cubreporter.jpgFrom The Department of Planting Your Own Propaganda And Hoping No One Notices:  (H/T Atrios and TexBetsy)

He was apparently quite familiar with the reporters — in one case, he appears to say “Mike” and points to a reporter — and was asked an oddly in-house question about “what it means to have an emergency declaration as opposed to a major disaster declaration” signed by the president. He once again explained smoothly. …

“And so I think what you’re really seeing here is the benefit of experience, the benefit of good leadership and the benefit of good partnership,” Johnson said, “none of which were present in Katrina.” (Wasn’t Michael Chertoff DHS chief then?) Very smooth, very professional. But something didn’t seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA’s greatness.

Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We’re told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA’s deputy director of external affairs, and by “Mike” Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.

Of course, planting your own propaganda isn’t exactly new for the Bushies, now is it? And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the FUBAR that is FEMA (H/T Carpetbagger)…nope, nosiree, nothing to see here…unless, of course, this also qualifies as government sanction of covert propaganda (albeit incredibly poorly orchestrated and executed propaganda).  Oversight, anyone?

More from E&P, AP and USAToday.

(Photo of a “cub reporter” via Ataradrac.)