Guest Writings
09/12/03 Incurious press and the two turkey dish by Edward Teague
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2003 16:52:06 -0000

Incurious press and the two turkey dish by Edward Teague

Did Dubya spend Thanksgiving in Baghdad? Well, it's impossible to say when he and his hand picked media chums left the US skies, and when and where they touchdown and at what time.

What we do have is a picture (one picture - what the hell was the snapper doing the rest of the time?) with the President neatly kitted out in an Army exercise jacket, carrying a plate bearing a (display only) apparently cooked but uncut bird. Two turkeys with one dish — but it had all the trimmings, black and female army staff gazing at their Commander in Chief.

Whether it happened in Baghdad or in a USAF airforce base in Arizona, you make your own mind up. You might like to read in some local paper would want a story from their local son/daughter meeting the President by surprise at their Baghdad breakfast / dinner / tea / supper. The incurious press certainly aren't going to help you do it.

Likewise. Remember Todd Beamer…"let's roll" as flight zip plunged into the ground? Well his widow published a book in memory of him. Now you would imagine if your husband had died like this, you might want to speak to Bethy Lou or whomsoever took this 20 minute call from your ever loving. You might want to check his credit card account to make sure Verizon didn't overcharge for his 20 minute call, you might even — God forbid - want a copy of the recording that Verizon makes of all their operators work..."for training purposes". Well it seems Mrs Beamer didn't and neither does the world’s media.

Likewise. American Airlines flight 587, an Airbus 300-600 bound for Santo Domingo in the Dominican republic out of Kennedy Airport NY, on November 12th 2001 crashed at 9.17 am EST in Rockaway, (The plane was scheduled to leave at 8:40 a.m. EST, but takeoff was delayed until 9:14 a.m) a New York, Queens neighborhood, it carried 260 people — 246 ticketed passengers, nine crewmembers and five unticketed infants sitting on their parents' lap. At least six to eight people in Rockaway also have been reported missing immediately following the crash, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said.

The New York Fire Department dispatched 44 firetrucks and 200 firefighters to the scene. Mayor Giuliani declared a Level One emergency, mobilizing all available police, fire and emergency personnel. The Empire State Building was evacuated as a security precaution. The National Transport and Safety Board have so far indicated that a hitherto unknown "wake turbulence", ie the wake from a previous Japan Airlines plane, caused the pilot to overcorrect leading to loss of tail fin, stall and crash. The Black boxes have yielded no secrets, and have been transported elsewhere for "examination" as have the engines. Eye witness accounts from over 20 witnesses of a mid air explosion, security videotapes have not been released…etc…etc. The site of the crash was filled in within seven days.

Todd Wissing is an Airbus A300-600 First Officer and in evidence to the much stalled enquiry said..."Finally, a fellow pilot of mine, points this out regarding wake turbulence, and he says 'if you consider all the places in the world where aircraft take off that are behind other aircraft and you consider that these airplanes have been taking off one behind the other for 50 years…large commercial airplanes…and you consider that Kennedy Airport is probably one of the best airports in the world with the most highly trained air traffic controllers…and you consider what's being speculated here about over-control in reaction to a wake turbulence event that is likely felt a lot by pilots, and I certainly have felt it many times, and you consider what we're being asked to believe that these pilots mis-controlled this airplane and caused structural damage…and go back 50 years [and see that this] has never happened before…it seems to us that they [NTSB] still need to do some work."

No Airbuses were re-called, none grounded and no statements have been made about the accident by Airbus, nor have any recommendations been made by any air safety body as a consequence of the crash.

A silent and incurious press passes on. I could go on…. Jessica Ryan, Samarra, WMD's, Winnebagos's of Death, Niger yellowcake.


Newsday Nov 18th 2003 — Giving no hint of a permanent tribute to come, Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday defended the city's removal of a makeshift memorial for victims of Flight 587 in Belle Harbor.

The memorial, a plywood wall of photos, handwritten messages and flowers, was quietly removed on Monday, five days after the second anniversary of the crash that killed 265, including five people on the ground.

Piece by piece city workers removed the pictures and poems that had graced the Belle Harbor site where Flight 587 crashed.

In an unannounced move, the commissioner of the city's Department of Records and Information Services Brian Andersson oversaw the removal of dozens of cards and other remembrances put on a wooden wall by grieving relatives. He said recent heavy winds and rain had threatened to seriously damage the memorial wall, which is on private property on Newport Avenue.

The owners of the land want to build a home on it, said Rep.Weiner (D-Queens and Brooklyn). A permanent memorial will have to be constructed elsewhere, he said. The land where the plane went down "isn't going to be the site," he said. "There's going to be a home there by this time next year."

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