Sunday, March 26, 2006

Would You Like Some Brie With Those Crackers?

NPR: Brooklyn Bridge Gives up Cold-War Secret

Morning Edition, March 24, 2006 · A secret cache of Cold War-era emergency provisions was recently discovered beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Engineers inspecting the bridge found the hideaway, meant to help people survive in case of a nuclear attack. The cache includes water drums, medical supplies, blankets, drugs to treat shock and more than 350,000 crackers.

I heard this story on NPR last week and didn't see any other coverage, so I assumed I had just missed it. Turns out, the Times and every other New York paper got scooped.

But in keeping with the Timesian tradition, when the paper gets beat on its own turf, it comes out with a smarter, more in-depth piece. Without ever mentioning the words "war on terror" the piece uses Cold War hysteria -- with its bomb shelters and stash of crackers -- to shine a light on the current state of affairs:

"'All civil defense can do is to frighten children and fool the public into thinking there is protection against an H-Bomb,' declared a flier calling for a Civil Defense Protest Day on May 3, 1960, in City Hall Park."

Sounds just like Tom Ridge suggesting that we duct tape the windows.

Credit: Above image from The Onion.