Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
May 29, 2004

An Administration That Runs Off The Map

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’m crazy about the Newsmap. (The map creates a visual, real time picture of the biggest news stories as aggregated by Google’s news tracker. The bigger the story — according to number of links — the more display space it gets.)

threatmap1
(Today at Noon)

Today at noon, the biggest national story was about poor Tom Ridge. He’s head of that new agency in charge of protecting us from terror. Apparently, someone forgot to tell him about the threat warning issued the other day by John Ashcroft of the Justice Department and Robert Mueller of the FBI. So, to make everything right, Ashcroft had another press conference, this time with Ridge, to reiterate the danger, and reassure everyone that Homeland Security (created at huge expense to the taxpayers in order to streamline terror response) was still in charge.

(Today at 6 p.m.)

So, it was just a little glitch, right? Those nasty intra-agency squabbles that contributed to the 9/11 intelligence failures have now been accounted for, right? This highly disciplined White House with all that CEO/B- School expertise has assuredly learned from and rectified the systemic failures of past administrations, hasn’t it? If so, then somebody forgot to tell the Newsmap. Just four hours later, the biggest national story was about an FBI warning that was issued, then retracted, warning of a possible imminent attack.

Is somebody scheduling another face-saving press conference for Tom Ridge? I’m guessing it’s in the works.

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