FEMA’s fake press conference backfires

Perhaps FEMA should stand for “Fake Every Morning & Afternoon.”

Officials of the embattled emergency management agency openly admit they screwed the pooch by holding a fake “news” conference, filling the room with staff members posing as reporters.

Both FEMA and the Bush Administration scrambled Friday to try and recover from trying to pass propaganda off as news: Another black eye for an error-prone administration.

But their excuses fell on deaf ears.

Reports Reuters:

The main U.S. disaster-response agency apologized on Friday for having its employees pose as reporters in a news briefing on California’s wildfires that no journalists attended.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, still struggling to restore its image after the bungled handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, issued the apology after The Washington Post published details of the Tuesday briefing.

“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.

Although both Certoff and the White House tried Friday to distance themselves from the debacle, sources within the Bush administration say both were aware of the fake press conference before it was held.

Comments

  1. Bones

    “psyops” can also be defined as Internet operatives that are put in place to “post” whatever is neccessary to stay true to the “Physiological operations” of any administration at the time. It’s their job as “psyops” to get banter going. Some CIA, some FBI, etc folks. No brainer….

  2. Bones

    SEAL,

    “Bones, I’m not sure I understand that question. Would you please elaborate?”

    You ARE/WERE a Navy Seal? And don’t understand, or can define, a “psyops?” (Fintan…you were easy) This one might be a tough nut to crack.

    Sandra,

    Be back in a while. Duty calls….

  3. DejaVuAllOver

    Governments overtaken by rampant depravity, decadence, corruption, savagery, lies, propaganda and arrogance DO NOT relinquish power voluntarily, if at all. Take this any way you want. But remember, natural disasters as well as human disasters (like this government) give us plenty of warning. Or at least to those paying attention.

  4. SEAL

    Bones asked me: Am I overthinking you as a “psyops?”

    Bones, I’m not sure I understand that question. Would you please elaborate?

  5. Chad

    How about FAKE FEMA Inspectors that put you at risk for Identity theft. FEMA Inspector Generals Office knows about this but nothing has changed so far.
    The Proof of this was disclosed in a UI court hearing with Parsons Brinckerhoff stating that PB/Alltech FEMA Inspectors can hire anyone to do any or all of the FEMA Inspection work.
    So a PB/Alltech FEMA Inspector can now hire any criminal without a background check and have access to all of your private information. They will have access to the social insurance numbers of yourself, your spouse and your children along with their birthdates. Also all of your phone numbers, where you work ,your insurance information, a complete description of your home with photos of the exterior and interior.
    This has been and is now being taking place so if down the road you and your spouse and children have their Identity stolen look no further than the FEMA Application for disasters assistance.

    The proof of what I am saying is in the court documents on the http://www.femasbest.com web site under unemployment insurance and the National Security complaint.

    If you’re a reporter and want the whole story contact me.

  6. Sandra Price

    Bones, it sll depends on how much government you want to protect you. I will never give up an ounce of freedoms for a pound of security.

    “W and Dick” believe Americans are stupid enough to swallow their B.S. I’ve lived my entire life on the San Andreas Fault and the first plan for survival is to have the people themselves be prepared for those first 3 days that SEAL explained. Private organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are available but it takes 2 days to organize clothing, blood and food and one day to deliver it. Leaving this to the Federal Government would be way above their ability to prepare, act and move.