One thing our current government situation has going for it is a sense of loyalty, even when they get hung out to dry as the patsy. Yes, it is bad that once again FEMA is in the spotlight in a bad way over the staged news conference they pulled last week. But after Michael “Heck of a job Brownie” Brown, and the disaster that was FEMA after Hurricane Katrina, I don’t find this all that surprising. After the wildfires in California, it was an opportunity for FEMA to puff its chest and take (steal) the credit for all the fine work done by the firefighters, and they weren’t going to risk having a reporter screw this up by asking a question they weren’t prepared for, it to bring up something like Katrina, when they clearly wanted to show how competent they are “now.”
So, they screwed up, and got caught. Now they needed to find a fall guy, and that was publicist John Philbin. This is the way our current government works. They find the lowest person they can leave twisting in the wind, and sack that person. Again, not much of a surprise there. What I do find so astounding is the unwavering loyalty after the fact. I mean, Mr. Philbin was quite willing to accept all the blame, and says “I should have canceled the FEMA press briefing.” Nice and neatly packaged. Except, it seems to me that it is just a continuation of the lie.
C’mon, are we really supposed to believe that nobody, including Vice Adm. Harvey Johnson, who took the questions from the staff, and clearly from the tone and the actually addressing at least one person by name, had no idea that this was staged? Were these little nobody staffers that perhaps the Admiral was not aware were members of his office? Doubtful, since the questions were asked by people like, Cindy Taylor, FEMA’s deputy director of external affairs, and by “Mike” Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs as well as Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin (yes the man fired, the man that put the news conference together. Let me just make this clear, in case it isn’t already. Vice Admiral Johnson contacts Philbin to put together a news briefing. Philbin is in the “crowd of reporters” asking a question at that news briefing… and Johnson suspects nothing? Even if that were actually true… aren’t you scared to have somebody so inanely curious in such a position?