OK, it was a scare…but come on!

Ok, it was a scare. Earth quakes, I know from my days in California and the Balkans, are not pleasant.

But nothing really happened here in Washington yesterday. Oh, the Washington Monument was slightly damaged and is closed until further notice, and bricks fell from some buildings, but there was really no major damage and, above all, no one died, not even in tiny Mineral, Virginia, at the epicenter of the earthquake.

Still, there was panic. Washington and its inhabitants were simply not prepared for something like this. But there is no excuse, writes Washington Post columnist Robert McCartney today.

“As the nation’s capital, with the memory still strong of the Sept. 11 attacks, we ought to be the world champions of emergency preparedness.”

Couldn’t agree more. And couldn’t agree more about the massive, almost ridiculous, media coverage that the quake produced — all afternoon and all evening – as Daily Beast media critic Howard Kurtz writes. Suddenly, there were no longer any rebels in Libya — “Goodbye, rebels. Hello, pandemonium.”

I had to switch over to Al Jazeera to find out what was happening in Tripoli, the day’s truly big story.