Briana alerted me to this lovely little news item. FEMA deputy administrator Harvey Johnson apologized for the agency's FAKE NEWS CONFERENCE about the California fires. They meant well, honest they did. The thing is FEMA had answers about the wildfires to the huge volume of questions they claim to have received and decided against having an actual press conference or issuing a press release. Apparently, the fastest way to answer these pressing, urgent, dire questions was to have FEMA employees pose as reporters and ask these questions of Johnson. You can really feel the anguish of those evacuated residents in questions like "Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?" and statements that clearly stated that this was a new FEMA and in no way were they bungling this situation like they did Hurricane Katrina. It is indeed different from Katrina, this time it's fire and wealthier suburbanites who can get themselves out of harm's way. I don't know if I am the man to give a true color commentary on this situation.
All the while, real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions. This is definitely a new FEMA and they have indeed learned from Katrina. They learned that a free press has no right to go digging through their business and should be happy to get the scraps FEMA tosses their way. The creeping effect of the White House Press Room has spread far. This is not an apple falling far from the tree, it is the rot at the center erupting on the surface.
"It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House," said Press Secretary Dana Perino, mentioning three times that it was an "error in judgment." "It's not something I would have condoned, and they, I'm sure, will not do it again."
Please, you're just pissed they got caught.