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FEMA: Heckuva Job Brownie 2.0

October 27, 2007 | California fires,Ethics,FEMA,Media,PR,U.S. government


The Federal Emergency Management Agency talked about the California fires to fake reporters at a fake press conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, and it was presented as real in mainstream media. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., deputy administrator and chief operating officer of FEMA answered questions from his public-relations staff, Cindy Taylor (communications deputy director), Michael Widomski (program operations), John P. Philbin (director, Office of External Affairs) and possibly Ali Kirin (press aide). Think Progress has the video from FOX News.

Anyone get fired? Suspended? Fined? Put in a corner?

Actually, Philbin was moving up and out — as the new head of public affairs at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Sweet.

The Department of Homeland Security was shocked — shocked! — at FEMA’s behavior.

“This is inexcusable and offensive, and stunts like this will not be tolerated or repeated,” said spokeswoman [i.e., PR] Laura Keehner. “It was a lapse of judgment, and we find it offensive, and it won’t happen again.”

The White House yawned.

“It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House,” said Press Secretary Dana Perino, mentioning three times that it was an “error in judgment.” “It’s not something I would have condoned, and they, I’m sure, will not do it again.”

All-righty then. 

Oh, and speaking of Brownie, guess what he’s up to now. He’s giving interviews and advice about disaster preparedness for Cotton Companies.

I know. Crazy, isn’t it? I would have thought he’d go back to horses. Or branched out into fashion. But, gee, maybe he really knows what he’s talking about. The Oklahoman thinks so. CNN (and Wolf!) thinks so. Wow. Thumbs up, Brownie.

Hat tip: Matthew

Posted by Becky @ 10:32 pm | 4 Comments  


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