EBRmx has a story by Michael van Poppel about FEMA staging a fake news conference that was picked up on some cable news outlets. The article features a grab of FNC covering the fake presser but I don’t know if MSNBC and CNN also covered it.
Update: MSNBC covered it too. Hot Air.com has the video. Still no word on whether CNN did…
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. government’s main disaster-response agency, has apologized for having its employees pose as reporters in a hastily called news conference on California’s wildfires that no news organizations were able to attend in time.
FEMA, which is still struggling to restore its image after the bungled handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, issued the apology after The Washington Post published details of the briefing which took place on Tuesday.
“We can and must do better, and apologize for this error in judgment,” FEMA deputy administrator Harvey Johnson, who conducted the briefing, said in a statement. “Our intent was to provide useful information and be responsive to the many questions we have received.”
No actual reporter attended the news conference in person, agency spokesman Aaron Walker said.
Update 2: The AP has the story…
FEMA gave real reporters only 15 minutes notice about Tuesday’s news conference . But because there was so little advance notice, the agency made available an 800 number so reporters could call in. And many did, although it was a listen-only arrangement.
On Tuesday, FEMA employees had played the part of reporters. Johnson issued a statement Friday, saying that FEMA’s goal was “to get information out as soon as possible, and in trying to do so we made an error in judgment.”