Nearly five years on from Katrina, Mike Brown is still doing a "heck of a job." Just ask him. According to a February 3rd story at KDVR.com, Brown or his producers have selected this sound bite from former President George W. Bush as an opening salute for his new show on KOA, a conservative talk station in Denver, CO.
To this day, it seems, Mike Brown refuses to take any of the blame for the Katrina debacle. "I did nothing wrong in terms of I didn't commit a crime I didn't violate any rules, it was a political disaster, I got thrown under the bus by the President," he told KDVR.
Did nothing wrong? Did nothing at all - at least nothing of substance. Doing nothing is exactly what Brownie is accusing Obama of now, and proposing a new theory on the administration's response to the oil in the Gulf. On May 4th, 2010, "Brownie" gave an interview to Fox News' Neil Cavuto. One might ask why Fox News would consult Mike Brown as an authority on the catastrophe at all, but that is the subject for another article.
According to the transcript, found at foxnews.com, Brown promulgated this theory:
The president is off in San Diego strumming the guitar. Obama is back East going to the White House Correspondents Dinner. You're now nine days into the storm [emphasis added --Freudian slip?] -- into the disaster, and actually now, only now is the president appearing to be engaged.
And I think the delay was this: it's pure politics. This president has never supported big oil. He has never supported offshore drilling. And now he has an excuse to shut it back down.
In fact, Obama has been engaged in the crisis since the night of the explosion on Deep Water Horizon. The White House Blog offers a timeline and description of Obama's response which they complied "in the spirit of transparency so the American people can have a clear understanding of what their government has been and is doing to respond to the massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster." I'd love to see the White House chronology in response to Katrina. I'm willing to bet it's a short document.
According to the White House, the night of the explosion two Coast Guard cutters, four helicopters and one rescue plane were deployed, search and rescue was initiated, a command center was set up on the Gulf and NOAA was mobilized "within three hours" to "provide trajectory support and coordinated scientific weather and biological response services."
The next day, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes was deployed to the Gulf to provide onsite updates for the administration. Interagency co-ordinations began to take place as well as multiple co-ordinations and communications with BP and the National Parks Services got to work on contingency plans to protect wildlife and coastlines. Throughout all of this, Obama was briefed multiple times during the day and has had his hand in things from the beginning.
Friday the 23rd, the sunken Deep Water Horizon vessel was located, and no leak was apparent at that time. Still, a "principal level meeting" on what to do in case the situation worsened took place in the White House Situation Room. The EPA prepared to deploy further resources to the Gulf. The Unified Air Command was "stood up," and two other pipelines in the Gulf were shut down for inspection.
All of this took place within the first 72 hours of the crisis, and response has escalated since then.
I can only imagine that it is one of the great difficulties of the job of President, to have to focus on multiple crises, events, meetings, agendas all at once. Just because President Obama is seen to be keeping up his schedule in other ways, Mike Brown assumes that he is not involved in the Gulf Crisis? But then we know that multi-tasking, or tasking at all is not one of Brownie's strong suits.
Brown did not limit his criticism to the Obama administration, however; he continued his propensity for inaccuracy with a fantasy-based rebuke of the media. Again, according to the Fox News transcript:
The media has been ignoring it for two weeks... we only started to see them when it started to approach the Louisiana coast. And, then, oh, my God, look, we got to do something. I just -- I think the media sat back. And I would not be surprised if the White House said, you know, we might be able to, guess what, do what? Use this crisis to our advantage. Let this crisis get really bad, and then we will step in. We will be able to shut down offshore drilling. We will be able to turn to all these alternate fuels.
In fact The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal and others have been reporting on Deep Water Horizon explosion and spill since April 21, 2010. Huh. Not much for research, I guess, Mr. Brown.
Of course, Mike Brown also uses fantasy to revise his own role in the Katrina debacle. When Mr. Cavuto asked Brown about the similarities between Katrina and the current Gulf crisis, he responded:
I think here are the similarities, Neil. First of all, you have a disaster occur, and the Coast Guard shows up immediately. That's their job. In Katrina, FEMA showed up immediately... Here's what is different, because we were actually on the ground also. We knew what was going on and how bad it was and kept reaching back to the White House, saying, we need these things. We need X, Y, and Z. (May 4th Interview with Neil Cavuto for Fox News)
Again, according to Mike Brown's emails published by CNN and others, what Brown "need[ed]" was advice on what to wear, and for someone to "rescue him" since he was "trapped" in the Gulf disaster area. "Can I quit now?" he wondered to Cindy Taylor, Deputy Director of FEMA's Public Affairs the morning of the storm.
Despite his inaccuracies and expertise in ______________?, Brown expects to be terrific at his new gig as radio host. Referring to himself in the third person, he states:
"Here's a guy who's seen the best of government when things work perfectly, here's a guy who's seen when things don't work at all. Who better to understand that entire spectrum of how things work," said Brown in the February 3rd interview with KDVR.
Well, perhaps he's right. If adding another ill-informed, blame-shifting blowhard to its roster is the aim of conservative radio, then they're doin' a heck of a job!