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October 26, 2007 10:33 AM   Subscribe

FEMA Press conference regarding the California fires has everything but reporters.
posted by landis (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Anyone else feel like they've woken up in a Kafka story this morning? Or maybe one of Orwell's.
posted by Skorgu at 10:53 AM on October 26, 2007


I think the fires are a great opportunity to do San Diego right this time around and make more housing for lower income people.
posted by srboisvert at 10:56 AM on October 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


nice, maybe they can do all future press conference this way, at least they wouldn't have to actually lie, well except for the whole fake reporter thing. And I bet ya $50 whomever becomes the next president won't really loosen up media access, GW has shown the way forward. (bastards all of them)
posted by edgeways at 10:57 AM on October 26, 2007


So who do you call when FEMA is the biggest disaster in American history?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:59 AM on October 26, 2007


FEMA playing make believe now? Or was that some sort of performance art?
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 11:01 AM on October 26, 2007


This cracked me up: "We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute."

So, FEMA was surprised that reporters would be calling about the SoCal fires? They didn't anticipate the need to set up press conferences in advance?

I mean, it sounds like they don't know how to plan ahead, or anticipate things that might happen as a result of other things (e.g., big fires --> reporters have questions --> press conferences). How odd.
posted by rtha at 11:01 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well what do you expect when you build an entire region below the fire level?
posted by wfrgms at 11:03 AM on October 26, 2007 [13 favorites]


Bush would love this. "Just one more question -- Condi."
posted by brain_drain at 11:06 AM on October 26, 2007 [4 favorites]


I think the fires are a great opportunity to do San Diego right this time around and make more housing for lower income people.

This is not New Orleans. These are well to do Republican voters who are in trouble and the feds are going to do right by them. In other news, FEMA's failure in New Orleans has kept away a lot of Democratic voters and now the state looks like it is turning Red.
posted by caddis at 11:09 AM on October 26, 2007


wfrgms writes "Well what do you expect when you build an entire region below the fire level?"

Are you talking about the press conference?

Or are you talking about the San Diego area?

I dunno. I imagine the Spaniards didn't have the same information we do now. Once an area is fully developed, centuries later, and millions of people are living there, what do you propose? Maybe someone should have told Vizcaíno about the fire danger, but it's a little late for that now.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:12 AM on October 26, 2007


Is Jeff Gannon running their media-relations office or something?
posted by adamrice at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2007


I mean, it sounds like they don't know how to plan ahead, or anticipate things that might happen as a result of other things (e.g., big fires --> reporters have questions --> press conferences). How odd.

Prognostication?!? That's witchcraft!!!
posted by saulgoodman at 11:16 AM on October 26, 2007


So who do you call when FEMA is the biggest disaster in American history?

MetaFEMA?
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:17 AM on October 26, 2007


Asked about this, Widomski said: "We had been getting mobbed with phone calls from reporters, and this was thrown together at the last minute."

Damn you, George Bush!!1!
*Shakes both fists in air*
posted by rockhopper at 11:18 AM on October 26, 2007


Krinklyfig, you need to turn up your snark detector. Below fire level vs below sea level (i.e. new orleans).
posted by notsnot at 11:21 AM on October 26, 2007


Sheesh, you know it is bad when even late night infomercials (you know, the ones selling cheap ab-busters at insane volumes at four hundred o'clock in the morning) have more scruples than FEMA.

The testimonials in this infomercial are actor's portrayals. Actors are paid for the endorsement of the product being sold.
posted by edverb at 11:25 AM on October 26, 2007


So who do you call when FEMA is the biggest disaster in American history?

This is what pisses me off most. Up until BushCo utterly gutted it, FEMA was a shining example of how well the government can (and should) respond to emergencies. It was a well-run and organized agency. It actually did what it was created to do. And did it very very well.

Sadly, after this administration is done with it, all anyone will remember about FEMA is the Katrina circle-jerk.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:26 AM on October 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ya know, it's odd, and probably ill planned, but I'm going to give the idiots the benefit of the doubt that they weren't so much trying to avoid the press, but thought they found a clever way to get information out there....

