Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA's early Halloween costume party

I couldn't resist taking this quick shot ...

Many are rightly up in arms about FEMA's sham press conference where they masqueraded the agency's own employees as journalists posing questions to deputy administrator Harvey Johnson (see the Reuters story US disaster agency apologizes for fake 'reporters'). Considering FEMA's image sensitivity after the black eye of their mishandling of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, and following repeated attempts by the White House to use paid propagandists to shape public perceptions, is anyone really surprised?

That said, it's hard not to wonder whether the event would have gone any differently had "real" news writers shown up. With the current sorry state of American journalism, where mass media reporters spend more time investigating the substance abuse of young starlets than the constitutional crimes of Bush and Cheney, it's not hard to imagine their pens dutifully parroting the administration's party line on the California wildfire relief efforts.
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