Monday, October 29, 2007

It's out-the-door Pat, rather than good job Pat

A revolution has taken place in the Bush administration.

Instead of the usual pat-on-the-back ("good job Pat") Pat Philbin, the man who oversaw public affairs at the Federal Emergency Management Agency last week when the agency held a fake news conference about the California wildfires will no longer take over as head of public relations for Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, a job he was scheduled to move into yesterday. In fact it seems that instead of the usual Bush administration pat on the back when someone screws up Philbin has been fired (or possibly submitted his resignation).

The other possible explanation, of course, is that Philbin wasn't a Bush crony so he was expendable in an attempt to tamp down the effects of the bizarre press conference.

Although as we know phony reporters at press conferences is hardly out-of-character for the Bush administration. We all remember, a reporter named Jeff Gannon, who turned up at White House briefings and press conferences for more than two years, where he asked decidedly pro-Bush questions. It, of course, turned out that "Jeff Gannon" was really Jim Guckert, a reporter for a website called "Talon News," which was associated with the online group GOPUSA. com, owned by Texas Republicans.

1 comment:

Jeff Gannon said...

Old Media Ablaze Over Staged FEMA Presser

Liberal activists and the Old Media are aghast and outraged over a press conference conducted last Tuesday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Reporters were only able to listen to a department spokesman respond to questions about relief efforts for the California wildfires posed by other members of the FEMA staff. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff appropriately chastised the sham press conference and promised an investigation and disciplinary action and the White House expressed its displeasure with the incident.

Surely no one at FEMA believed that the staged event would not immediately be discovered and criticized. What could the motivation have been for such a stunt? Perhaps FEMA wanted an opportunity to present its version of events before the Old Media created its own reality about the fires and the actions of the agency. News consumers had already listened to reporters making comparisons to the federal response to Hurricane Katrina and attempting to find fault with the handling of relief efforts. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had to take ABC’s Claire Shipman by the hand to convince her that everything possible was being done and that she should stop trying to invent mistakes and shortcomings. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and other environuts demagogued the tragedy as evidence of the effect of global warming, while California Democrats like Sen. Barbara Boxer and Lt. Governor John Garamendi incorrectly claimed that relief efforts were impeded by having troops and equipment in Iraq.

One of the lessons learned in the wake of Katrina is how the unaccountable Old Media are able to create a false impression that their ideological soul mates in the Democratic Party use for political advantage. In my book, “The Great Media War: A Battlefield Report”, I detail the flawed coverage of one of the greatest natural disasters in American history – a record that has yet to be corrected.

When I learned of the fake news conference, I expected that the characterization of Jeff Gannon as a “phony reporter” would be revived. Liberal media activist Keith Olbermann noted it on his nightly train wreck of a talk show and the lefties of the blogosphere dutifully repeated it ad nauseum. This is a classic case of how a lie becomes reality, since the record proves otherwise. I was as real as a reporter gets, writing over 500 articles as a White House correspondent, a job that Secret Service records indicate I actually showed up for more than 200 times over the course of two years. The veracity of my work as a reporter has never been successfully challenged.

Further, in 2006 – a year after my supposed exposure as a “phony reporter” - my peers accepted me into the National Press Club, the most prestigious association of professional journalists in the world. My book about the media will be featured at the National Press Club’s 30th annual book fair on November 1. Not bad for a “fake, fraud and phony.”