Fake FEMA Press Conference? What Next – Positive Testimonials at Gun Point?


White House Press Secretary Dana Perino assured reporters that the ‘staged’ news conference organized on Tuesday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would not happen again, and said the White House would never employ such tactics at its own press briefings.

Isn’t the White House supposed to exercise oversight on FEMA Dana??? They are right? That’s what I always thought? 

Never mind. 

“It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we — we certainly don’t condone it,” said Perino.

According to a report published in the Washington Post, FEMA had instructed its own public relations staff to pose as reporters because no legitimate members of the media arrived in time for a hastily arranged briefing about the California wildfires – at least that’s the official story. 

The deputy director of FEMA gave the reasoning.

“We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute,” a FEMA deputy director of public affairs told the Post. “We pulled questions from those we had been getting from reporters earlier in the day.”

Perino said FEMA alone was responsible for the decision to go ahead with the event.

“FEMA has issued an apology, saying that they had an error in judgment when they were attempting to get out a lot of information to reporters, who were asking for answers to a variety of questions in regard to the wildfires in California,” she said. “It’s not something I would have condoned. And they, I’m sure, will not do it again.”

FEMA Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson, who fielded questions from the stand-in “reporters,” issued a statement today admitting an “error in judgment.”

“Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received,” he said. “We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent.”

Hey Harvey…just a heads up for you guys…most competently runs government agencies simply issue a press release. You know – just let folks know what’s up? Did you really think that having fake reporters present was going to make things more convincing? What was the point? Were you guys trying to reinforce to the American people that FEMA is basically not capable of handling anything. If so you succeeded…again.  

Among the questions Johnson answered from FEMA employees was a question about the agency’s performance during the fires:

Here’s the complete list of questions asked during the fake briefing available at MSNBC’s First Read. Given the fact that no one can be sure that the answers weren’t also fake, we took the liberty of translating…

QUESTION 1: What type of commodities are you pledging to California?
“So I think we’re well ahead of the requirement and we’ll be able to make sure that all the shelters that are stood up are, in fact, all sustained and have sufficient materials and quantities of commodities to make sure they meet the demand of the people who might seek shelter.”

Translation: More moldy formaldehyde trailers at once for the homeless serfs! Just rinse that Arkansas farm mud off of them and we’re good to go!
QUESTION 2: Sir, there are a number of reports that people weren’t heeding evacuation orders and that was hindering emergency responders. Can you speak a little to that, please?
“So I think you’re seeing more compliance and more conformance with expected norms of travel.”

Translation: Wildfire and the imminent threat of roasting to death in your bathtub tends to breed compliance. Fact is, we never assisted in evacuation at all.
QUESTION 3: Can you address a little bit what it means to have the president issue an emergency declaration, as opposed to a major disaster declaration? What does that mean for FEMA?
“As an emergency declaration, it allows us to provide — to open up the Stafford Act and to provide the full range of protective measures and all the things that they need now in order to address the fire, If the governor had asked for a major declaration, that would have talked about individual assistance and public assistance at greater levels. And at this point, the governor has not asked for that.”

Translation: All the shit we didn’t do for black Louisiana victims, we decided to do for white California victims. We learned from our mistakes.   
QUESTION 4: Sir, we understand the secretary and the administrator of FEMA are on their way out there. What is their objective? And is there anyone else traveling with them?
“..all the key leaders who are directing this effort and demonstrating a partnership through their effort will be out there at San Diego this afternoon. So I think it’s a good demonstration of support, recognizing that our role is not to usurp the state but to support the state. And they’ll demonstrate that by their presence.”

Translation: Arnold knows we suck and threatened to break Chertoff’s arms if we pulled a Katrina, so we backed off.

[Off-camera voice asks for another question)

QUESTION 5: Are you happy with FEMA’s response, so far?
“I’m very happy with FEMA’s response so far. This is a FEMA and a federal government that’s leaning forward, not waiting to react. And you have to be pretty pleased to see that.”
Translation: Well, we couldn’t f%#k things up any worse than Katrina now could we?

[Staff voice off camera: Last question.]

QUESTION: What lessons learned from Katrina have been applied?
“I think what you’re really seeing here is the benefit of experience, the benefit of good leadership and the benefit of good partnership; none of which were present in Katrina.
“So, I think, as a nation, people should sit up and take notice that you have the worst wildfire season in history in California and look at how well the state and local governments are performing, look at how well we’re working together between state and federal partners.”

Translation: We learned a lot from Katrina. We learned that people need to eat and drink after 10 days, we learned that 50,000 people can’t share 10 bathrooms at the Superdome, we learned that Barbara Bush is out of touch and asked her not to hang around Qualcomm, and we learned not to park trailers in 12 inches of mud. Thank you. 

See Perino’s press conference here. We think it’s real. 

Makes you proud to be an American doesn’t it?


Posted on October 27, 2007, in Abuse of Power, Corruption, FEMA, Homeland Security, Media, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. MJ "revoltingpawn"

    I added video of the fake FEMA interview from Countdown with Keith Olbermann to our Shadow Democracy YouTube channel…


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