But...then, I've believed a lot of crap that wasn't true...so, don't pay any attention to what I think about this.... I'm probably wrong..

questions?
posted by HuronBob at 11:28 AM on October 26, 2007


notsnot writes "Krinklyfig, you need to turn up your snark detector. Below fire level vs below sea level (i.e. new orleans)."

Ah, OK then.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:29 AM on October 26, 2007


This reads like something someone drew up as a joke. The funniest part is how FEMA acts all "oh, gawrsh" about what a thunderous fart tornado this fake press conference is.

I mean, it sounds like they don't know how to plan ahead, or anticipate things that might happen as a result of other things (e.g., big fires --> reporters have questions --> press conferences). How odd.

Couldn't have said it better. If newspapers had any integrity whatsoever, this would be a frontpage laughingstock.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:32 AM on October 26, 2007


JEEEEBUS FREAK'N KEEEEERONST!

We are on our own. The wingnuts have been saying it for years... though they meant "you lower class non-Caucasian fucks...YOU'RE on your own." But I guess it's been made true.

it reminds me. So we had this dinner party recently. As I was hanging up peoples coats somebody noticed a couple of large wheeled cases in our packed closet marked with a Red Cross and an acrylic list taped to them.

"What's that?"

"Um... our earth quake kits."

I was over simplifying what they were. But I didn't want to crack them open and explain.

"Jeeeze. That's pretty organized. They are pretty big? What's in them?"

"Some water. Some MREs. Some outdoor gear. Boots. Back packs. Some tools. Flashlights. And batteries. And stuff."

"Stuff?"

"Yeah. Reduced hard copies of account, insurance, and medical info. Maps. Survival manuals. Pepper spray. A compact survival rifle and ammo."

"Oh..."

I could tell what they were thinking. Survivalist. And frankly I hat ging down this road with people.

"Look my family history is Mormon. This is nothing. It's just in case."

"But. Why? Isn't it paranoid?"

"Because I don't want to be another person in need. I want to be the guy that can HELP the people in need. I want to be the guy with the crow bar and water filter. I DON'T want to be the guy taking that away from somebody else who couldn't put together this kit... but REALLY needed it. I don't want to beg FEMA for help. I want to BE the help."

"Oh."
posted by tkchrist at 11:37 AM on October 26, 2007 [7 favorites]


uneasy feeling deep inside.
posted by octomato at 11:42 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ya know, it's odd, and probably ill planned, but I'm going to give the idiots the benefit of the doubt

I would, but it just stretches credulity too much.
posted by Nelson at 11:48 AM on October 26, 2007


tkchrist -- I've found Katrina has made people much more receptive to my survival kits and other planning. The few times it's come up since, I've just said something like "did you see the Superdome?" Most reasonable people at that point start to see the point.

Anyone who thinks waiting for the government to save them is an acceptable solution, after the object lesson that was Katrina, is probably too stupid to be worth having a conversation with anyway.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:51 AM on October 26, 2007


This is outstanding. We are in the age of NON.

Our tv shows are reality, non-shows. Our celebrities are non-celebrities. Our politicians have created a shadow, non-government. There are only non-truths being told. This was a non-press conference for a non-audience. The non-media (mainly) did not cover this non-event.
posted by zerobyproxy at 12:36 PM on October 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


I don't really see what the big deal is. They just had different people getting non-answers to their questions.
posted by 517 at 1:38 PM on October 26, 2007


Sadly, I don't think that the professional press would have done any better at asking non-slow-pitch questions. They're all too worried about the right wing calling them biased or shrill ask this administration real questions and then expect real answers.
posted by octothorpe at 1:45 PM on October 26, 2007


America: just like the real one!
posted by blacklite at 2:02 PM on October 26, 2007


The WH responds.
posted by caddis at 2:02 PM on October 26, 2007


Ugh.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:11 PM on October 26, 2007


From the recently closed latter FEMA post:

FEMA: First, Exactly Mimic Ambition.

