Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA Orwellian News Conference: Flash In the Pan or Futurespeak?

FEMA’s Deputy Administrator, Vice Admiral Harvey Johnson needed to hold a news conference today over FEMA’s reaction to the wildfire and refugee situation in California, and he needed it fast.

So fast that, when it came time to call up the newspapers and news services, well, they skipped that step. Time’s a-wasting after all, and they have to move, move, move.

So he invited his staffers to the “news conference” to pose as journalists and they threw nerf balls at him in terms of questions.

“Are you happy with FEMA’s performance in the California fire fight,” asked a questioner named Mike. Harvey replied “Yes, I am very happy”.

You could even see the look of consternation on ol’ Harvey’s face and practically read his thoughts: “Holy heck, Mike, ask something a little tougher, don’t make this too obvious”.

Another questioner asked this:

“Sir, we understand the secretary and the administrator of FEMA are on their way out there. What is their objective? And is there anyone else traveling with them?”
This is a disturbing turn of events. Disturbing because some people in our federal government thought that this was actually a good idea, and also thought that they would be able to get away with it. Someone who maybe has the Holy Bible and a copy of George Orwell’s 1984 on their bedstead.

One of the slogans of “The Party” in Orwell’s book went like this:

“Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”
Having your own shills asking you questions at a staged press conference appears to be all about controlling the present. Something FEMA has never been able to master since coming under the leadership of the Bush regime. This blatant attempt at controlling the media by becoming the media.

My hope is that this was a rogue event that won’t become the norm. I am characteristically pessimistic, though, and expect more to come. Why? Think about the other party slogans. Any of them sound familiar?


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