"In many ways we are still in a hair trigger," eight years after 9/11, CBS News correspondent Bob Orr said on today's "Washington Unplugged."
"That played out this morning when CNN erroneously reported that the Coast Guard had fired on a small boat on the Potomac River...near where the president was commemorating the attack on the Pentagon," he said.
Orr said that "in response to the reporting, flights were stopped at Reagan National Airport, FBI agents went running out the door and security command centers around D.C. snapped to attention."
"CNN made a mistake...it was all a training exercise. No shots were fired," he explained before showing some video of CNN's reporting this morning.
After the incident, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said "we're safer" because of such exercises, adding that he does not question law enforcement efforts to keep the city safe.
In a shot at the media outlets that initially reported the incident, he said, "before reporting things, checking would be good."
"It appears as if a lot of this could have been avoided," said Gibbs.
Watch the segment above, along with an interview with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.