Keeping with the politics-as-theater theme…:
No one had any hard questions for the deputy administrator of FEMA, an agency deeply tarnished by its delayed action after Hurricane Katrina, when he held a news conference Tuesday to talk about the California wildfires.
“Are you happy with FEMA’s response so far?” someone asked.
Indeed, the deputy administrator was. “I am very happy with FEMA’s response so far,” responded Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr.
The news conference looked like a success in the Bush administration’s effort this week to demonstrate it could respond competently to a disaster.
On Friday, however, the agency admitted that the softball questions were posed by FEMA employees, not reporters.
This is when you know they’ve hit bottom. When they can’t even find one sympathetic reporter to sugarcoat anything, so they have the employees form their own circle jerk. If our pansy-ass press is considered too aggressive, even with the media’s unfortunate habit of taking everything the government says at face value, that really says a lot.
Of course, having been caught, the ruling regime had to pretend to condemn it:
The White House was not happy with FEMA’s response.
“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.”
Anyone that remembers how strictly they screened audiences at events where Bush was attempting to speak knows the tendency is already there. Anything to show a unified front, the truth is irrelevant.
That’s politics for you. It is considered more important to seem to be efficient than to actually be efficient. The system really discredits itself if you watch it long enough.