Sunday, October 28, 2007

San Diego FEMA Fire Propaganda

Why isn't this getting the coverage it should? Because it worked! It worked so well that nobody is questioning why most of our firefighting equipment is in Iraq. That all which is left here in CA is the stuff that was too old to be taken.

Effective propaganda is great. Never mind the fact that we were not able to tell where the fires were. That the websites were all down. Just put a happy face on it and say it was all run perfectly. The lemmings will believe it.

Basically you've got to protect your own property from fires. The fire departments have a proven track record of not doing it. The insurance companies have so many small print clauses to let them back out. It's totally up to the owner now to take care of what's his.

It's a shame what our government has become.,0,7426549.story?coll=chi_news_opinion_ugc
FEMA sorry for fake news briefing

By Spencer S. Hsu

Washington Post

6:33 PM CDT, October 26, 2007


The Federal Emergency Management Agency's No. 2 official apologized Friday for leading a staged news conference Tuesday in which FEMA employees posed as reporters while real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions.

"We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent," Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., FEMA's deputy administrator, said in a four-paragraph statement.

"We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment," Johnson said, a view repeated Friday by press officers at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security, who criticized the event.

FEMA announced the news conference at its headquarters here about 15 minutes before it was to begin Tuesday afternoon, making it unlikely that reporters could attend. Instead, FEMA set up a telephone conference line so reporters could listen.

In the briefing, parts of which were televised live by cable news channels, Johnson stood behind a lectern, called on questioners who did not disclose that they were FEMA employees, and gave replies emphasizing that his agency's response to this week's California wildfires was far better than its response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

"It was absolutely a bad decision. I regret it happened. Certainly ... I should have stopped it," said John "Pat" Philbin, FEMA's director of external affairs. "I hope readers understand we're working very hard to establish credibility and integrity, and I would hope this does not undermine it."

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Friday that "it is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House. We certainly don't condone it. We didn't know about it beforehand. ... They, I'm sure, will not do it again."

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke called the staged briefing "totally unacceptable," adding, "While it is an isolated incident, that does not make it any more tolerable." He said reprimands are "very probable." FEMA is part of DHS.

"Trying to manipulate the press and the public will only tarnish their (FEMA's) current success," House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said.

Philbin's last scheduled day at FEMA was Thursday. He has been named as the new head of public affairs at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, ODNI spokeswoman Vanee Vines said.

Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune

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