What if the president tried to send an alert to the country... and what came out was Lady Gaga instead?
A much-promoted national test of the emergency alert system, which broadcasters and satellite providers across the U.S. were supposedly required to carry, flopped on Wednesday.
Several broadcasters failed to interrupt programming, while DirecTV blared Lady Gaga. Others merely showed the alert as written text on a bottom-of-the-screen crawl.
Rachel Racusen, FEMA’s spokeswoman, said the test “was the first time we have gotten a sense of the reach and scope of this technology and what additional improvements that should be made to the system as we move forward. It's only through comprehensively testing, analyzing, and improving these technologies that we can ensure the most effective and reliable emergency alert and warning systems available at a moment's notice in a time of real national emergency.”
In other words – thank goodness it was only a test.