Friday, October 26, 2007

Captive Audience

This would be funnier if it weren't so pathetic. Washington Post (10.26.07), via Carpetbagger:
"FEMA has truly learned the lessons of Katrina. Even its handling of the media has improved dramatically. For example, as the California wildfires raged Tuesday, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator, had a 1 p.m. news briefing.

Reporters were given only 15 minutes' notice of the briefing, making it unlikely many could show up at FEMA's Southwest D.C. offices. They were given an 800 number to call in, though it was a 'listen only' line, the notice said -- no questions. Parts of the briefing were carried live on Fox News, MSNBC and other outlets."

FEMA Meets the Press, Which Happens to Be . . . FEMA

"Johnson stood behind a lectern and began with an overview before saying he would take a few questions."

How did it go? Famously, sez the Post. The whole affair was "(v)ery smooth, very professional."

But wait. "(S)omething 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."

And that was "because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters."

The whole damned thing was staged. No "real" reporters were there at all. Sigh. Where's Billy Idol when you need him?

"Dancing with myself.
Dancing with myself.
Well there's nothing to lose,
And there's nothing to prove,
I'll be dancing with myself."



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