FEMA Fake Tip of the Iceberg?
News today of FEMA officials stacking a press conference with Deputy Administrator Harvey Johnson lead to a rebuke from the White House, but insiders tell PTTBT that it will do little to slow the trend of producing “more informative” press functions in the future.
“Most federal agencies now have an entire department set up to concoct fake questions for press conferences,” said the source on condition of anonymity, “FEMA just jumped the gun and rolled it all out at once. But we’ve been at this for close to two years now.”
According to memos acquired by PTTBT, plans call for the phasing out traditional press conferences for staged ones, ending in July 2009. In the meantime, “real” reporters will be handed question sheets to read from, and all follow-up questions will be greeted with laughter and remarks such as “golly” and “you dickens”. Any reporters found to be breaking from the script would be imprisoned in a secret Finnish prison camp for two years.
Understandably, the reaction in the journalism community is mixed. Some networks such as CNN and NBC claim the guidelines will create a media built to pander and bolster government objectives, regardless of the facts. Fox News has also voiced concern, saying “if everyone else does it too, what’ll make us special?”