Fake Press Conferences Aren't Just for FEMA

When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) held a fake news conference in October, with FEMA staffers asking their boss softball questions about the California wildfires, Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff strongly condemned it. However, "on Feb. 3, 2006, an official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked a question during a news conference in San Antonio, Texas." The earlier incident came to light during the Department's investigation of the FEMA incident, which has not been made public. Homeland Security is the "parent agency" of both FEMA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to the Associated Press, "the ICE public affairs official was standing with about 12 reporters but did not identify herself when she posed the question." She had been "advised against asking the question, but asked anyway." After the incident, she was "verbally reprimanded." According to the Associated Press, "San Antonio reporters knew she was a public affairs official at the time."