People & Places

Best Scoop to Get Ignored 

The Shadow Government

On March 1 of this year, The Washington Post hit the streets with a blockbuster front-page story. The U.S. government, the paper had learned, was operating a shadow government outside Washington, where employees and their families lived and worked 24 hours a day. Almost every major news organization soon followed The Post's lead. President Bush responded directly, saying that his administration "has an obligation to the American people to put measures in place that should somebody be successful in attacking Washington, there is an ongoing government." To folks at The Plain Dealer, however, it was old news. On October 17 -- almost five months before The Post got around to it -- PD Washington bureau reporter Sabrina Eaton revealed the existence of a "continuity of operations" plan, which included, yes, a shadow government operating outside the capital. Too bad for The PD that it took so long for anybody to care.


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