When I heard that FEMA was coming to Southern California earlier this week, I had the same thought Mack had: No, thanks.
Excuse me for being a little unimpressed, but based on the agency’s recent record, I hoped they’d let the professionals who were already on the ground keep doing what they were doing, do their stupid press conference and photo-op, and get the hell out of town before they fucked anything up.
Well, it turns out that FEMA can’t even do a press conference correctly. They faked it.
“Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?” a reporter asked. Another asked about “lessons learned from Katrina.”
“I’m very happy with FEMA’s response so far,” Johnson said, hailing “a very smoothly, very efficiently performing team.”
[. . .]
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.
Yeah, that’s right. FEMA faked a press conference — some cynics may just call it propaganda — when they came to town.
Heckuva job, guys.
Now get the fuck out of here before you hurt someone. You may not have noticed, but we’re in the middle of a disaster at the moment. B.la captain Dave Markland pointed out that this fake press conference didn’t happen here, but happened in Washington, D.C. FEMA claims that they couldn’t get the actual press there in time, so they had FEMA staffers ask the same questions the real journalists had already been asking (because NBC repeatedly asked, “Hey, why are you guys so awesome?” over and over again, apparently.) This laughable bullshit excuse was barely believable if they were actually here, where maybe the press was busy in other places covering other breaking events, but in Washington? Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I regret the error.