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Sunday, October 28, 2007

FEMA manipulates the press

It's like something straight out of the Twilight Zone. Check out what Bush's Department of homeland InSecurity is doing. FEMA, which is under this department staged a news conference Tuesday in which FEMA employees posed as reporters while real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions. Check out the governments response as reported in the Washington Post:

"We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent," Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., FEMA's deputy administrator, said in a four-paragraph statement.

There is More: WaPo Reports about the highest level of bullshit coming from FEMA:

"We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment," Johnson said, a view repeated yesterday by press officers at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, who criticized the event.

FEMA announced the news conference at its Southwest Washington headquarters about 15 minutes before it was to begin Tuesday afternoon, making it unlikely that reporters could attend. Instead, FEMA set up a telephone conference line so reporters could listen.

In the briefing, parts of which were televised live by cable news channels, Johnson stood behind a lectern, called on questioners who did not disclose that they were FEMA employees, and gave replies emphasizing that his agency's response to this week's California wildfires was far better than its response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

"It was absolutely a bad decision. I regret it happened. Certainly . . . I should have stopped it," said John P. "Pat" Philbin, FEMA's director of external affairs. "I hope readers understand we're working very hard to establish credibility and integrity, and I would hope this does not undermine it."


"I hope readers understand we're working very hard to establish credibility and integrity, and I would hope this does not undermine it."


Check out the White House response:

White House press secretary Dana Perino said yesterday that "it is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House. We certainly don't condone it. We didn't know about it beforehand. . . . They, I'm sure, will not do it again."


Who is in charge?

It gets worst. Enter Bennie Thompson, serving as the official apologist for the Bush Administration:

"Trying to manipulate the press and the public will only tarnish their [FEMA's] current success," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said.

AAPP: " FEMA's current success" What kind of Kool Aid is Bennie Thompson drinking? Wild Cherry?

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