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Osama Who?

Tuesday, 3 May 2011 | 12:58 PM ET

Way back in the last millennium, we had a little trial in Los Angeles some of you may have heard about. It involved a popular athlete and movie star named O.J. Simpson. I won't bore you with the details, but he was accused of slashing his ex-wife and a young waiter to death. He was found not guilty (though later found liable in a civil trial). Suffice it to say, it was a big deal. A huge deal.

One day, an LAPD criminologist named Andrea Mazzola took the stand to talk about gathering evidence the day after the murders. Her colleague, Dennis Fung, kept talking about O.J. "And I said, "O.J. Who?" Mazzola testified. "He said, 'movies, sports...' it just did not ring a bell."

Saudi-born alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is seen in this video footage recorded at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan aired by the Qatar-based satelite TV station al-Jazeera in 2001.
AFP | Getty Images
Saudi-born alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is seen in this video footage recorded at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan aired by the Qatar-based satelite TV station al-Jazeera in 2001.

Shocked silence filled the courtroom.

It was kind of like not knowing who Osama Bin Laden is.

Which leads me to this article on Boing Boing.

Turns out a lot of people using Twitter Sunday night asked "Who is Osama Bin Laden?" as the site went nuts with news of his death.

Really? Even if you've been living under a rock (or cave in Tora Bora) or without internet service (like, in a compound in Abottabad), you know who "OBL" is, right?

Not so!

Yahoo reports that "Who is Osama Bin Laden" was the fifth most asked question Sunday, and two out of three asking the question were teenagers. In their defense, maybe some knew who he was but asked the question to learn more.

Or maybe they really didn't know.

So much for being "plugged in" on social networking sites. Bet these kids know who Charlie Sheen is! It's been so long since so many Americans have thought of Osama that we keep accidentally calling him Obama (as does our auto-correct function).

So thank you, Special Ops guys, for getting your man and for reminding us who started this fight. Apparently we need reminding. "Who is Osama and why is it important we killed him?" asked one "tweeter" Sunday night.

I hope both questions have been answered...for a while.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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