President Obama has endured entertainment industry criticism over the last few years for requesting premium broadcast air time for making speeches. But Sunday night’s abrupt and unexpected interruption is unlikely to draw any complaints.
Multiple news organizations carried the President’s announcement that, at last, Osama bin Laden is dead. ABC, CBS, and NBC cut away from scheduled programming to cover this enormous news.
With all the back and forth between President Obama and Donald Trump in recent weeks, Twitter flared up with amused conspiratorial comments when NBC News cut away from Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice on the East Coast to carry coverage of the announcement. Some tweeted that the president managed to take out bin Laden and Trump at the same time. Another common joke: “Now Trump will demand to see the death certificate.”
After the NBC News coverage concluded, the broadcaster switched to local news. On the West Coast, the breaking news slightly delayed Celebrity Apprentice, with NBC and CBS eventually opting to return to reality shows and ABC continuing with news coverage.
“Tonight I can report to the American people and the world, the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children,” Obama said. “Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts … The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaeda. His death does not mark the end of our effort…”
Obama said bin Laden was found in a compound in Pakistan and was killed by a small U.S. military team after a firefight. He also said the U.S. took custody of his body.
UPDATE: Donald Trump congratulates Obama