FEMA Fakes Press Briefing

The main U.S. disaster-response agency apologized on Friday for having its employees pose as reporters in a news briefing on California’s wildfires that no journalists attended.

FEMA had called the briefing with about 15 minutes notice as federal officials headed for Southern California to oversee firefighting and rescue efforts. Reporters were also given a phone number to listen in but could not ask questions.

…with no reporters attending and a FEMA video feed being carried live by some television networks, FEMA press employees posed questions for Johnson that included: “Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?”


3 Responses to “FEMA Fakes Press Briefing”

  1. Sven Says:

    I live in San Diego right next to Camp Pendleton, so live near many of the fires. Thankfully, we never needed to evacuate, and our neighborhood has been safe. However, Wednesday afternoon we did have a new fire spring up just 1/2 a mile from my home on the edge of the marine base. Forty foot flames threatened some nearby homes. The marines were quickly able to take action, and had 3 or 4 helicopters dropping water bombs on it within fifteen minutes. It was pretty awesome to watch, and to our relief, the fire was extinguished within an hour or two.

    Nearby Fallbrook, on the other hand, was burning since Monday. It is my understanding that they didnt get any air support until Thursday… the day after our fire. I have no doubt that our marines would love to help out with nearby fires, but for reasons I do not comprehend, they are not permited to help. This is unacceptable, and our government should be held accountable so they are able to help in the future. Seriously.

  2. Craig Says:

    There is a reason why some people are in public service and not private industry.

    Gotta love the #2 guy, who lead the press conference in the first place, saying afterwards…

    “We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent.”

    So, we are going to review my dumb decision and why I did it, so that I don’t do it again?

    Those at FEMA who are trying to do their best in these types of emergencies, and there are many such people, must be disheartened by these senior clowns.

  3. ymatt Says:

    Oh man, I’ve totally seen this dynamic in action before. An organization bungles something severely, they take a lot of flak when the error is discovered publicly, and the organization decides that the real problem was the discovery, not the error. Except in this case they aren’t even competent enough to manage the coverup (if there was even anything to cover up here — I’m guessing it was just unwritten FEMA policy that they would contain media questioning whenever the next disaster arose, just in case).

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.