With all that spinning, you would think they#8217;d throw up

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 29, 2006

Spinning. We all know the word and what it means.

But in recent years, particularly in politics, the word has taken on an entirely different meaning.

And with all due respect to those in the public relations arena, I find a lot of the spinning I hear as funny and even borderline ridiculous.


Email newsletter signup

Take for example an incident yesterday at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

CNN broke into their regular programming early in the day to report authorities were investigating a suspicious item in a piece of luggage in one of the terminals.

Now, at most airports that wouldn’t mean a whole lot. But at AH-JIA, the world’s busiest airport, this is a major situation.

CNN, because they have cameras just about everywhere in the world, and due to the fact that they are based in Atlanta, soon had video from outside the affected terminal.

Viewers could see thousands of passengers milling around, pouring out into the access roads because there wasn’t enough sidewalk space to hold them all.

At the same time, a CNN reporter was on the phone with a spokeswoman from the airport.

The reporter was asking questions about the incident and the woman was just spinning away. Watching that back-and-forth, I visualized her head turning like a top, just like Linda Blair in the Exorcist.

The woman was downplaying the incident, saying it was “an inconvenience,” that they apologized for, and aside from that, everything was A-OK.

I don’t know how this woman defines inconvenience, but when Atlanta doesn’t run smoothly, the air traffic flow in that part of the country, and other areas to some extent, basically shuts down.

There is an old saying that when you die, on your way to heaven you must pass through Atlanta’s airport.

So here we have thousands of people on the ground in Atlanta, untold thousands in the air above the city, and thousands more at airports all across the country who are stopped dead in their tracks, and this woman is calling it an inconvenience.

She also told the reporter that planes were still landing at the airport. The way I figure it, there were probably a couple of them on very short final approach when the incident began and they were allowed to land. After that, I doubt anything touched that runway until the all-clear was sounded.

And as for the “everything being A-OK,” one cannot imagine what the subsequent impact from this situation was and will continue to be for some time.

Think of all the high-level meetings that never occurred, the impact to commerce because not only passengers, but everything else imaginable that goes through that airport every day didn’t move in time.

I just wish once in a while a PR person would get on the TV, or wherever, and tell it like it is.

Perhaps then we would have heard something like:

“Atlanta airport is shutdown, and all hell is about to break loose. If you have a scheduled flight out of here today, tough luck for you.”

But don’t sugarcoat it and make it sound like something it isn’t.

Dog licenses

I recently bought licenses for my dogs. I didn’t mind paying the money. It beats being arrested and having my name appear in the police blotter.

What I didn’t like is the design of the danged things.

If you haven’t seen one, they are rectangular, with a hole in each end where one might attach them to the pet’s collar. However, they are designed to be riveted into the collar and not put on a ring like the animal’s personal ID and rabies tags.

And unlike the aforementioned tags, that are made to go on a ring, the licenses tend to have sharper edges, which could cause the animal an injury.

So, to the person in the city hall who is responsible for ordering these tags, how about a change? Can we pet owners ask that you start buying round tags with softer edges? And ones that have one hole in them, designed to attach to a metal ring?

Seems like a simple request to me.

Grant is the managing editor of the Suffolk News-Herald. Reach him at 934-9603 or doug.grant@suffolknewsherald.com