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Blame game V.2.0

Reported by Chrish - March 3, 2006

Taking their cue from the White House, the folks at Fox are downplaying the video uncovered by the AP yesterday that showed various officials warning the White House about the impending Katrina disaster. Mike Emanuel was designated water-carrier today 3/2/06 on The Big Story.

John Gibson opened the segment by reminding viewers that the White House and Homeland Security, the two staffs being widely accused of incompetence in the Katrina disaster, don't want us to read too much into the tapes that show the meetings and briefings pre-landfall. There were multiple meetings, we're told, but all the tapes are not being made available.

Emanuel assures us that Bush was "heavily engaged in the response to Hurricane Katrina"
yet critics say the requests for disaster relief fell on deaf ears.

The damning tape is not played, of course, though clips of video are shown as Emanuel speaks. He references one official, the National Hurricane Center's Max Mayfield, who says he is uncertain whether the levees will be "topped" or not, but says it is a "grave concern." Comment: Do they really think that Bush will be absolved because he said nobody anticipated the levees would be "breached" and this fellow used the word "topped"? Again with the parsing of words!

Emanuels says that the White House understood the magnitude of the crisis but as recently as this week Bush said he was not satisfied with the federal government's response to the storm
Neither are we.

Today former FEMA chief Michael "Brownie" was on Tony Snow's radio show to put the blame squarely on the Dept. of Homeland Security, which owns FEMA. He wants to make clear that he was not "dissing" Bush, who was "doing everything he could to help" him, saying the problem lies with DHS.

"Critics" want to know why the response was slow, and Senate Democratic Leader HarryReid is calling for an investigation into the failures. He is shown saying " It's certain, from all the records we have, that they have systematically misled the American people to hide the basic incompetence of the recovery and the response."

Emanuel closes the segment saying that a DHS spokesman says, in answer to Brownie's criticism, that instead of fingerpointing they have to focus on being better prepared for the upcoming hurricane season.

Comment: How could they possibly do worse???

Note that responsibility is deflected from Bush, and this time it's DHS that takes the heat (much like the CIA did for the Iraq invasion). The video is diminished by being played with sound off and instead we get the spin from FOX. Fair and balanced, or propaganda? You decide.

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