FEMA Fakes Wildfire Press Conference, Apologizes

Fraud at the highest levels.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency apologized Friday for a hastily organized news conference on the California wildfires in which they had their own staffers pose as reporters because no actual news media was on the scene at the time. FEMA also posed questions to which deputy administrator Harvey Johnson provided self-congratulatory answers.

FemaReuters reports: “The agency had called the briefing with about 15 minutes notice as federal officials headed for southern California to oversee and assist in firefighting and rescue efforts. Reporters were also given a telephone number to listen in on but could not ask questions. But with no reporters on hand and an agency video camera providing a feed carried live by some television networks, FEMA press employees posed the questions for Johnson that included: ‘Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?’ According to Friday’s [Washington Post] account, which Walker confirmed, Johnson replied that he was ‘very happy with FEMA’s response so far.’ He also said the agency had the benefit of ‘good leadership’ and other factors, ‘none of which were present at Katrina.’ Chertoff was head of the Homeland Security Department during Katrina.”

Chertoff’s office called the handling of the news conference “inexcusable and offensive.”

MSNBC has a transcript of the fake news conference.

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  1. Matthew says

    Are you fucking serious? They faked a fucking news conference? Dear god…that’s truly frightening. Is this the United States??? That’s not only giving complete misinformation to the public, it’s fraudulent and goes against everything our Constitution is supposed to stand for. And who sanctioned this??? Is FEMA really so incompetent that they would go this far to cover their asses? I’m in shock…

  2. says

    Wow, I’m shocked – and I thought nothing the administration could do would shock me anymore!

    If you remember, Sony paid big, big bucks for having their staffers pose as movie audience members in those commercials for several of their movies (you know the ones – “OMG, it’s the best movie ever!”).

    Honestly, enough is enough from these people. How many times can you violate the law before an impeachment process kicks in???

  3. you know it says

    The white house says they had no idea that FEMA was doing this.

    Either the white house is telling a lie or they are so incompetent that they can not even manage their own administration let alone protect us from terrorists. LOL Neither is not a good reflection on Bush and the white house.

  4. woodroad34 says

    On top of all this FEMA brouhaha, Bush has the temerity to compare this situation with Katrina, but in a better light. What I don’t get is how? The fires have been raging for days and he did nothing until now. Just like Katrina, Mr. Monkey-come-lately. Also, where are all the extra Califronia National Guard people that could be helping — Oh, that’s right they’re fighting an illegal, immoral, and unwinnable war in Iraq.

  5. says

    I don’t believe for a minute that once the fires here got so large that Bush wasn’t monitoring every single move FEMA was making. After the fiasco of Katrina, it makes no sense that several of the 20-some odd staffers Bush dragged out here weren’t in constant contact with FEMA and advising Bush constantly.

    David B.

  6. Jonathon says

    Sadly, it comes as no surprise. Almost everything with this administration is scripted and managed.

    I just hope that this incident helps those Americans who are “on the fence” make up their minds that authoritarianism and facism really don’t provide the best answers for our country nor does it provide us with good leadership.

    There was a time when these FEMA frauds would have been tarred, feathered and ran out of town on a rail. At the very least, the current head of FEMA should step down and those staffers involved should be fired.

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