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Jewish World Review April 19, 2004 / 29 Nissan, 5764

Andy Borowitz

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Consumer Reports

Osama: Piracy threatens terror-tape industry

Bin Laden bemoans free downloads of spooky pronouncements | In a new terror tape broadcast on the Arabic-language al-Jazeera network today, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden warned that free, illegal downloading of terror tapes is threatening the economic health of the terror-tape industry going forward.

"In the past, I have been able to hire the best writers, directors, and cave designers to make my terror tapes truly chilling," said a sterner-than-usual bin Laden on his latest tape. "But if illegal piracy of these scary tapes persists, the time will come when making new scary tapes will no longer be economically feasible."

According to associates of Mr. bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader was particularly peeved that pirated copies of his latest tape, in which he offered a truce to several European nations, showed up for sale on street corners in Hong Kong and Los Angeles days before it was to be broadcast.

"These scumbags are ripping Osama off, and he doesn't see a nickel," one associate said. "After all the work he puts into crafting these tapes, it's depressing."

In addition, the associate said, Mr. bin Laden fears that illegally pirated clips of him may start appearing in the music videos of pop stars, further diluting their value: "The last thing Osama wants to do is make Hillary Duff richer."

And as bin Laden's pirated image becomes as overexposed as Scooby-Doo, there is growing evidence that he may be paying the ultimate price: losing his ability to terrify people.

Case in point: a new survey gauging public attitudes towards Osama shows that by a wide margin, Americans are now more afraid of Omarosa.

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JWR Contributor Andy Borowitz, a former president of the Harvard Lampoon, is a regular humor columnist for, The New Yorker, The New York Times and TV Guide. Recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the most powerful producers in television, he was the creator and producer of the hit TV series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and producer of the Oscar-nominated film Pleasantville. He is the author of the just released "Who Moved My Soap? The CEO's Guide to Surviving in Prison and "Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading" , "Rationalizations to Live By". Comments by clicking here. Visit his website by clicking here.


© 2004, Andy Borowitz