Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA Used Fake Reporters, Claims They're Sorry

FEMA, that bastion of preparedness, scarred from the traumas they inflicted on the residents of the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Rita and Katrina in 2005, took measures to ensure they were in charge of the propaganda. Bush Administration foul ups are legion and the status of its press relations has soured in the wake of the debacles attributed to them by a sometimes awake press corps. However, FEMA took no chances for us here in fire ravaged California, they put FEMA employees out front to ask FEMA personnel questions as if they were the national press corps. Yep, fake reporters from FEMA, while the fires still rage here, ash falls on almost two thousand ruined homes in tremendous amounts and our air quality is so poor even the healthy are at risk.

Here's the rationale of the confirmed stupid bureaucrats: real reporters didn't have enough time to get to the event on their schedule. So.... FEMA brainiacs put this guy out front and he went along with it. The real reporters could conference in. Ah, the wonders of technology when faking the news.

A new all time low. Now FEMA is again asking for America's forgiveness in the wake of being caught. Even the faux outrage and the apologies are milquetoast. FEMA is under the umbrella of the Homeland Security Department - you know the place that hired the horse trainer to head the agency when Katrina drowned New Orleans. Homeland Security Chief, Michael Chertoff, earned his skeletal chops by persecuting the Clintons with his boss, presidential panty raider and cigar hunter, Ken Starr.
"We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment," FEMA deputy administrator Harvey Johnson, who conducted the briefing, said in a statement. "Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received."

No actual reporter attended the hastily called news conference in person, although some camera crews arrived late to film incidental shots, officials said.

A spokeswoman for Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who has authority over FEMA, called the incident "inexcusable and offensive to the secretary."

"We have made it clear that stunts such as this will not be tolerated or repeated," spokeswoman Laura Keehner said. She said the department was considering reprimands.

The White House said: "It was just a bad way to handle it." The Bush administration has faced criticism previously over accusations it masked public relations efforts as journalism.

California needs competence. Bush had his photo op here and it was a doozy. Then FEMA followed it all up by staging a fake news conference to showcase their formidable skills. My eyes are red, my nose is stuffy, but blessed be, my place remains intact. These kinds of thoughtless stunts in the wake of one of the worst natural disasters and biggest migration of evacuees since the Civil War, FEMA is just unconscionable and exploitative.

A bit peeved.

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