Breaking News to the President
Great piece in today's Washington Post, Breaking a Story That Was Already Broken.
Turns out that technology played a major role in the goof that caused a reporter to tell George Bush that Arafat died -- when it hadn't really happened.
A half-dozen years ago, no reporter in the cavernous room in the Old Executive Office Building would have had access to news flashes once the president had started taking questions. But now that people can BlackBerry other people in meetings and headlines are only a few thumb-clicks away, no place is safe from breaking news, even if that news soon breaks apart.
Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon knew what he had to do at yesterday's presidential news conference when CBS correspondent John Roberts passed him his BlackBerry.
After reading the 11:43 a.m. news bulletin on the addictive wireless device, "I'm thinking, well, how do I not ask about this?" Sammon recalls. "This is news."
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