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Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA Meets the Press

posted by on October 26 at 13:52 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

Having learned its lesson during Hurricane Katrina, FEMA solves the problem of having to speak to a press corp hungry for answers about their handling of a disaster in another major American city. The solution?

Don’t invite the press.

And then replace them with FEMA staffers posing as reporters.

(VIA the WaPo)

Reporters were given only 15 minutes’ notice of the briefing, making it unlikely many could show up at FEMA’s Southwest D.C. offices. They were given an 800 number to call in, though it was a “listen only” line, the notice said — no questions. Parts of the briefing were carried live on Fox News, MSNBC and other outlets.

[…] Very smooth, very professional. But something didn’t seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA’s greatness.

Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We’re told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA’s deputy director of external affairs, and by “Mike” Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.

RSS icon Comments


Bread and circuses.

Posted by Greg | October 26, 2007 1:54 PM

So much cleaner than actual accountability! How long must we wait for all Democracy* to conform to this model?

*Please note that "Democracy" may be substituted with a Kleptocracy, Oligarchy, or Dictatorship without notice. Now please go back to sleep.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | October 26, 2007 2:06 PM

"And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on.."

Somebody put their fingers in the President's ear, and it wasn't very long before they came out with Johnson's Wax!

Posted by --MC | October 26, 2007 2:32 PM

More like imaginary circuses showing bread being tossed to the Romans, when it's actually a soundstage filled with actors.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 26, 2007 2:42 PM

FEMA isn't part of the government. They're part of the reality TV program, "The Government". The real government takes place in a bomb shelter under Blair House (Cheney's residence).

Posted by Fnarf | October 26, 2007 3:13 PM

I demand the appearance of accountability!

Posted by NapoleonXIV | October 26, 2007 5:47 PM


Blair House is not the VP's residence. It's the president's guest house right across the street from the White House. The VP lives out on Massachusetts Ave. by the national observatory -- a much better place for an underground shadow government to operate.


Posted by ahava | October 26, 2007 6:43 PM

The article I read said they were considering possibly punishing the people involved. They hadn't decided yet.

This is one of the most perfect examples of the current government's contempt for the American People.

Posted by toasterhedgehog | October 26, 2007 9:27 PM

On the bright side, just about every single media outlet reported on this, though without the sneering contempt and fury to which they are (in this instance anyway) entitled.

Has anyone actually reported the names and titles of whomever it was that tried to pull this stupid charade?

Posted by Boomer in NYC | October 27, 2007 1:37 PM

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