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The White House, Claiming It's Above Playing the "Blame Game," Leaves That to Fox

Reported by Melanie - September 6, 2005

At 4:15 p.m. today (September 6, 2005), Fox returned from an ad break with a Fox News Alert. After the dramatic music and graphics of the alert, Fox began airing a live shot (no audio) of a press conference being held by Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). Clinton and Mikulski were announcing legislation they introduced today to, "restore FEMA to Cabinet-level, independent federal agency status to ensure that it has the authority it needs to effectively manage recovery efforts for future national crises."

While Fox stayed on Clinton and Mikulski (again, no audio), Cavuto said:

Well, fuming over FEMA. You're looking at Hillary Clinton and Senator Barbara Mikulski [notice Cavuto referred to Mikulski as a senator but not Clinton]. They're calling for FEMA to be taken out of the Department of Homeland Security as an independent agency. This represents, at least for some Democrats, I don't know about these ladies' respective positions prior to this, a bit of a reversal. They were for an omnibus Homeland Security Department that would include FEMA which was ultimately what they got, and now, given some (inaudible) criticized at the slow response to Katrina, now they're calling for yanking FEMA out of that. So, it strikes at least maybe me, as a bit odd, but nevertheless, they're taking that position right now amid massive criticism of FEMA and what some say was a belated and rather clumsy response to Katrina.

Comment: As could be expected, Cavuto didn't mention that Bill Frist (R-TN) also called for an investigation, in his case, by the Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Nor did he mention that Susan Collins (R-ME), the head of that committee, and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) held a press conference earlier today during which they said their committee's investigation, will "keep an open mind about whether FEMA should stay in the Homeland Security Department created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks." No, a live shot of two "ladies," one the hated Hillary Clinton, doing that flip-flop thing again, even if they weren't ("I don't know about these ladies' respective positions prior to this"), was too much to resist.

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