Osama does Sesame
appears in bin Laden propaganda poster
If irony died on Sept. 11, its ghostly apparition appeared in press
reports a month later.
Bert, the yellow unibrowed character from Sesame Street, appeared with
Osama bin Laden on posters at anti-American protests in Bangladesh and
Indonesia in October.
Apparently a protester had produced posters from a collage of bin Laden
pictures culled from the Internet, one of which juxtaposed the Saudi
terrorist millionaire alongside the felt-headed television character.
In 1997, "Bert is Evil" became a hot web meme. Popular amateur
web sites implicated Bert, a bottle cap collector and pigeon aficionado,
in crimes against humanity by inserting him into photos with O.J. Simpson,
the Ku Klux Klan and Adolph Hitler.
After Dutch news service Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau produced the
photo of hundreds of anti-American protestors martyring Bert, hits exploded
at web repository bertisevil.com.
No word yet on whether Cookie Monster escaped from Tora Bora.
The Afghan rock-eater
By the end of March, with Operation Anaconda long past and news slowing
down, the AP filed one of the stranger and more amusing stories to come
out of Afghanistan. A jobless vagrant named Jalat Khan had wandered
up to the gates of the US military installation at the Kandahar airport,
and was eating rocks, to the astonishment of the gathering crowd.
According to Khan, he began eating a pound of rocks a day three years
ago and is now addicted to the habit.
Numerous dailies picked up the story, much to the chagrin of official
Afghanistan. In response, the April 3rd "Mirror on the Media" column
on the English-language website of the Afghani embassy (www.afghanistanembassy.org)
ordered, "Enough already with the news articles about Jalat Khan!É This
kind of media attention ultimately embarrasses all Afghans.
"Won't someone please buy this guy a real kabob and steer sensationalistic
reporters towards the millions of Afghans who are hungry for food and
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