Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

FEMA Does It Again

After being pounded by the media for their dismal performance in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, FEMA has found a novel way to ensure a press conference goes smoothly: fake it.

On Tuesday, FEMA called a press conference regarding the California wildfires with only 15 minutes warning--too little notice for any real reporters to show up. Instead, agency employees posed as reporters to ask softball questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., FEMA's deputy administrator. FEMA provided video feed of the "event" to cable news networks--which aired portions of it live--and provided an 800 number for reporters to hear the answers (but not to ask questions).

"We made an error in judgment," Johnson said in a written statement. (Note the lack of first person singular.) Naturally, the apology (such as it was) was issued only after the Washington Post blew the whistle on them today.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, facing irate reporters, was more blunt in her reaction. "We didn't know about it beforehand... [They] will not do it again."

Of course, the Bush administration is well known for staging events where only their supporters are permitted to attend--but at least they always seem to find enough loyal Bushies to fill the seats. How low must FEMA's reputation be that they cannot even count on Fox reporters to be their yes-men and sycophants?


Raised By Republicans said...

I wonder if self-described "pox on both their houses" type "indepdendents" can see any difference between this administration and all past administrations from both parties?

The Law Talking Guy said...

They can't, RBR. They falsely believe that "everyone does it." That is the Republican line on Nixon, too. And the press does a poor of job of explaining that this is new.

Raised By Republicans said...

This is why I'm so infuriated with cynics. Wide spread cynicism about politics is one of the biggest contributing factors to fascism.

Dr. Strangelove said...

FEMA is circling the wagons. They are casting blame on the staff members for not identifying themselves as agency members. They are blaming staff for putting out the notice too late. They are, predictably, doing everything to shield the man who actually conducted the briefing.

There is only one thing wrong with the story that Johnson did not know what was going on and was the "victim" here: he called on at least one of the phony reporters by name. And they never admitted the ruse until reporters at the Washington Post figured it out, a few days later.