Embarrassing screw ups don’t get much bigger than sending a Barack Obama-less Air Force One and a fighter escort into a quiet blue sky over Ground Zero, creating panic among the Manhattan herds for a mere photo op.
The only thing more egregious were the puns. This from the New York Post:
“Air Farce One” played out over lower Manhattan yesterday — in a terrifyingly bizarre military photo op that sent office workers fleeing from their buildings fearing a new 9/11-type attack….
Although the Air Force had permission for the 10 a.m. flyover, no one bothered to warn the people on the ground, and as the two jets hurtled toward lower Manhattan, many mistook Obama’s plane for Osama’s.
The Daily News focused on groveling apologies from the White House:
Louis Caldera, the director of the White House military office who sent Air Force One and the fighter jet on an “aerial photo mission,” got slammed by an angry President Obama.
“I approved a mission over New York,” Caldera said in a hastily prepared statement. “I apologize and take responsibility for any distress that flight caused.”
Obama was not on the flight.
Sources said the chief reason for the panic-inducing flight was to create souvenir pictures of Air Force One flying over the Statue of Liberty to be given out – like a presidential tie clip – to family, friends or supporters.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was outraged. Steamed. Out of control. So angry that he bought a 15-second ad for his re-election campaign to front this Daily News video clip of the flyover:
While you ponder that, consider these articles found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
City of Atlanta fails to respond to embarrassing audit of $1.3 million for job aid. Reservoir in south Fulton County finds itself caught in some crossfire. Sonny Perdue to sign bill requiring fitness test. Slavery mural in state Department of Agriculture building raises eyebrows. Sen. Eric Johnson running for governor, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle exits surgery. More than half of Americans have changed their faith.
And from elsewhere:
NYT: Florida lawmakers keep jobless rules intact, decline $444 million in stimulus money. WSJ: California home sales are up. LAT: Mexican authorities focus attention on a 4-year-old boy and a pig farm. AP: Pakistan expands offensive against Taliban.
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