October 26, 2007

A Heckuva Job

Here is how the Bush Administration handled the California wildfires this past week: First, on Tuesday, FEMA notified reporters at 12:45 p.m. that it would hold a press conference 15 minutes later. FEMA is located in Southwest Washington, D.C., a city with the third worst traffic in the United States. Not surprisingly, no reporters made it on time. However, FEMA went ahead with a fake news conference featuring FEMA staffers pretending to be reporters. Apparently, Jeff Gannon and Armstrong Williams were unavailable. The fake news conference was televised, and the television news networks cut into their broadcasts and ran it live. Here is an example of the grilling that the fake reporters gave to FEMA Deputy Administrator, Vice Admiral Harvey Johnson:

QUESTION: "Are you happy with FEMA's response, so far?"
JOHNSON: "I'm very happy with FEMA's response so far. This is a FEMA and a federal government that's leaning forward, not waiting to react. And you have to be pretty pleased to see that."

Then, a FEMA staffer even said "last question" to make the phony press conference seem even more like a real one.

Once the ersatz FEMA press conference was outed by Washington Post reporter Al Kamen, even White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, who routinely defends the most outrageous Bush Administration behavior with straight-faced spin, was unable to defend this one. She said:

"It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we -- we certainly don't condone it."

The day after the fake FEMA press conference, President Bush held an "emergency cabinet meeting" regarding the California wildfires, in order not to be caught appearing inactive during a major disaster, as was the case with Hurricane Katrina. Dick Cheney was filmed falling asleep during the meeting. Turns out, Cheney is a serial sleeper when it comes to such meetings.

Fake press conferences and falling asleep during emergency cabinet meetings. Doesn't that perfectly sum up the Bush Administration view of government?


At 6:18 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

California is undoubtedly better off without the interference of anyone here in Washington. I wouldn't want to count of any of them if I were in a natural disaster, would you? I can only say that Cheney is far less a menace when he is snoozing.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Aileen said...

That's so funny- I am so used to your use of sarcasm that I assumed you were joking about the fake news conference!!! I guess you simply can't make this kind of stuff up! Ha!

At 12:28 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Daily Kos has a funny little piece about Cheney's dozing here: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/10/29/83451/714

At 12:29 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Let's try that link again: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/10/29/83451/714

At 12:30 PM, Blogger media concepts said...

Forget it, I'm having comment publishing trouble today, just go to Daily Kos and scroll down today (10/28/07)


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