Got away from a near miss!
The WaPo print headline said:
First lady's jet escapes close callMost other media were calmer, saying the plane "had a close call". Though this somewhat hysterical headline at Pat Dollard screams
Michelle Obama Escapes Near-Death Incident – “Just Misses Military Jet”, Nearly Killed By Air-Traffic ControllerO Rly?
The thing is, in English you "escape" from something, like, say, a burning building. So we see this one from All Voices
Michelle’s plane escapes crashThis is still a bit weird, because "escaping a crash" isn't quite the same as "avoiding a crash", which is, after all, what happened. At least not to my ears. The formulation "jet escapes near miss" sounds like the jet ... what? I'm not sure. Didn't have a near miss? And what does that even mean? Nearly missed but didn't? Crashed into each other? Or, perhaps, never got near at all? (And that would be headline news why, exactly?)
Of course, well, yes, actually, there was no "near miss". The two planes were never closer to each other than 3 miles. The tower's prompt action prevented the near miss. (In fact, per the FAA, this sort of thing - a pilot being told to abort a landing and circle the field so another plane can clear the runway - is fairly common. Heck, I'm no frequent flyer (a few times a year) and it's happened to me.)
But using the word "escapes" is deeply strange - and I think the only reason it is there is to ratchet the incident up in our imaginations from a normal, mundane occurrence to an"OMG Michelle almost died!!! Damn the FAA!" piece of fear mongering.
(Would I be too cynical if I wondered about that poor union getting busted, again?)