Crash of Flight 5191

News gatherers worldwide descend on Bluegrass for view of latest disaster

It’s not the kind of worldwide media attention any city wants.

But, with yesterday’s crash at Blue Grass Airport, Lexington joined Hurricane Ernesto and Fox News journalists being released in Gaza at the top of news cycles everywhere.

Local newspaper, television and radio reporters showed up early at the airport. Then television crews started showing up from Louisville and Cincinnati. Then people from the networks arrived.

By the time Comair president Don Bornhorst arrived at the Keeneland Entertainment Center for an afternoon news conference, he faced 19 television cameras.

Thirteen satellite trucks idled in the parking lot outside.

Jim Williams, Keeneland’s director of communications, guessed that there were about 150 media people in the room (Keeneland and Turf Catering quickly threw together a spread of sandwich fixings, hot dogs and pizzas for them).

Some of the people helping themselves along the serving line know each other because they go from disaster to disaster. A tornado one day, a flood the next.

Far-flung networks, including the BBC, SkyTV in London, MSNBC, National Public Radio, CNN and Fox News conducted interviews with Herald-Leader reporters and editors to add local flavor to their coverage.

Lexington residents who turned to network news to see their city on television were sometimes surprised.

NBC’s evening news, for example, talked about Lexington’s famous Keeneland Race Course, but the video showed horses charging past the famous Twin Spires of Churchill Downs in Louisville.

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