In the commuter-obsessed pages of the Washington Post, reporters rarely miss the traffic angle in any story. Even a story that wasn’t remotely connected to traffic—the recent incident in which an apparently deranged man wielding a handgun opened fire on the Ellipse near the White House—ended up with a reopening-Pennsylvania Avenue spin in the Post.
Here, then, a quiz.
Which of these stories actually appeared in recent weeks in Washington’s newspaper of record?
a. Anthrax Attack on White House Sickens Thousands
I-295 Backed Up to Baltimore
b. Pregnant Woman Run Over While Crossing Street
Motorists Demand New Pedestrian Restrictions
c. Infant Swallowed by Fiber-Optic Trench
Mayor Claims Resulting Traffic Snarl “Unavoidable”
d. Red Line Train Hits, Kills Man
Dupont Circle Accident Scrambles Evening Rush Hour
e. Army Helicopter Crashes, Kills Tourists at National Zoo
Entrance to Panda Exhibit Blocked for Hours
Answer: d. Twenty-two of the 24 paragraphs of this Feb. 13 story were devoted to the tragic tale of stranded commuters who had to wait hours in the cold rain for a bus when authorities couldn’t get the unidentified dead man off the Metro tracks fast enough.