Fine. So the "plane" pun has been used a thousand times since yesterday. Once more's not going to kill you. Get over it.
But really, what's the big deal? Just because the Director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, authorized a Manhattan flyover of Air Force One, tailed by an F-16, without telling the mayor, so what? Well, they told some New York higher-ups and they decided not to tell Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Like the probably-soon-to-be-ex City Hall deputy Mark Mugnos. Mark never told Bloomberg, who learned of the event when his BlackBerry went into vibration overkill.
I've personally benefited tremendously from this story. I think of my most idiotic mistakes and they pale in comparison to this colossal boner.
See, whenever I see something in the news that's just plane (that pun again) idiotic, committed by those who should know better, I think to myself, "I'm not that bad."
Take Bill Clinton. When he was nailed for that "Oral Office" tryst with the steatopygian what's-her-name, I felt like a million bucks. I'd never try anything that stupid and he's the President.
I'm not that bad.
I take great comfort when people of note, supposedly smart, do astronomically stupid things. Take that guy who in 1985 came up with New Coke. Sheer insanity! Or the fellow that convinced Burt Bacharach that he could sing, or Carol Channing for that matter. Lunacy, pure and simple.
When Senator George Allen of Virginia in 2006 referred to S. R. Sidarth, an Indian-American, who was VIDEOTAPING(!) him on behalf of his opponent, Jim Webb, as a "macaca" and then said he didn't know what it meant, my heart leapt. Never in my life, never, have I ever done something as stupid as that. I'm not that bad.
So, when I heard that somebody okayed a low flyover (as low as 1000 feet), over Manhattan, near Ground Zero no less, of Air Force One followed by an F-16, and there was no attempt to make absolute sure that everybody, and I mean everybody, was notified, including my fellow Manhattanites . . . WOW. Words just can't describe the inordinate stupidity of this event. What's not funny, of course, was the terror that this inspired in so many folks who remember 9/11 as though it was yesterday. Think of a parallel. Reenacting the Pear Harbor Japanese sneak attack on December 7, 1942, perhaps?
And when asked why this surprise flyover was conducted, Caldera said the "aerial photo mission" was to create nifty souvenir photos of Air Force One flying over the Statue of Liberty. You know, for supporters and friends. I swear to God, you can't make this stuff up. And there was poor ol' Bloomberg, standing before the world clueless while some lowered-tiered shmuck decides not to let him in on what ultimately and understandably terrorized thousands.
I'm really not that bad.