Well, I had meant to write about this before, but forgot, so now that the first personnel causality has taken place, I’ll write…
About a week ago, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held a press conference, problem is, they forgot to tell the press until 15 minutes before, so they had them phone in, but not ask questions. Instead, questions were posed by the staff. And these were easy questions that made FEMA look good.
As a result, John P. Philbin, the agency’s public relations chief, was fired, even though he claims that the stunt was not intended to deceive the public, just inform them in the midst of the mistake in not alerting the press of the conference. Sounds like bull crap, but it could be true.
This comes just 2 years after FEMA messed up when it came to Katrina (but let me say, it was not as much FEMA’s fault as we all say – “Mayor” Ray Nagin and Governor Kathleen Blanco were just as much to blame – he should’ve just put people on buses and had them drive north – worry about where they’re going to stay AFTER they’re out of the city. And Governor Blanco – how did you not know that it was your job to dispatch the state’s National Guard, not the Presidents? – that’s just BULL CRAP!) Anyway, it is now policy that staff not ask questions and that reporters be given ample notification. Russ Knocke, Homeland Security press secretary, has taken over the press operations of FEMA for the time being.
Tags: Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, Homeland Security, Hurricane, John Philbin, Kathleen Blanco, Katrina, National Guard, press conference, Press Secretary, public relations, Ray Nagin, Russ Knocke