Obvious point worth spelling out: The Associated Press’s MSM colleagues will cut them a hell of a lot more slack for this than they would if anyone from Fox News had committed the same error (photos here):
At the close of Q and A at an Associated Press luncheon in Washington, DC, AP chairman Dean SIngleton skipped over a question on what’s becoming known as “bitter-gate” in favor of asking Illinois Senator Barack Obama what he surely thought would be a less controversial question on Iraq.
Would the senator be willing to shift a substantial number of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, asked Singleton, where the Taliban has been gaining strength — and “Obama bin Laden” is still at large.
The room was quiet – as the crowd contemplated whether they’d heard what they thought they heard. But Obama, apparently, heard the same thing. After a pause and a smile, he said “I think that was OSAMA bin Laden.”
A red-faced Curley put his hands to his head. “If I did that, I’m so sorry!” he said to nervous laugh[t]er in the room.
Obama diffused the situation fairly effortlessly. “This is part of the exercise that i’ve been going through over the last 15 months,” he said, breaking into a grin. “Which is why it’s pretty impressive ‘m still standing here.” The professionally-stoic crowd of journalists gave him a round of applause.
Flashback: December 2007: CNN apologizes for Obama/Osama gaffe:
Flashback: October 2007: Mitt Romney confuses Obama/Osama.
Flashback: January 2007: CNN confuses Obama/Osama.
Flashback: January 2005: Teddy Kennedy mixes up Osama/Obama: