Wednesday Morning Massacrette: Have You Seen This Man?

finlay%20lewis%20copley%20news%20service.jpg[Update: Please see this correction/clarification.]


Look, we're the last people to call someone out for oversleeping -- we do it all the time. The number of times we hit the "snooze" button sometimes reaches the double digits.

But we're not White House pool reporters. And we weren't AWOL on one of the biggest news mornings in recent memory (even if our servers might have been, temporarily).

Check it out:

From: White House Press Releases

Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:03 PM

Subject: POOL REPORT #1, 4/19/06

POOL REPORT #1

April 19, 2006

It was a morning of massive systems failures.

Failure number one: In an attempt to shed its reputation as a crack news gathering machine, the Copley News Service managed to screw up its pool duty. The details are too trivial and boring to recite here but the curious may call and I will sheepishly supply. That there is any pool report at all is entirely due to the gracious and patient help of Reuters' crack WH staff, Patty Wilson in particular.

So pool reporter Finlay Lewis implies that he didn't oversleep -- but he doesn't outright deny it either. He seems to be suggesting that, well, he just kinda forgot that he was on today ("managed to screw up its pool duty"). Not sure if that's much better.

Shit -- what a day for forgetfulness! You miss one little morning of pool reporting, and the new chief of staff goes and shakes everything up on you. Life is so unfair!

The full mea culpa appears after the jump. (We won't mock Lewis too much, since he does quite a bit himself.)

Here is Finlay Lewis's full pool report (such as it is):

From: White House Press Releases
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:03 PM
Subject: POOL REPORT #1, 4/19/06

POOL REPORT #1

April 19, 2006

It was a morning of massive systems failures.

Failure number one: In an attempt to shed its reputation as a crack news gathering machine, the Copley News Service managed to screw up its pool duty. The details are too trivial and boring to recite here but the curious may call and I will sheepishly supply. That there is any pool report at all is entirely due to the gracious and patient help of Reuters' crack WH staff, Patty Wilson in particular.

Failure number two: Another machine, Marine One, didn't feel up to flying this morning.

Enough negativity.

The morning began with the one scripted event on tap before departure:

The president's South Lawn appearance with four governors recently returned from Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. You have the transcript, but the intrepid quartet was Joe Manchin, R-W Va., Jeb Bush, R-Fla., Mitch Daniels, R-Ind., and Tom Vilsack, D-Iowa.

The statements finished, everybody retreated to their White House haunts awaiting Marine One's departure, an open event. With about two minutes notice, the press was alerted to an impending presidential statement.

That, of course, had to do with Press Secretary Scott McClellan's decision to resign.

Transcript has moved on that event as well. Scott seemed somewhat choked with emotion as he delivered the news. (It must have been the thought of saying farewell to our sunny personalities.) The president, at one point, placed a hand on his shoulder.

They then moved to the temperamental helicopter.

Boarding along with the president and McClellan was a clutch of staff including Karl Rove and Joe Hagin. The doors closed, the rotors started, and then stopped about a minute later. The door opened, and the staff exited by the rear door, while Bush reappeared at the front. With something of a smile and a shoulder shrug, he said, "We have an issue with the helicopter. Everybody's safe."

Hagin approached the stakeout to say the unscripted turn of events was due to an "avionics" problem.

The president later motorcaded to Andrews.

Again, with apologies,

Finlay Lewis

Copley

[telephone number redacted so you don't all call poor Mr. Lewis to make fun of him]



Remember how much fun we made of Joseph Curl's half-assed pool report? Well, at least he bothered to show up!

And when it comes to pool reporting, showing up is half the battle.

Update/Correction: For the Record: Finlay Lewis Did Not Oversleep

Earlier: The White House Press Pool: Drowning in Boredom

Because He Does Care: Joseph Curl's Remedial Pool Report

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