Twitter Scoops Media On Osama Bin Laden’s Death

Last night, at around 10 p.m. EST, I was lamenting the lack of incestuous sex on this week’s episode of “Game of Thrones” on my Twitter, when I saw something interesting come across my feed. A retweet of a message from the White House’s press secretary, saying the President would be making a statement at around 10:30 p.m. EST. No information was given on the subject matter, and further investigation on the various news outlets online showed that not only did the press not know what the Prez was going to discuss, but they hadn’t even updated their sites to indicate he would be giving a televised statement. Clearly, this was unplanned and the press got as much of a heads up about it as the rest of us.By now, of course, we know that the President announced that U.S. forces had found and killed Osama bin Laden. But it was on Twitter that the story first spread and was confirmed. Just before 10:30 p.m. EST, Keith Urbahn, Chief of Staff for Donald Rumsfeld, tweeted: “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.” Shortly after, CBS News producer Jill Scott tweeted, “House Intelligence committee aide confirms that Osama Bin Laden is dead. U.S. has the body.” About 10 minutes later, The New York Times confirmed the story via their Twitter feed, and five or so minutes after that, TV news outlets like CNN and MSNBC followed suit. A little after 11:30 p.m. EST, the President gave his statement.

There was an hour and a half window between the White House announcing Obama would be giving a statement and his actually delivering it. If you were active online during that time, you were able to hypothesize about the subject matter — I am still kind of sort of gloating to John DeVore that I suggested bin Laden was dead and he said there was no way — and then discuss post-reveal; but, I have to say, none of that took away from the impact of hearing the President say the words himself.

Where and how did you first hear the news?

[Tech Crunch]