Regional newscasters live by the mantra of "Make it Local." So it's
no surprise that WTVF Channel 5 in Nashville, TN found a way to scare up
some controversy about the Anthrax scare in its own backyard - or even
its own bathroom.
Channel 5 reporter Rob Manning recently planned an "expose" to
demonstrate how easy it would be for a terrorist to infiltrate the local
water district and poison the supply.
With a camera truck nearby, Manning crawled under the fence "only a few
hundred yards" from two looming storage tanks, pointing out that a
security guard who had come by didn't seem bothered enough to question
Manning then reported from inside the facility, saying "It's not to hard
to crawl underneath ... It took me less than 20 seconds."
However, after airing the segment, Manning belatedly discovered that
facility he so neatly broke into didn't contain drinking water - because
it was a sewage treatment plant.
A water department spokesman told a local paper that Manning's mistake
wasn't a concern to the department - and could actually work in its
"After all," the paper quoted him as saying, "if a terrorist tried to
put something in our water supply, we'd rather he end up at the sewage
Channel 5 quickly tried to spin the incident by prominently reporting
that the water department was beefing up security at the sewage plant by
adding more security guards and a barbed wire fence.
With the new measures in place, we're certain residents can now flush
with full confidence that terrorists will be hard pressed to get their
hands on their, uh, output.