The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has taken some well-deserved heat for its ersatz “press conference” held in response to October’s California wildfires, but, as it happens, FEMA wasn’t the first to stage such a smoke-and-mirrors act.


AP via Yahoo News:

On Feb. 3, 2006, an official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked a question during a news conference in San Antonio, Texas, according to an investigation by the Homeland Security Department — the parent agency of both FEMA and ICE.

The ICE public affairs official was standing with about 12 reporters but did not identify herself when she posed the question, Homeland Security’s head of public affairs, J. Edward Fox, wrote in a Nov. 19 letter to the chairman of the House Homeland Security committee. After the news conference, the government employee was verbally reprimanded for asking the question, Fox told Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.

Unlike the recent FEMA incident, Fox said the ICE public affairs official was advised against asking the question, but asked anyway and did not identify herself as staff. San Antonio reporters knew she was a public affairs official at the time.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig