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  1. #1
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    Default More FEMA Bufoons

    Are you kidding me? How in the world could anyone, let alone the administration of a federal agency, think that this was a good idea.

    US agency apologizes for news conference on fires
    26 Oct 2007 19:35:03 GMT
    Source: Reuters
    By Randall Mikkelsen

    WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. government's main disaster-response agency apologized on Friday for having its employees pose as reporters in a hastily called news conference on California's wildfires that no news organizations attended.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency, still struggling to restore its image after the bungled handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, issued the apology after The Washington Post published details of the Tuesday briefing.

    "We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment," FEMA deputy administrator Harvey Johnson, who conducted the briefing, said in a statement. "Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received."

    No actual reporter attended the news conference in person, agency spokesman Aaron Walker said.

    A spokeswoman for Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who has authority over FEMA, called the incident "inexcusable and offensive to the secretary."

    "We have made it clear that stunts such as this will not be tolerated or repeated," spokeswoman Laura Keehner said. She said the department was looking at the possibility of reprimanding those responsible.

    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 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.

    FEMA's administrator during Katrina, Michael Brown, resigned amid widespread criticism over his handling of the disaster, despite U.S. President George W. Bush's initial declaration that he was doing a "heck of a job."

    E-mails between Brown and his colleagues over the course of the storm revealed a preoccupation with his media image, including his declaration, "I am a fashion god."

    FEMA is reviewing its press procedures and will make changes to ensure they are "straightforward and transparent," Johnson said on Friday.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    And people want me to expand Federal Government programs and open new ones?

    I think I'll just continue to lose complete and total faith in any level of government to do anything while exercising common sense and decency.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

    "As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government." - Dave Barry

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  3. #3
    Permanently Removed CALFFBOU's Avatar
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    Total idiots trying to lok good for their bosses. What ever happened the standard Press Release?

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    There should be widespread axe swinging all over that place.

    Bunch of retards!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
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  5. #5
    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Damn, I just took up for these fools the other day in class when my professor stated that the quick response to CA was due to the affluence of the area.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

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    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

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    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Damn, I just took up for these fools the other day in class when my professor stated that the quick response to CA was due to the affluence of the area.
    There is no relation between the CA response and this idiot with the press conference. The CA response was "quick" because a) there was no impediment to accessing the area (ie; no hurricane) and b) the people of that area were actually helping themselves and weren't standing around waiting for the government to tale care of them.

    The "press conference" issue is an administration issue, not a rank and file issue.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Chertof stated today that here would be severe punishment for those pesponsable for this. I will not hold my breath..

    T.J.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    There is no relation between the CA response and this idiot with the press conference. The CA response was "quick" because a) there was no impediment to accessing the area (ie; no hurricane) and b) the people of that area were actually helping themselves and weren't standing around waiting for the government to tale care of them.
    The "press conference" issue is an administration issue, not a rank and file issue.
    Helluva concept.

    Perhaps some day more people will realize that FEMA is not an emergency response agency but an emergency management agency that provides support and resoures to the emergency response agencies.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    Perhaps some day more people will realize that FEMA is not an emergency response agency but an emergency management agency that provides support and resoures to the emergency response agencies.
    And, I might add, that does not belong under Homeland Security.
    -------------------
    "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
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    Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber ffbam24's Avatar
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    Now we're going down the road of "oxymoron" like:
    military intelligence
    emergency management

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Briefing Costs FEMA Spokesman Job Offer

    CNN
    Posted: 2007-10-29 18:55:12
    Filed Under: Politics News

    WASHINGTON (Oct. 29) -- The man who oversaw public affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency when it held a fake news conference last week will no longer be taking over as head of public relations for the director of national intelligence.

    Pat Philbin, FEMA's external affairs director, was scheduled to become director of public affairs for National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell on Monday. It was not immediately clear whether he offered his resignation or was fired just as he was set to begin the job.

    As of Sunday, officials only said that they were aware of concerns.

    But Monday, the director of national intelligence office issued this statement: "We do not normally comment on personnel matters. However, we can confirm that Mr. Philbin is not, nor is he scheduled to be, the director of public affairs for the office of the director of national intelligence."

    FEMA Director David Paulison said Philbin sent him an e-mail in which he took full responsibility for last week's staging of the news conference.

    FEMA, part of the Department of Homeland Security, called a news conference Tuesday in Washington on the agency's handling of the California wildfires.

    The agency said no media representatives showed up because the conference was announced at the last minute. Instead, reporters called in on a phone line but couldn't ask questions

    The agency released a video of the conference with FEMA employees asking less than hard-hitting questions.

    Deputy Director Harvey Johnson, who was fielding questions, gave no indication at the time that staff members were asking the questions.

    He later apologized, calling the fake briefing an "error in judgment."

    "I am calling to apologize and say it will not happen again," Paulison said in a phone call to CNN.

    He said rules are changing to prevent any reoccurrence. Reporters will be given at least an hour's warning before a press conference and those calling in will be able to ask questions in the future, he said.

    Paulison said he is continuing to investigate. He said he understands that FEMA officials did not plan to ask questions and did so only when reporters failed to appear.

    Disciplinary action is being taken against some FEMA employees, he said.

    Another official said that reprimands have been issued and more may be coming.

    Johnson "really didn't have an awareness" of what was taking place, according to Paulison.The FEMA director said Johnson wasn't familiar with everyone in the press office and did not recognize staffers asking questions.

    "He just feels sick about it," Paulison said. "He feels his credibility has been hurt."

    However, reporters noted that Johnson called on at least one person by name.

    FEMA generally received high marks for its response to the California wildfires after fierce criticism over its handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but Paulison said he was sure the conference flap has had a bad effect on morale.

    "The last two years of planning for a major disaster fell in place," Paulison said. "Things were working as they were supposed to ... and that just killed everything you tried to have happen."

    The head of homeland security also has blasted the fake news briefing and said those behind it showed "extraordinarily poor judgment."

    "I think it was one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I've ever seen since I've been in government," Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Saturday.

    The White House said it was unaware of the briefing beforehand.

    "It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House," said press secretary Dana Perino. "We certainly don't condone it."

    ###
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  12. #12
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    WASHINGTON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. government's main disaster-response agency apologized on Friday for having its employees pose as reporters in a hastily called news conference on California's wildfires that no news organizations attended.
    What a bunch of jamoques...
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

  13. #13
    Forum Member KEEPBACK200FEET's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    There is no relation between the CA response and this idiot with the press conference. The CA response was "quick" because a) there was no impediment to accessing the area (ie; no hurricane) and b) the people of that area were actually helping themselves and weren't standing around waiting for the government to tale care of them.

    The "press conference" issue is an administration issue, not a rank and file issue.
    Oh George, if only you could explain that to my liberal-*** professor. I explained the access issue in class and it just blew her mind causing her to back-step and change the subject entirely.
    Last edited by KEEPBACK200FEET; 10-30-2007 at 09:35 AM.
    Just know, I chose my own fate. I drove by the fork in the road and went straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingKiwi View Post
    Go put your pussy 2 1/2" lines away kiddies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Explorer343

    By the way KEEPBACK200FEET, you're so dramatic!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by KEEPBACK200FEET View Post
    Oh George, if only you could explain that to my liberal-*** professor. I explained the access issue in class and it just blew her mind causing her to back-step and change the subject entirely.
    You missed the opportunity to have some REAL fun with her. You should have explained b. b is more important than a.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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