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October 27, 2007 – Comments (5)

Bush appointee and FEMA head Michael Chertoff had to deal with a public relations blunder. It seems a couple of his FEMA people decided to stage a press conference and got caught. Rather than just issue a press release they decided it would better to pretend they were reporters and ask FEMA Deputy Director Harvey Johnson some easy questions. Poor Michael Chertoff showing no understanding of the effects of managements behavior on employee behavior was reported complaining he "can't explain why it happened". I thought I would like to help and I believe this article explains alot.

Even though the FEMA response seems to be going well, you still have to try something manipulative. I mean, they wanted to show upper management they could do the job.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On October 28, 2007 at 12:26 AM, MakeItSeven (32.24) wrote:

That was only one step from the Presidential Advance Manual to make sure that only Bush supporters are allowed in all "public" gatherings.

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#2) On October 28, 2007 at 12:35 AM, camistocks (< 20) wrote:

When I first read this I wasn't sure if I should burst out in laughter or be shocked. And the TV stations were broadcasting it just like that...

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#3) On October 28, 2007 at 6:57 AM, devoish (98.36) wrote:

TV has found it much less expensive to just broadcast anything given to them by anyone with the ability to make a nice video(Pleae don't leave us HollywoodDan). It is about selling and collecting advertising revenues as cheaply as possible. Imagine if you could get someone else to create the news story and give it to you for free. I mean, how would you know whether or not it was just a long advertisement surrounded by shorter ones?

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#4) On October 28, 2007 at 12:53 PM, StockSpreadsheet (71.63) wrote:

I had to laugh that the reporters got all bent-out-of-shape about government employees impersonating reporters.  I do NOT condone this practice and think it showed a severe lack of judgement and hope that the government employees that perpetrated this hoax will be fired just on principle.  This is not the way that our government should be run.  This is especially true in light of the fact that FEMA hasn't screwed up their response to the San Diego fires nearly as bad as they screwed up with New Orleans and Katrina.  (Though it should be said that most of the help, volunteers and supplies to the victims of the fires have been by and through San Diegans, with help from county and state officials.  We also got much quicker help from the military this time than we got in the Fires of 2003, but I don't think that FEMA had anything to do with that.  I think that was just lessons learned and wrists slapped from the debacle last time in 2003.)

I do feel it should be pointed out, however, that reports are not above creating phony sources for reporting, making up stories, etc..  I remember at least one instance, in a report on drug abuse and drug abusers, that a reporter won a Pulitzer prize for their reporting, only to have it come out later, (when there was an outcry about the subjects in the report and a search to find them), that the reporter made up the whole story and had to give back his Pulitzer prize.  Other times, they have taken the experiences of many and lumped them together into a single fictional character that they used to embody the whole story into one tragic tale of one lost soul.  (Similar to what many historians think about how the King Arthur legends came about.)  Other times, the press has staged “dramatizations” and reported them as real facts until they were caught and had to print retractions stating that they staged the whole thing to get good pictures they could print in the papers or show on TV.  So I think that this is a prime example of the pot-calling-the-kettle-black and a blatant hypocrisy by the press.  I DO think the press should castigate the FEMA employees for impersonating reporters and lobbing “softball” questions at the FEMA Deputy Director, but their holier-than-thou stance is laughable and hypocritical.  “Remove the log from your own eye before you worry about the splinter in the eye of another.” 

Craig

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#5) On October 31, 2007 at 7:41 AM, devoish (98.36) wrote:

You are 100% correct. I am reminded of a TV "investigative report" done years ago about showing that GM trucks were unsafe because the gas tanks were mounted outside the frames and therefore vulnerable to explosion in an accident. The invetsigators started ramming the gas tanks with cars in an effort to film the tank exploding for TV. When the tanks did not explode they put explosive charges on the tanks and finished filming a show that warned of the danger. This was instead of just determining that there was no danger based on being unable to explode the tanks. It aired.

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