Bin Laden Presents…

The jokes are flying across the tubes of the Internets: Osama bin Laden is the next Anderson Cooper.

Last Wednesday’s edition of CNN Presents offered the documentary, “In The Footsteps of bin Laden.” The program handed CNN some of its best ratings all year. It was number one in the time period for both total viewers and the 25-54 demographic.

It will be interesting to see what lesson is learned from this success. CNN has trailed Fox badly for several years. Every attempt to makeover the network has failed to raise its competitive standings. Granted, Fox is not actually a news network. Its menu of propaganda and Jerry Springer-style DC-trash rumbles is less info and more tainment. But still CNN has vainly battled on to return to its perch in the cable news jungle.

So this week, with the news poodle herd chasing John Mark’s Karr down the street, CNN posts a program of substance and social relevance and it kills in the ratings. What are the odds that the editors at CNN will correctly analyze what happened here? Will they conclude that Christiane Amanpour should get a daily primetime talk show? Or will they figure out that there is a news vacuum in America that is crying out to be filled?

Or will the the jokes become reality as the announcement is made that Larry King – Live will be replaced by Osama bin Laden – Alive?