If The False Alarm Had Been Real, There Could Have Been A Lot Of Dead Reporters

Yesterday, W. was evacuated to the White House bunker after a false alarm:

President Bush was rushed to a secure underground White House bunker and Vice President Dick Cheney was whisked outside the compound Wednesday because of a ”radar anomaly” — perhaps a flock of birds or pocket of rain — that was mistaken for a plane flying in restricted airspace.”

This is of course the part of the news that everybody focuses on. However, there was another part that I found grimly amusing, although the press core probably won’t be getting a lot of chuckles out of it:

Some White House staff members were evacuated from the West Wing. Tour groups were hustled out of the executive mansion and a park across the street from the White House was cleared.

Some parts of the compound, such as the area where the press is housed, were not notified of the threat or moved.

So there may be a plane heading for the White House and they get the President and the Veep to safety, they start getting the White House staff clear, they look out for the tour groups — but the press? Screw those guys, they’re on their own =D

In all seriousness, I guess they really couldn’t notify the press because you know, 5 minutes later they’d all be on the air telling the world that they were live at the White House where the President has fled because of a possible terrorist attack! Meanwhile, if there actually were an airplane full of terrorists in the air and they heard that, they’d probably swing the plane around and head for a softer, unprepared, secondary target, which would put a lot more lives at risk.

The Bush Administration and the White House press core should discuss this and come up with some sort of gentleman’s agreement to make sure that in the future, this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. The White House is a target for terrorists and it could genuinely be under attack at any time. If that were to ever happen, it would be tragic if reporters were injured or killed because the White House couldn’t trust them not to risk other lives by immediately blabbing what was happening on the air.

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