Monday, April 27, 2009

What the hell?

Update-apparently the pilot of the Air Force One backup has a history of this kind of thing, including one admiral's daughter.

For years we have heard liberal Democrats complain that President Bush was scaring us with the prospect of terrorism after 9/11.

Today, the Obama White House literally scared the crap out of thousands of New Yorkers, all so someone could get a photo op. From the Washington Examiner-

NEW YORK – A Boeing 747 used by the president was escorted over lower Manhattan by two Air Force fighter jets Monday as part of a government photo opportunity, causing a brief panic among office workers near ground zero.

Workers from several office buildings poured out onto the streets before they learned that the flights were innocuous.

John Leitner, a floor trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange Building, said about 1,000 people "went into a total panic" and ran out of the building around 10 a.m. after seeing the planes whiz by their building, near the World Trade Center site.

The White House better have a damn good explanation of what the hell this stunt was about.

Among the workers who left their buildings were some at The Wall Street Journal.

Kathleen Seagriff, a staff assistant in the news rooms, said workers heard the roar of the planes and then saw them from their windows.

"They went down the Hudson, turned around and came back by the building," she said. "It was a scary scene, especially for those of us who were there on 9/11."

Apparently no one bothered to tell the mayor what was going to happen, and according to the NYTimes he's pissed-

However, Mr. Bloomberg said he was not apprised of the flyover until his BlackBerry started buzzing this morning with messages from people asking if he knew what was going on. He characterized it as a breakdown in communication that “will never happen again.”

“First thing is, I’m annoyed – furious is a better word – that I wasn’t told,” he said at a City Hall news conference held to discuss the swine flu cluster in Queens.

White House press secretary gave his usual stellar performance-

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Monday afternoon that he was unaware of the flyover. At his daily press briefing, Mr. Gibbs initially referred questions to the F.A.A. and the Air Force. When told that those government offices were referring questions to the White House, Mr. Gibbs said: “I have no information on this other than what I saw.”

Mr. Gibbs, pressed by reporters, said he had seen news reports of the flyover, but declared: “I was working on other things. You might be surprised to know that I don’t know every movement of Air Force One.” Later, he added that he would look into the matter.

So does this qualify as a man caused PR disaster?

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Haven't they ever heard of photoshop?