BREAKING: Local News Finds Local Nonstory That’s Sorta Bin Laden-Related

Flickr Commons/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensutherland/252245492/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Ben Sutherland</a>

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


You know a world event’s really important—and really overreported—when actual headlines start looking like they’re ripped from the pages of the Onion. Case in point: “Branson Man on Aircraft Carrier That Buried Osama bin Laden at Sea.” KSPR, the ABC affiliate in Branson, Missouri (yes, that Branson, Missouri), would like to introduce you to the city’s very own Joseph Sullivan. He’s a twentysomething sailor who this very minute is serving on the USS Carl Vinson, the Nimitz-class carrier from which bin Laden’s corpse was dumped into the deep Monday morning.

Mind you, Sullivan may not know anything valuable about the world’s most famous sea burial. We don’t know, since he hasn’t Facebooked his mom since last Saturday. Also, he’s one of 5,000 or so sailors on the ship, most of whom probably didn’t even hear about the funeral until it was over. “He is (several) stories under the flight deck and his job pretty much keeps him contained below deck, ” Sullivan’s mother told the station.

So, we don’t really know anything. Except, apparently, that the multibillion-dollar ship of war, with its fighter air wing, close-in machine guns, and entourage of frigates, destroyers, cruisers, and submarines could suffer an Al Qaeda revenge attack:

“I am hopeful they are ‘now’ on their way home,” Sullivan’s mom said. “It does elevate my concern slightly that they may become a target.”

As a former sailor myself, I surely sympathize with the hazards of those young folks who go down to the sea in ships. As long as the terrorists stay away from Branson and Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, though, my mind’s at ease.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate