What Works Assignment 2/18

The Man Who Shot Osama Bin Laden……is Screwed

The title of this story immediately catches the eye of the reader.  The majority of Americans are infatuated with the Seal Team that killed Osama Bin Laden and want to know who killed the world’s most wanted terrorist.  So it’s the irony of the title that draws most people in.  The reader wants to know why one of America’s heroes is screwed.

The author does a phenomenal job of weaving personal and professional aspects of the Shooter’s life into a story that makes the reader feel like they know the Shooter even without knowing his real name.  The reader finds out fairly quickly that the Shooter has children and the pain that came with having to leave them with every tour of duty.  The reader is able to see the Shooter as a “human” and not just a killing machine.

The author does a good job of highlighting the issue of veteran unemployment throughout the piece.  The author is able to use the Shooter as an example of this issue while jumping back and forth between the Shooter’s past, present and future.

The author begins the story with a soft lead and hooks the reader immediately by using the phrase, “the man who shot and killed Osama Bin Laden.”  I think the author does a great job of explaining the setting of whatever scene is being described and does so in a way that makes the reader feel like they are there.

It isn’t until paragraph 17 that the nutgraph occurs.  The author takes the time to describe the circumstances and events that have shaped the Shooter’s life.  There is an undercurrent of suspense throughout the piece that propels the reader to keep reading.

I think it is important to note that the author is able to take a national issue of high veteran unemployment and apply it to a specific person who just happens to be the man that shot Osama Bin Laden.

The whole story has an element of secrecy to it considering that no names or detailed physical descriptions can be revealed.  However, it is obvious that the author has done a great deal of research for this piece to make it legitimate.  He interviews the Shooter who can be considered an official source.  The Shooter was the main source and it seems like the author has done several interviews with him at several places.  The Shooter’s father, the Shooter’s wife, a former Seal and mentor to the Shooter, the Shooter’s comrade, Marine major general Mike Myatt, retired rear admiral and former SEAL, a third-generation military man, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Orbitz chairman Jeff Clarke are all sources.  However, not many names are actually used.

Considering that the story is based around a top-secret mission and involves hidden identities, the author does a pretty good job of including multimedia elements into the story.  Pictures of the Shooter’s gear during the Osama Bin Laden raid, the Abbottabad Compound, and the Situation Room at the White House during the Bin Laden raid are included as multimedia items.  Also a graphic of veteran unemployment and a video clip of President Obama telling the world that Osama Bin Laden had been killed are used.  I think all of these multimedia elements are beneficial to the story.

However I would have liked to see a video clip of the movie Zero Dark Thirty since the author watches that movie with the Shooter and gets his reactions to it.  Although Zero Dark Thirty doesn’t portray exactly what happened, it still would give the reader an idea of what kind of experience it was for the Shooter—in a visual manner instead of just using print to describe it.  There was also a part in the story where the Shooter couldn’t believe how many people took to the streets by the White House the night Osama Bin Laden had been killed to cheer and chant in celebration.  I think having examples of tweets from ordinary Americans expressing their reactions would be a value added multimedia element.

Although, the story is long, I think it has to be in order to fully describe the many aspects of the Shooter’s life.  The way the author balances his own writing with the Shooter’s voice makes the reader feel like they know America’s hero without even meeting him.

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