Today’s gaggle was almost entirely consumed by the Great Cessna Panic.
Most of it was crap, although there was one good question:
Q And then, finally, the pictures — more generally, these pictures of somewhat frantic evacuations of the heart of the American government are being broadcast all around the world. Is it fair to say that, really without doing anything here, there’s been an achievement by terrorists to demonstrate to the world that this country and capital can be rattled by a Cessna that —
MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t agree with your characterization.
[Of course you don’t Scottie – snip.]
In terms of other people around the world, we have to remember that we are a nation at war, and there are still people that seek to do harm to the United States and seek to carry out attacks on the United States. This was a situation that we don’t know the exact details of why this plane was traveling in the restricted airspace at this point. It’s being investigated. The pilot is being questioned, or will be questioned shortly, and let’s see what the facts are.
It appears that all the elaborate procedures that were enacted after THE DAY THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING were not followed.
Q The Secret Service did not alert people in the basement of the press room that there was a problem. The sound system did not go off. How can you be confident that protocols were followed, when clearly here we know they were not? Were others — were all staffers in the White House alerted about this problem and evacuated by the Secret Service?
Q — that the Secret Service has a pecking order of who they’re going to save, the President, the First Lady and then the press would be — (laughter) —
Q Way down. (Laughter.)
Q We might be below Barney and Ms. Beazley. (Laughter.)
I don’t know why, but I think this exchange is just fuckin’ funny.
MR. McCLELLAN: Ed Chen. Who’s in your seat?
MR. McCLELLAN: Stop the name-calling.
And what gaggle would be complete without some potty humor.
Q Was this the first time you had seen the interior of a secure location?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I’m not going to go beyond just being moved to a secure location.
Q Scott, is there a bathroom in the secure location?
MR. McCLELLAN: It’s not the Greenbrier —
And now your Daily Les.
Q The President’s Department of Homeland Security held a press conference in Douglas, Arizona, from which they barred editor and publisher Chris Simcox of the Tombstone Tumbleweed, who is one of the organizers of the Minutemen. And my question, is the President —
MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry, what event was this?
MR. McCLELLAN: You lost me in the first couple minutes of your question.
Q Chris Simcox is an accredited Arizona editor, and he was barred from this press conference by the Department of Homeland Security.
MR. McCLELLAN: Which press conference? I’m sorry, which press conference?
Q And he was —
MR. McCLELLAN: Les, which press conference?
Q In Douglas, Arizona. Is the President appalled by this exclusion of an accredited newsman?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know the facts about that. I think you ought to direct it to —
Q But the U.S. senators — his U.S. senators were there. Kyl and —
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you ought to talk to Homeland Security. I don’t keep up with all the press —
Q Will you check on this?
MR. McCLELLAN: — conferences that they have across the nation. I would refer you to the Department of Homeland Security.