‘Ladies and Gentlemen — We Got Him!’

Boston 11

“Ladies and Gentlemen … we got him” the headline of the New York Time, On December 4, of 2003, mimicking what America’s chief administrator in Iraq at the time Paul Bremer with his cow-boyish style press conference when he gloating the words: “Ladies and Gentlemen, We Got Him!” according to the New York Times; There were cheers from the assembled press corps. Bremer described it as “A great day for Iraq, more than 10 years later, and after the disastrous consequences of the Iraqi invasion and the mission accomplished culture of American militaristic foreign policy, nothing has changed in how media covers the news in time of crisis. American Media becomes patriotic Americans, a mouthpiece for the people in power and not reporting the news but making it, and influencing the callable public.

According to 101 basic course in mass communication newspaper headline is defined as the first few words that tell readers what the article is about., A headline has four main functions: first to inform, serve, entertain and interpret. However, newspaper headings are also aimed at catching reader’s attention. In order to survive in the 24/7 news competitive era, headlines try to get as much attention as possible. In an International Research Journal of Social Sciences study__ stated “Although in most cases headlines do bear such functions in news reports, some newspapers headlines present their readers with fairly complex riddles which neither summarize nor present the detail of the news reports” the keyword here “some” but when you find “most” of newspaper are doing it, it raises an interesting question. How can that many Newspapers agree on one three litter headline “we got him” . In the case of the Boston Marathon bombing, The Huffington Post, posted images of front-page headline of 67 newspaper from around the country. The headline “We Got Him” was highlighted by either big size or color, and most have picture of the suspect young man face just positioned next to the big headline! The legal tradition of Presumption of innocence alleged or suspect if mentioned is in the subtitle that is very small you can’t hardly see it…, As was reported at The Huffington Post, later, “The New York Post …. Soon after the blasts struck on Monday afternoon, the paper, citing law enforcement sources, said that 12 people had died… The paper was also the first to say that a “Saudi National” had been taken “into custody” by police at a local Boston hospital. Its initial stories said that the man was “identified as a suspect.” This was denied by the Boston police, who repeatedly said there was no suspect and nobody in custody.

I looked through the 67 headlines I found out that the majority of headline was the hyperbole, short and to the point saying simply “We Got Him” 71%, “Hunt (Terror) is over” , 16%, “Captured 11%… with a few far in between.

Here are a few examples of the headlines that I scanned and looked at:

The Enterprise “Got Him” …) Picture of the suspect. He is guilty here.

The Sun Chronicle “Captured” (Cheers On Watertown street; picture of happy/smiled Triumphed police.

Cap Cod Time…. “He is captured”… (Boston Marathon Bomber cornered…Picture of police office giving high five to a person inside a car

Boston Harold, tried to be more creative with the headline “Sunk” a Picture of the suspect face.

New England, The Standard Time… “We Got Him”… police are congratulating each other rejoicing.

The Patriot Ledger.. “Caught”… picture of the suspect, he is guilty.

The Wall Street Journal… “Manhunt End, with Capture” Picture of a relived policeman …walking surrounded by cheering crowd.

The New York Times; one of the very few papers which took the trouble of assuming the innocence till proven guilty thing with a headline “2nd bombing Suspect is Captured” Picture: of Ghost town surrounded by heavily armed police, next to it, a picture of cheering crowd, showing the feeling of the town during the ordeal.

News Day… “we Got Him”… Boston bombing seized”..
Picture of the suspect, with more than 9000 police officers chasing the two young suspects brothers, characterizing it as Seized; is a little overkilled.

New York Post, tries to keep to its tabloid tradition with headline; “2nd Bomber Bagged… Blood Brothers” Picture: of the two brothers…

Daily News “Got’em .. 2ND Boston bomber napped alive” Picture of police attending the injured suspect.

The Oklahoma… “we Got Him”… picture of police shaking hands with a car driver, we are all one family now.

The Times-reporter… “Endgame” … picture of police in full geared.. military style; indicating law and order is restored.

The Columbus Dispatch… “Boston Rejoice at Arrest” ..picture of police rejoicing celebrating, now you can as Ex-president George Bush advised us to go back to our shopping.

Waterloo Report, Record…”The Search is Done, The Terror is Over” , picture of the two suspects, relax now and think about what we are going to do with our spare time.

Calgary Suns. .. “got Them”… picture of the two suspects with arrow showing one is “Dead” and the other “In custody” considering the killing of the older suspect a one way to get a suspect.

Journal Sentinel … “Got Him” Picture of cheering crowd, one taking a video of office in the police car. Only in American, Police becoming a celebrity, a bit different in the black community and in the Arab Spring street.

The Virginian Pilot… “Got’Em” picture of policeman high five with a car driver, this picture was repeated in many front pages that day as if we won the World Series.

The Citizens Voices… “Boston Strong”…, picture of police elation, which we saw it more than once showing triumphed policemen.

Pittsburgh Tribune… “Caught”… Picture of crowd celebration…, our problems are over now, we are safe.

Chicago Sun… “we Got Him” …picture of crowd clapping as if it is an end of a show, and it was a show indeed, The media has condemned the Boston Marathon bomber suspects before our eyes, they are guilty as charged, no due process, what for, and hard to do; one suspect is dead and the other cant talk.

Ahmed Tharwat, Host/Producer of Arab American TV Show
BelAhdan with Ahmed
Airs on MN Public TV, Mondays at 10:30p
Public Speaker, Freelancer Writer

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