Air Farce One, Obama Zero

Clarice Feldman and Rosslyn Smith
Perhaps the best part of yesterday's story about the panic caused by flight over Manhattan of one of the planes used to transport the President are the reader comments, almost one thousand on the Monday's story at the New York Times. Some are stories about having to walk down twenty flights of stairs. Others relate the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress triggered in survivors of 9/11.  Complaints about wasting tax dollars or the size of the carbon footprint created by an empty 747 and two fighter escorts flying from DC to New York and back to take a picture abound. So do comments that hasn't the White House ever heard of Adobe Photoshop?  More than one reader notes that Obama's plan to cut a pathetic $100 million in federal government spending should have started with the cancellation of this flight.  While there are a few that completely absolve Obama of blame and a scattering of those that say the day's event prove their pet theory that 9/11 was the result explosives pre-planted in the buildings by the government, most comments are highly critical of the administration as well as New York's Mayor Bloomberg.  We're lucky no one was seriously injured or even killed in the panic is a common refrain. 

My favorite comment was this:

What I have learned in the past week:

-Scaring New Yorkers and causing mass panic is the act of calm and studied President.

-Scaring Al Qaeda terrorists and thereby saving thousands of American lives is a prosecutable offense (except for members of the Democratic caucus who did not fully, or even possibly, understand the repercussions of their briefings on interrogations.

The comments at the YouTube flyby of the Goldman Sachs Tower are far less polished but equally full of disgust. 

This story came on the same day as reports about the favorable coverage the media has afforded the first 100 days of the Obama administration, more than that given to George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined.  Many of us have noticed that errors, omissions and gaffes have a way of being excused, explained away or expunged from the official media record of Barack Obama. It may be harder for the media to do any of those things with this story. The most visible symbol of the power of the American President after the White House captured on video scaring the living daylights out of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers for the sake of a photo op makes for compelling political theater. If great many people asked what in the world were they thinking wen they heard of the incident, one man had the perfect answer. You think that they were actually thinking?  How droll.

* Air Force One is not an actual aircraft but rather the designation given to any Air Force plane carrying the president.  There are two 747s the Air Force maintains to transport the president. Two planes are used both to have a back up and to provide a decoy when outside US airspace. On occasion a president may also use one of the smaller jets the Air Force maintains to transport senior government officials. This may happen, for example, if the destination airport cannot handle a 747.
Perhaps the best part of yesterday's story about the panic caused by flight over Manhattan of one of the planes used to transport the President are the reader comments, almost one thousand on the Monday's story at the New York Times. Some are stories about having to walk down twenty flights of stairs. Others relate the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress triggered in survivors of 9/11.  Complaints about wasting tax dollars or the size of the carbon footprint created by an empty 747 and two fighter escorts flying from DC to New York and back to take a picture abound. So do comments that hasn't the White House ever heard of Adobe Photoshop?  More than one reader notes that Obama's plan to cut a pathetic $100 million in federal government spending should have started with the cancellation of this flight.  While there are a few that completely absolve Obama of blame and a scattering of those that say the day's event prove their pet theory that 9/11 was the result explosives pre-planted in the buildings by the government, most comments are highly critical of the administration as well as New York's Mayor Bloomberg.  We're lucky no one was seriously injured or even killed in the panic is a common refrain. 

My favorite comment was this:

What I have learned in the past week:

-Scaring New Yorkers and causing mass panic is the act of calm and studied President.

-Scaring Al Qaeda terrorists and thereby saving thousands of American lives is a prosecutable offense (except for members of the Democratic caucus who did not fully, or even possibly, understand the repercussions of their briefings on interrogations.

The comments at the YouTube flyby of the Goldman Sachs Tower are far less polished but equally full of disgust. 

This story came on the same day as reports about the favorable coverage the media has afforded the first 100 days of the Obama administration, more than that given to George W. Bush and Bill Clinton combined.  Many of us have noticed that errors, omissions and gaffes have a way of being excused, explained away or expunged from the official media record of Barack Obama. It may be harder for the media to do any of those things with this story. The most visible symbol of the power of the American President after the White House captured on video scaring the living daylights out of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers for the sake of a photo op makes for compelling political theater. If great many people asked what in the world were they thinking wen they heard of the incident, one man had the perfect answer. You think that they were actually thinking?  How droll.

* Air Force One is not an actual aircraft but rather the designation given to any Air Force plane carrying the president.  There are two 747s the Air Force maintains to transport the president. Two planes are used both to have a back up and to provide a decoy when outside US airspace. On occasion a president may also use one of the smaller jets the Air Force maintains to transport senior government officials. This may happen, for example, if the destination airport cannot handle a 747.