How Close Are "B" and "S"?

May 3, 2011

Not very.

And of course, we're speaking about the distance on a keyboard.

Most Americans have known the name Osama bin Laden far longer than they've known the name Barack Obama. But length of time doesn't necessarily prevent the occasional slip of tongue, Freudian or otherwise.

Someone had to step up the plate and compile the public slip ups. New York took the challenge.

There was the local Sacramento Fox affiliate that ran the words Obama Bin Laden Dead onscreen. There was Keith Olbermann, who, in the same post in which he mocked the aforementioned Fox affiliate, made the mistake himself when he wrote, "Mr. Bush personally de-prioritized the hunt for Obama."

You can read the post here. My favorite is the host on the local Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate. Give him credit though. He breaks a core rule of broadcast journalism: just keep on moving past the mess up and don't go back.

All in the name of honest reporting. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit