Al Kamen reports that FEMA is learning lessons from the Daily Show: Staging a mock press conference, and airing it as though it were real.
"Are you happy with FEMA's response so far?" a reporter asked. Another asked about "lessons learned from Katrina.""I'm very happy with FEMA's response so far," Johnson said, hailing "a very smoothly, very efficiently performing team."
...Very smooth, very professional. But something didn't seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA's greatness.
Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We're told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of external affairs, and by "Mike" Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John "Pat" Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.
Somebody needs to be fired for this.
UPDATE: FEMA's PR director has been... promoted!
UPDATE II: Faker fired!