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November 28, 2007

Immigration chief Myers took question from plant

Nick Juliano of Raw Story reports that Julie Myers began her career as the nation's top immigration enforcer by taking a planted question:

A top immigration official, who has been criticized for her youth, inexperience and poor judgment, took a question from a government employee posing as a reporter during her very first press conference last year, RAW STORY has learned.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement chief Julie Myers called on an agency spokeswoman who was standing with about a dozen other reporters during a February 2006 press conference in San Antonio. Critics had criticized Myers as an unfit nominee because of her lack of immigration experience and close ties to the Bush administration. Her performance at that first press conference was panned when she "struggle[d] to pronounce Nuevo Laredo," a Mexican border town that is a hot spot of criminal activity and drug trafficking into the US.

The ICE employee was told not to ask any questions, and she was verbally reprimanded after doing so, according to a letter delivered last week to the House Committee on Homeland Security. [RS]

Interesting that a spokeswoman had to be specifically instructed not to pose as a reporter at a press conference.

Reminds me of the old joke about the sailor who writes in the ship's log: "The captain was drunk today."

His shipmate exclaims, "You can't put that in the log!"

So, the sailor appends the record to read, "The captain was not drunk today."



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"struggle[d] to pronounce Nuevo Laredo,"

Too stupid to know how to pronounce two easy words in a language with an orthography so ruthlessly regular that etymological traces are routinely and casually obliterated. Figures.

Sorry for the off-topic quibble, I can't resist my rare chance to correct. The joke - it should be the mate wrote in the log. The meaning of the word sailor varies with context. If one mariner (to use todays term) is identified as the captain then the term sailor would refer to what might be called a deck hand. Typically a sailor wouldn't write in the log. I recall a Gary Larson cartoon, the scene is in an office, a hat is being passed around. As explanation, the caption says: "Suzy is getting married, yes we know it is the third time, but the last two times she married a sailor from an aircraft carrier. This time she is marrying a cook from a heavy cruiser."

This planted question thing just keeps going and going like the Energizer Bunny! Now CNN is under fire for using plants at the Las Vegas debate! This is getting ridiculous. Both parties should be ashamed. I only see this getting worse over the next year as this race really heats up. Sad.

Right, mate. :)

I think the public is finally getting fed up with the planted questions, from Hillary, the FEMA crew, and everyone else. Richardson's campaign impressed me by pledging not to plant questions. I haven't heard that out of any other campaign, but then again, I don't know how many campaigns have been asked that question on the record.

Every time I hear these stories, I imagine the fake reporters wearing brown trenchcoats and fedoras with big fake press passes sticking out of them. They speak in tinny, forced 40s-movie accents and say "Miss Administratah, Miss Administratah -- what is it like to do such a dynamite job?"

The planted question is as old as the hills.

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