Friday, October 26, 2007

Managing the message

By Creature

I'm not a reporter, I just play one at FEMA press conferences. If that sounds too strange to be true, it's not.

Today the Washington Post reports that Tuesday's FEMA California wildfire response press conference was pure disaster theater. A press conference staged from the start with little press notice, an 800 number where one could listen but not speak, and a press room filled with FEMA staffers asking all the right questions. Incredible, quite Orwellian, and possibly illegal.

Larisa Alexandrovna:

This is a violation of several laws, including the Hatch Act, and domestic propaganda (National Security Act 1947, Section 503 (f)). This is also censorship and a direct assault on freedom of the press.

Will it be prosecuted? Do I even have to ask?

Update: Interestingly enough the White House did not try to sweep this story under the rug. They are mad, Chertoff is mad, and FEMA has issued an apology.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said, "It's not something I would have condoned. And they — I'm sure — will not do it again."

Perino sounds like she's scolding a child, except, once again, the administration has broken the law and the only consequence will be FEMA going to bed without their supper.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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