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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, November 09, 2007

FEMA Follies

Well, at least FEMA has learned to act with speed. Now all the have to do is pick the right projects.

The Washington Post reports today on how the federal agency that became the synonym for incompetence in New Orleans solidified that reputation by calling for a fake news conference. The answer reflects yet again the Bush administration's disdain for the truth.
The review "found nothing that indicated malicious or preconceived intent to deceive the media or the public," said FEMA's acting director of external affairs, Russ Knocke, who conducted the inquiry. "As an aside, the content of the press event was accurate," Knocke said Wednesday night. "It is obvious that there was a significant lack of leadership within FEMA external affairs."
As long as it is not malicious and without preconception then deception is OK, appears to be the operative philosophy. The problem, Knocke seems to be saying is they got caught.

How does that philosophy differ from propaganda:
What sets propaganda apart from other forms of advocacy is the willingness of the propagandist to change people's understanding through deception and confusion, rather than persuasion and understanding.
The explanations is obvious. We were taught that only the bad guys use propaganda. The lack of leadership extends far beyond the FEMA external affairs folks.

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