EDITORIAL - Flying nightmare: A photo shoot conjures anxiety in New York

Written by Susan Mannella on .

Hasn't New York suffered enough?

Scarcely eight years after 9/11, a commercial-size jet tailed by two F-16 fighters circled the skyscrapers of Manhattan on Monday morning -- at the behest of the federal government, no less. The reaction of thousands of people below was what you'd expect: puzzlement, panic, flight.

It turns out that the Air Force One look-alike, the backup for the one used by the president, was on a photo shoot. Military photographers were assigned to take pictures of the jet with a handsome Big Apple backdrop. Haven't these guys heard of Photoshop?

While Louis E. Caldera, head of the White House Military Office, took responsibility and claimed that state and local officials were told in advance, it was clear by the commotion on the ground that New York's leaders, from the mayor on down, were in the dark. The nation's chief executive wasn't too happy either.

President Barack Obama, whose press secretary said he was "furious" over the incident, yesterday ordered an internal review of the photo op. We can only hope it will lead to no repeats. There are enough nightmares out there already without subjecting Americans to more.


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