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 user 2007-10-29 at 12:14:00 pm Views: 80
  • #18910

    Fema sorry for ‘fake’ conference
    US Federal Emergency Management Administration has apologised for
    having its employees pose as reporters at a hastily arranged news
    conference.No actual reporters were able to attend Fema’s televised
    briefing on the fires in California on Tuesday because they were only
    been given 15 minutes notice.

    Instead, press officers asked
    questions many described as soft and gratuitous.A spokeswoman for
    Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff called the incident
    “inexcusable and offensive”.”We have made it clear that stunts such as
    this will not be tolerated or repeated,” Laura Keehner said, adding
    that the department was considering whether or not to reprimand those

    ‘Error of judgement’
    Fema employees posed as
    reporters at Tuesday’s “news briefing” with Deputy Administrator Harvey
    Johnson because an agency was providing a live video feed to US TV
    networks, according to the Washington Post.Six questions were posed by
    the Fema officials and Mr Johnson even used the typical practice of
    calling for a “last question”.”I’m very happy with Fema’s response,” Mr
    Johnson said in reply to one query from an employee.After the
    Washington Post published details of the briefing, which one of its
    reporters listened to by phone, Mr Johnson apologised for the “error of
    judgement” and promised to do better in future.”Our intent was to
    provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we
    have received,” he said in a statement.”We are reviewing our press
    procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of
    our communications are straight forward and transparent.”Fema was
    widely criticised for its response to Hurricane Katrina. Its former
    administrator, Michael Brown, was forced to resign despite President
    George W Bush initially declaring he was doing a “heck of a job”.