Bin Laden and the Aftermath

How does a newspaper tell readers Osama Bin Laden is finally dead without becoming too zealous?

Most newspapers, like The Inquirer, ran with some variation of the headline, in large type, "Bin Laden Dead." Straight and to the point.

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But that doesn't work in the frenzied world of New York tabloids.

The New York Daily News thought otherwise, going with "Rot in Hell."  (The tabloid's back cover had fans at the Phillies-Mets game chanting "USA! USA!" even though players Ryan Howard and Cliff Lee had no idea what had prompted the outbreak of patriotism.)

The normally shameless New York Post was tame by comparison: "Got Him! Vengeance at last! US nails the bastard."

But "Rot in Hell?" Really?

Is this the appropriate response? And what would be waiting in hell? What constitutes the opposite of 72 virgins?

--Karen Heller

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