Coast Guard Says It Will Review Exercises; White House Rips Media : CQ Homeland Security

Erroneous news reports that a Coast Guard exercise on the Potomac River was a real incident involving gunfire caused confusion and concern among federal agencies Friday, drawing a promise from the Guard to review its communications policies and a White House rebuke of the media’s conduct.

“This is very instructive for us,” said Vice Adm. John Currier, the Coast Guard chief of staff. The Guard plans to re-examine how it conducts drills and provides information to other government agencies and the media but stopped short of issuing an apology.

Asked at a hastily called news conference whether his agency should have conducted such training exercise on Sept. 11, Currier said the drill was a routine one that the Guard performs several times a week without incident.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs blasted the media reports, saying news organizations need to “check before reporting,” and praised the training efforts.