I usually only post about issues related to global warming. But I’m just so astounded by the latest news, I have to make an exception. I knew our government (by which I mean the executive branch of the federal government) was disingenuous, but this takes the cake. The Associated Press reports that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) actually staged a fake “press conference”, with FEMA employees playing the role of reporters.
WASHINGTON - The White House scolded the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for staging a phony news conference about assistance to victims of wildfires in southern California.
The agency — much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago — arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency’s deputy director.
The questions were predictably soft and gratuitous.
The report goes on to report that White House press secretary Dana Perino said it was not appropriate that the questions were posed by agency staffers instead of reporters. FEMA was responsible for the “error in judgment,” she said, adding that the White House did not know about it beforehand and did not condone it. Clearly Bush wants us to think he’s not responsible. Isn’t he the captain of this ship? Doesn’t he set the tone for executive-branch policy? Doesn’t he appoint the leaders of this three-ring circus?
Perhaps the most troubling thing is the last line of the AP report:
[Homeland Security spokeswoman Laura] Keehner said senior leadership is considering whether a punishment is necessary.