1, 12:32 PM PST
Media: Terrorists Strike Mount St. Helens
PORTLAND -- What geologists initially believed to
be a naturally occurring volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens
in Washington was actually a terrorist attack upon our nation's
soil, according to the media.
"Explosion at Mount St. Helens!"
Fox News affirmed, while CNN declared "Bomb-Like Tremors
Wrack Mount St. Helens!" Such headlines apparently prompted
several other reporters to speculate upon the possibility of
an unfolding terrorist attack upon the infamous volcano.
Dozens of other media outlets,
hoping to take part in the scoop of the year, followed suit.
Leslie Pederstrom, a correspondent for MSNBC, reported the suspicious
activity of a photographer at a scenic viewpoint of the cratered
mountain. "He appears not to be Arabic, but Asiatic -- perhaps
a North Korean," Pederstrom stammered.
"What interest a North Korean
may have here is unknown -- but what we do know is that
terrorists often scout out the areas they are planning to terrorize,"
Minutes after Pederstrom's report,
National Park employees escorted several people, including the
Asian photographer, from the viewpoint. "From the evidence
at hand, we believe the government is taking the suspect in for
questioning," Pederstrom said.
However, many news outlets worried
that a terrorist attack had already occurred.
"What if that's not volcanic
action, Jim?" wondered Marley Helfer, a Portland news
anchor at the local NBC affiliate, to her co-anchor Jimworth
Edmonds during the first initial minutes of the attack.
"What if Al Qaeda has smuggled
in a suitcase-sized nuclear device? What if we're about to thoroughly
baked by a rolling, roiling wave of deadly radiation,
Jim?" Several other media types voiced similar concerns
"Can't say, Marley,"
Jim Taylor replied. "Praying couldn't hurt, though."
"You can say that again,"
Marley responded. "Praying couldn't hurt."
But when, after half an hour,
it became clear that no mushroom cloud would be making an appearance
any time soon, the media began focusing on what geologists may
have inadvertently called "steam" emanating from Mount
"What if it's not steam,
Jim?" Helfer wondered.
"What if it's the largest
cloud of sarin gas ever released by terrorists? What if we're
all about to choke to death on our own lungs, Jim?"
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