|Howard Kurtz ponders the question of why the escalating carnage in Iraq is getting such scant coverage, especially by the television and cable networks. Iraq fatigue?
And the paper runs with the increasingly disturbing story that President Bush was left out of the loop during this week's off-course plane scare (a scare that touched off a Capitol evacuation), because apparently, the secret service didn't want to disturb Dubya while he was riding his bike...
Daily Dose of Death, By Howard Kurtz
Man, this is getting depressing. Day after day, headlines about death and destruction and human carnage... Read the rest here.
Dan Froomkin's WH Briefing (May 12):
Yesterday, even as a goodly swath of official Washington was running panic-stricken into the streets, President Bush was riding his bike in the country, completely unaware of what was going on.
Aides reportedly decided that since he wasn't personally in danger, he didn't need to know. But wouldn't the president want to know about a potential terrorist threat serious enough to evacuate major government buildings? And when he is clearly safe, doesn't he deserve the option to decide if he wants to lead the response?
The official White House line yesterday was that "protocols" established post-9/11
were being followed. But what are those protocols? Are they wise? Do they really call for the president not to be bothered if he's personally not in danger? Is that what Bush wants? After September 11, 2001, it was reasonable to assume that lessons had been learned, and that the next time there were signs of a possibly unfolding terrorist attack the president would be promptly and fully informed -- and would be ready to leap into action.
um, okay... apparently, D.C. police weren't notified either. But Dick Cheney was!
What makes the incident so outrageous (versus an otherwise mundane wrong-way pilot yarn), is that it indicates that the WH staff has learned nothing from ... well, Fahrenheit 9/11. I'll let MSNBC's conservative gadfly Joe Scarborough explain (also from Froomkin's piece). Just for fun, try reading it aloud in Joe's Florida drawl:
"I don't get it. All of America is glued to their TV sets . . . you've got people rushing out of government buildings all across Washington, D.C., and you don't notify the president of the United States? For an hour? Until after it's all over? Because, what, you don't want to disturb his bike ride in Maryland? I'm sorry, I just don't get it. . .
"After I watched '[Fahrenheit] 9/11,' one of the parts that made me the angriest was the part about 'My Pet Goat.' I thought it was a cheap shot. I said, seven, eight, nine minutes, big deal. But here you have an attack going on -- or something most Americans thought was an attack -- for 15, 20, 30 minutes and the president of the United States not notified. Why?"
Good question. Someone should ask Dick Cheney.