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Promotion on Hold for FEMA Fake News Conference Organizer/His Background is in Public Relations

Alex Constantine - October 29, 2007

John "Pat" Philbin, the FEMA official who oversaw a fake news conference last week, will not be taking a job today as the chief spokesman for National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, the Associated Press says.

The wire service quotes an intelligence official who says the agency is reevaluating Philbin's record in light of the high-profile incident, which featured government employees posing as reporters during a hastily arranged briefing on the agency's response to the southern California wildfires.

Original Headline: "New job put off for man behind FEMA's fake news conference"
Philbin's background is largely in public relations, where fake news is standard procedure. From the FEMA web site:

John P. "Pat" Philbin was promoted as the Director, Office of External Affairs for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in March 2007. ...

Prior to joining FEMA, Pat worked for Anteon/General Dynamics Information Technology as a Technical Director where served as a consultant in strategic communication to the Department of Defense's Business Transformation Agency directing and assisting in communication efforts to Capitol Hill, the Government Accountability Office, and the general public.

Pat also served as the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Communications for a private security firm.

Pat served for more than 21 years in the Coast Guard, retiring as Chief of Public Affairs in 2004. Other notable staff assignments include serving as the Deputy Chief of the Coast Guard's Strategic Analysis Staff, Press Assistant to the Commandant and Chief of Coast Guard Media Relations. Operational assignments include more than seven years of shipboard experience, including command of two Coast Guard cutters.

Pat holds a Doctorate in Communication from the University of Maryland, a Master of Science in Public Relations from Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Science in Government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He also holds an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

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