By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published May 06, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Thursday's televised wreath-laying at Ground Zero was the symbolic end to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden that began Sept. 11, 2011.

But as the president's Sunday night announcement of the actual end to the hunt shows, nothing ends anything in a media world of countless voices raising questions.

With word of the impending report coming during the last half-hour of prime-time on the biggest TV night of the week, it brought Barack Obama the biggest audience of his presidency, with Nielsen Media Research counting more than 56 million viewers across nine TV outlets.

Throughout the week, there have been commentators of various stripes questioning the legality of the raid that killed Bin Laden – clearly the culmination of a US strategy stretching back almost a decade; questioning the president's decision not to release grisly photos of the dead terrorist leader; questioning just about every aspect of the dramatic end to the manhunt.

It's interesting that the questions and developing conspiracy theories about the death of Bin Laden come a week after the end of the silliest conspiracy theory in modern politics – Obama's birth certificate.

Despite all facts to the contrary, it got plenty of airtime, and not only because it was being pushed by Donald Trump.

Now I'm not sure that I'm a believer in the media concept known as "closure." But in a contentious media environment that questions everything constantly, it may be hard for us to move collectively beyond an unpleasant decade of Bin Laden.

On TV: Random Lake's Andrea Boehlke was voted off CBS' "Survivor: Redemption Island" this week. The 21-year-old Boehlke is a theater student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

  • Me-TV has a Mother's Day sitcom marathon with mom-themed sitcoms starting at 10 a.m. Sunday with a "Brady Bunch" episode. Me-TV is available over the air on Channel 49.1. It's also on Channel 19 on Time Warner and Charter cable systems.
  • "Reality" TV pro Mark Burnett will produce the next Emmy Awardscast, which airs Sept. 18 on Fox.
  • British pop star Cheryl Cole is joining Simon Cowell's "X Factor" as judge on Fox this fall.
  • MTV has ordered a third season of "Teen Mom."
  • Politico reports that Fox News Channel has ended contracts with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, as both move toward presidential campaigns.

Tina Fey hosts SNL: NBC's "Saturday Night Live" ends its season with three new episodes this month, starting with alum Tina Fey hosting this weekend's show, at 10:30 Saturday on Channel 4.

Here's her string of funny promos:


Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.