Horrors Of Katrina Asftermath Cause White House Press Conference Meltdown
By Darryl Mason
The American media have turned on the White House over the failure of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Homeland Security to prevent the deaths of thousands of people in New Orleans, and other cities and towns smashed by Hurricane Katrina.
For months the media have cruised their way through press briefings with White House spokesman Scott McClellan who has regularly used a type of psychological warfare to confuse, intimidate and conjugate the mainstream media.
A number of journalists in the room during yesterday’s press conference saw for themselves the incomprehensible death and destruction on the streets of New Orleans. The media, finally, are fighting back against the Lords of Spin, including the Grand Wizard of propaganda Scott McClennan himself.
Here’s some excerpts from the fiery press conference yesterday :
Q Scott, does the President retain confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security?
MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, see, this is where some people want to look at the blame game issue, and finger-point. We're focused on solving problems, and we're doing everything we can --
Q What about the question?
MR. McCLELLAN: We're doing everything we can in support --
Q We know all that.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.
Q Does he retain complete confidence --
MR. McCLELLAN: We're going to continue. We appreciate the great effort that all of those at
FEMA, including the head of FEMA, are doing to help the people in the region. And I'm just not going to engage in the blame game or finger-pointing that you're trying to get me to engage.
Q Okay, but that's not at all what I was asking.
MR. McCLELLAN: Sure it is. It's exactly what you're trying to play.
Q You have your same point you want to make about the blame game, which you've said enough now. I'm asking you a direct question, which you're dodging.
MR. McCLELLAN: No --
Q Does the President retain complete confidence in his Director of FEMA and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?
MR. McCLELLAN: I just answered the question.
Q Is the answer "yes" on both?
MR. McCLELLAN: And what you're doing is trying to engage in a game of finger-pointing.
Q There's a lot of criticism. I'm just wondering if he still has confidence.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- and blame-gaming. What we're trying to do is solve problems, David. And that's where we're going to keep our focus.
Q So you're not -- you won't answer that question directly?
MR. McCLELLAN: I did. I just did.
Q No, you didn't. Yes or no? Does he have complete confidence or doesn't he?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, if you want to continue to engage in finger-pointing and blame-gaming, that's fine --
Q Scott, that's ridiculous. I'm not engaging in any of that.
MR. McCLELLAN: It's not ridiculous.
Q Don't try to accuse me of that. I'm asking you a direct question and you should answer it. Does he retain complete confidence in his FEMA Director and Secretary of Homeland Security, yes or no?
MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said -- that's exactly what you're engaging in.
Q I'm not engaging in anything. I'm asking you a question about what the President's views are --
MR. McCLELLAN: Absolutely -- absolutely --
Q -- under pretty substantial criticism of members of his administration. Okay? And you know that, and everybody watching knows that, as well.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, everybody watching this knows, David, that you're trying to engage in a blame game.
Q I'm trying to engage?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes.
Q I am trying to engage?
MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct.
Q That's a dodge. I have a follow-up question since you dodged that one. Does the White House feel like it missed opportunities to alleviate or head off some of the damage in the New Orleans area, flood damage? Did it miss an opportunity to head any of that off?
MR. McCLELLAN: In what way?
Q Does the President agree with his mother that the homeless taken from New Orleans to Houston are much better off now because they were underprivileged in New Orleans?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think she was making a personal observation on some of the comments that people were making that she was running into. I'm not sure that that's exactly what she said, but --
Q I have it right here if you need it.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- what we're focused on -- what we're focused on is helping these people who are in need.
Q Does he agree with his mother?
MR. McCLELLAN: And I think that the observation is based on someone who -- or some people that were talking to her, that were in need of a lot of assistance, people that have gone through a lot of trauma and been through a very difficult and trying time. And all of a sudden, they are now getting great help in the state of Texas from some of the shelters.
Q "It's scary that they're all coming to Texas."
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I think you can look at her comments.
Q: “It’s scary that they’re coming to Texas.”
Q When did the President know that Katrina was the kind of hurricane that could overtop the levees?
MR. McCLELLAN: A lot of the media reports that were coming out Monday, Monday night, Tuesday morning were expressing that it had missed the massive flooding that some had projected in a worst-case scenario.
Q The President of the United States was getting his information about this major disaster from the media?
You don't need Scott McClellan to know the answer to the last question was : "Yes."