No, this is not the Daily Show nor the Colbert Report but instead it is FEMA. The Federal Emergency Management Agency held it's own press conference. When I mean it's own, I mean that there were no reporters. All the questions were asked by FEMA employees. MSNBC and Fox carried portions of the "news" conference live. This is better than Jeff Gannon.
Have you seen Michael Chertoff's reaction? (like he didn't know) "I think it was one of the dumbest and most inappropriate things I've seen since I've been in government," Michael Chertoff said. Remember that this was standard operating procedure at the White House. So, someone didn't get the memo that the White House was sort of going back to reality.
Update: FEMA official resigns.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's No. 2 official apologized yesterday for leading a staged news conference Tuesday in which FEMA employees posed as reporters while real reporters listened on a telephone conference line and were barred from asking questions.
"We are reviewing our press procedures and will make the changes necessary to ensure that all of our communications are straight forward and transparent," Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson Jr., FEMA's deputy administrator, said in a four-paragraph statement
In the briefing, parts of which were televised live by cable news channels, Johnson stood behind a lectern, called on questioners who did not disclose that they were FEMA employees, and gave replies emphasizing that his agency's response to this week's California wildfires was far better than its response to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. (more...)