FEMA: For Everyone Marooned Abroad.

FEMA: Fuck, Everyone Make like an Alligator.

'cause FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency just doesn't cut it anymore.

FEMA: Formerly Excellent Managing Accountants.

FEMA: Frances Evidently Minds Antiphony.

FEMA: Friends, Evening Makes Apologies...
posted by From Bklyn at 2:18 PM on October 26, 2007


Have you heard the stories about Qualcomm stadium?
posted by spiderskull at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2007


Kadin2048, it's not like the government doesn't tell people they should be prepared for emergencies. I get a bulk-mailing from the city or county emergency folks a few times a year explaining that a typical disaster could knock out basic services for three days (until either they're restored or aid arrives), and every household should be prepared with at least that that much stored food, water, heat, light, medicine, etc.; should also have an emergency grab-and-go bag if it's a disaster that requires you to evacuate instead of holding tight; and so on. They offer detailed planning checklists and encourage people to take courses in first aid and search-and-rescue. (On the other hand, sometimes I think I'm the only person in the city who actually reads those things.)
posted by hattifattener at 3:16 PM on October 26, 2007


TKChrist:"Because I don't want to be another person in need. I want to be the guy that can HELP the people in need. I want to be the guy with the crow bar and water filter. I DON'T want to be the guy taking that away from somebody else who couldn't put together this kit... but REALLY needed it. I don't want to beg FEMA for help. I want to BE the help."

Sheesh! Alright already! Quit being so darn convincing. I'll put together a dang "Tornado Survival Kit." I draw the line at guns and ammo tho. Maybe I'll look for a bullet proof vest.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:22 PM on October 26, 2007


I'm going to give the idiots the benefit of the doubt

Actually, the doubt is an entitlement and it should be cut if they are not going to demonstrate a willingness to work for it.
posted by srboisvert at 3:39 PM on October 26, 2007




NPR's coverage of this was incredibly weak. They played it as a joke. "HYUCK LOOK AT THE ORWELLIAN NIGHTMARE UNFOLDING BEFORE OUR EYES LOL"
posted by DU at 5:08 PM on October 26, 2007


this photo of Bush and Schwarzenegger , from the president's trip to California speaks volumes.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:26 PM on October 26, 2007


Any random pack of assholes who had been lying non-stop for six years would have gotten better at it by now. This pack of assholes? Not so much.
posted by trondant at 5:51 PM on October 26, 2007 [3 favorites]


Heck of a job, Harvey.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:40 PM on October 26, 2007


In Bush's America, truth tells you.
posted by psmealey at 7:12 PM on October 26, 2007


I thought we agreed that single link Onion posts didn't belong on the front page.
posted by DanSachs at 5:50 AM on October 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


The WH responds.
"It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House or that we — we certainly don’t condone it. We didn’t know about it beforehand. … It’s not something I would have condoned. … FEMA is responsible."
Riiight. (As already referenced above), what about fake reporter Jeff Gannon/James Guckert pitching softball questions to Bush and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan in 2003?
posted by ericb at 9:27 AM on October 27, 2007


Let me take a wild guess at what question FEMA so feared a reporter would have asked if they had been so foolish as to allow questions from reporters:

"Would these fires have gotten out of hand the way they did if so much of our National Guard and their equipment had not been bogged down in Iraq?"
posted by jamjam at 4:54 PM on October 27, 2007


Does anyone actually have any knowledge how FEMA is doing in SoCal?
posted by effugas at 6:07 PM on October 27, 2007


FEMA official involved in fake press conference resigns.
On Tuesday, while “wildfires raged” in California, FEMA staged a live press conference at which agency staffers posed as journalists and asked softball questions. One of those staffers, Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin, has now resigned. He has instead landed an “amazing opportunity” to head public affairs at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
posted by ericb at 9:20 PM on October 27, 2007


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