This ill-starred agency’s fake press conference set back the cause of government media relations for years by trying to pass off propaganda as news
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord is supposed to have remarked of the reactionary monarchs Louis XVIII and Charles X, kings of France after the 1815 Restoration: “The Bourbons have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”
Exactly the same could be said of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) bureaucrats under Vice Admiral Harvey E. Johnson—the successor to Michael D. Brown, he of the infamous e-mail to a friend calling attention to his own sartorial splendor on TV while New Orleans was choking and drowning.
FEMA is just as inept, just as silly, just as irrelevant, just as rife with political hacks as it was on Aug. 29, 2005. Perhaps more so; at least Michael Brown, whose experience in disaster management had been limited to personally creating catastrophes as director of an international association of horse breeders, never descended to staging a fake press conference.