Post. It’s OK to laugh at this one, as wrong as it is:

**Finally today, a story that outraged me. And I hope it outrages you. Sean Lanigan was a teacher and soccer coach in Fairfax County, Va. He’s a father of three, a beloved teacher and coach who never was in one iota of trouble with the law.
Until a 12-year-old girl who he had reprimanded for bullying decided she would get even. She accused Lanigan of sexually molesting her, and despite an acquittal from a jury in 47 minutes, and the girl later posting on Facebook “it was a joke,” Lanigan’s life has fallen apart.
The school district, unconscionably, refused to give him his job back, or pay his legal fees as they are required to do. Two years later, Lanigan is still fighting this unfair and untrue reputation, unable to work full-time and dealing with mental anguish I can only imagine.
The prosecutor’s office in this case ought to be ashamed, and the lead detective (who never even interviewed the girl!) should be in serious trouble. There was ZERO evidence in this case.
This story is an absolute tragedy. That one 12-year-old girl could destroy a man’s life is criminally unfair. That so many adults can still fail to accept his innocence and give him his life back is unfathomable to me.

I’m truly torn over bin Laden death photos. And Gary and Gus, gone in the same day? Oy.

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It’s rare, but there are times when I am truly torn on an issue.
Every time I think about it more, I change my mind.
Maybe you’re the same way.
It’s how I’ve been feeling the last couple days about this “should America release the Osama bin Laden death photos?” thing.
On the one hand, I say absolutely, yes. There are factions of people in the world  who will never believe he is dead unless they see a picture. It’s all an American plot, he’s still alive, etc.
I also believe that truth and transparency is almost always the best option. We’ve got the death photo, show it. Let everyone see it. Why not?

And then I consider the other side. And consider the potential damage to Americans and American interest, worldwide, showing the photos can do. The possibility that will inflame tensions in the Middle East, and maybe cause terrorist actions in retaliation for the sure-to-be bloody and humiliating photo.
It’s really a tough call, and one that Barack Obama has made; he’s said he won’t release the picture. 

Not sure I agree. But not sure that I don’t.
As usual, Mr. Jon Stewart sums it up pretty nicely in the video above.

**I shouldn’t have to deal with huge college basketball news on May 5. Nothing ever happens at this time of year.
And yet, Thursday brought two body blows to college hoops junkies like myself. First I learned that legendary Maryland head coach Gary Williams was retiring, at a very bizarre time. Now, as a Duke fan I’ve loved hating Gary for decades; the guy is just so easily hateable. He’s obnoxious, he whines to the refs a lot, and quite frankly his teams have really stunk the last few years.
But the guy is a hell of a coach, and as a reporter I always found him pretty easy to deal with. I’ll miss him, and I’ll miss chanting “Sweat, Gary, Sweat,” at him, and I’ll miss the always-entertaining scene of Gary screaming at the guys on the bench for some grievous offense that the point guard on the floor just committed.
Anyway, while I was digesting the news about Gary, I read this:  Gus Johnson the voice of the NCAA Tournament, is leaving CBS after he couldn’t agree to terms on a new contract.
I’ve written many times about my love for Gus, and his wonderfully energetic calls of college basketball and other sporting events.
Gus makes every game feel bigger, and March Madness will absolutely not be the same without him. I love him as an announcer so damn much.
In tribute, I give you the best of Gus:

Why college students celebrated Osama’s death the most. A Doogie Howser thought. And Seinfeld and Rock brilliant in HBO special

Twenty-four hours after the news came that the U.S. had finally killed Osama bin Laden, I found myself thinking a lot about the college students we all saw pictures of during the wall-to-wall news coverage.
They were deliriously happy on campuses from Maine to California and all places in between; the incredible photo above is from Penn State.
And I got to thinking why above all others, these 18-to-21 year olds were so happy.
I mean of course, college kids want any excuse to party and blow off studying, but I think this goes deeper than that.
I have a theory. For these college kids today, Osama bin Laden ruined their childhoods. They were 8, 9, maybe 10 years old on 9/11, and they had to deal with something at a young age that was so different from anything we as Americans have ever had to deal with before (of course we’ve had wars that have cost more lives, but as far as one single day, with one attack on American soil, this was unprecedented.)
Those kids saw unfathomable pain and suffering, more than any kid should have to see. And for the last 10 years, Osama bin Laden has been their real-life Bogeyman.
He’s not the monster under the bed, or in the closet. He’s the real-life person who caused them such emotional trauma at a time in childhood when they were most vulnerable.
So Sunday night, when they found out he was dead, it was like the monster was finally killed. And they could finally turn the light off and go to sleep.

**On a related note (ha) … so it’s last Saturday night, 2 a.m., and I’m flipping around the dial and stop on “Doogie Howser, M.D.” (Don’t judge. That show ruled). And it struck me while I watched the last scene (it was the episode where the cute nurse picked Vinny Delpino over Doogie), while Doogie typed his two-sentence thought, that Doogie Howser was the world’s first-ever blogger.
Way back in 1991, we had our first blog.

That’s all. I always knew that show was ahead of its time.

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**Finally, sometimes an HBO special is so brilliant you wish it could be a regular series. Someone had the great idea to put Jerry Seinfeld, Louis C.K., Chris Rock and Ricky Gervais in a room together for an hour, and let them talk about comedy, and tell some hilarious jokes.

C.K. in particular comes off as brilliant here (he gets the one-liner in the clip below), but all four of them are awesome. The show is called “Talking Funny,” and it’s on HBO on Demand, and throughout the week airing on HBO’s regular channels.
I’m telling you, it’s laugh after laugh.
And you’ll never be able to hear Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” the same way again.