Small government advocates, take note of your latest ammunition: Apparently every federal agency now has a position in which the sole responsibility is cracking wise about television. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently tweeted about the third season of House Of Cards, lest anyone think the agency is too deeply mired in natural disaster preparedness to keep abreast of pop culture. According to Deadline, FEMA’s tweet refers to a season three plotline in which President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) circumvents a stubborn Congress by declaring unemployment a national state of emergency and raiding FEMA’s coffers to fund his job-creation legislation. The Stafford Act, which grants the president discretion to declare emergencies, doesn’t work that way, said a sassy, defiant FEMA to the fake president.
“Not buying it!” said Twitter’s policy wonks, readily accepting Underwood’s occasional homicides but drawing the line when House Of Cards plays fast-and-loose with executive authority. But the real problem, according to those who don’t have Roll Call bookmarked, is not the plotline itself, it’s that FEMA spoiled the scintillating twist for viewers who hadn’t seen it yet. The agency apologized in a subsequent tweet, saying it should have had the common decency to precede the Stafford Act primer with a “spoiler alert” tweet. No word yet on what percentage of the country’s irony reserves were drained as a result of FEMA responding to its reveal of a dry, minor plot point from a television show as if it was an emergency, a consequence of its effort to clarify how difficult it is to declare an emergency.