Thursday, July 14, 2005

FB-I Shouldn't Have Done That

If you go here or here you'll see that Portland FBI spokesperson Beth Anne Steele is in a world of hurt.

Steele used to be a producer at Channel 2, known for her crying jags. When she got the FBI gig, people there went, huh? Now most of us know her as they less-than-competent mouthpiece for the feds here. She's not a crowd favorite. We're told the Justice Department and the White House are furious. She's on leave right now, and we're told, not likely to survive this. Her boss may get sent to Siberia (Butte, Montana?).

The story in the O yesterday didn't go as far as Newsday or, most importantly Aljazeera, which I would think put a little pressure on Portland's security status.

It's interesting because last week I was watching a re-run of the West Wing when President Bartlett's daughter was kidnapped and the story thread had the Portland FBI rounding up Islamic Fundamentalists here. Wonder if BA got a consulting fee.

40 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Public Information Officer, I can say without fear of contradiction: unbelievable lapse of judgment. Another reminder that email is not (and never was) private communication.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 1:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone once said what goes around, comes around.

The bigger story is the Portland FBI office itself. Earlier this year the FBI's top guy in Portland, Mr. Jordan, got in Mayor Potter's face and questioned whether our mayor (and former police chief) could stand up to a FBI background check for the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Now, (soon to be former) FBI spokesperson Beth Anne Steele, admits that they picked up Mayfield because he was a Muslim and it would make them look good.

Will the reporters and editors and producers who read this web site have the courage to shine a new, bright light on the FBI office in Portland? I hope so.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth Anne Steele is the poster child for bad PIOs. I remember thinking when she was hired that maybe relations with the local FBI office would be better because "one of our own" was now on the inside. Wishful thinking!

This isn't the first time she's screwed up. There were a few stumbles during the Gaddis/Pond case as well.

I guess the biggest question about this latest incident is why the hell was Steele putting any information about an ongoing investigation in an email. She's a spokesperson, not a policy person. She should dispense what her superiors dish out...not speculate or blab about behind the scenes stuff.

Just bad form and a horrendous lapse in judgement.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 2:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no huge BA fan... but she was just passing on info from above. There's no way the FBI would let a non-sworn civilian make judgement calls like that. They're not that stupid... are they??? The question is can Mayfield and Gerry Spence be bought??? This case won't go to trial.

Friday, July 15, 2005 7:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FBI isn't stupid? You really must get out more, anonymous 7:11am.

If the G-Men had any brains and a computer system that worked, they could have stopped 9/11 cold, but they all failed to do the job they are paid so well for.

Oh, two FBI agents, one in Minneapolis and one in Phoenix knew what was up, but their superiors thought the Saudis were our very best friends because their President swore they were just playful little kittens!

I pray you, anonymous at 7:11am, are not a reporter. You just don't get it.

Friday, July 15, 2005 9:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... but she was just passing on info from above. There's no way the FBI would let a non-sworn civilian make judgement calls like that.

That's the point -- don't "pass on" sensitive information in an email. Geez...it's public official 101. I'll say it again: unbelievable lapse of judgment!

Friday, July 15, 2005 9:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... don't "pass on" sensitive information in an email. Geez...it's public official 101. I'll say it again: unbelievable lapse of judgment

Lapse of judgement? FBI methods exposed here were and are totally unacceptable, outing them was a great civic service of hers. Inadvertent perhaps but a big favor to us nevertheless. Do you really want the FBI to continue in their (Mayfield) ways? wg

Tuesday, July 19, 2005 9:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more. Beth Anne Steele's career SUICIDE was the best thing to happen to law-abiding citizens since J. Edgar Hoover died in his boyfriend's arms wearing that beautiful pink sun dress!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 9:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a police PIO I went to an FBI sponsored class on how to deal with the media. It was idiotic.

Beth Anne was doing what she was taught to do, treat the media like dirt.

She did not have any authority to say anything so whenever she was interviewed she looked idiotic.

See paragraph one, thats FBI standard procedure.

Charlie Matthews had a bit of personality but also was usually a terrible interview.

I have never seen the new guy do anything but scowl at Potter.

Friday, July 22, 2005 7:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portland's FBI office chief, "Jumpy" Jordan, was the HEAD OF FBI INTERNAL AFFAIRS in DC, for gosh sakes, until he tried to intimidate one of his workers for doing an interview on 60 Minutes.

The FBI's George "Slam Dunk" Tenet demoted "Jumpy" the next day and sent him on a one-way trip to Portland -- coach class.

Jordan's laugh-filled resume is all over the Net. B.A.'s resume... is being re-worked.

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