Former FEMA head Michael “heckuva job” Brown, is using the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina to say, “Don’t blame me for the disastrous government response.” And Fox News host Trish Regan was there to help!
Brown appeared on Fox's Your World show one day after he penned an op-ed in Politico called, “Stop Blaming Me for Hurricane Katrina.” One reason it’s not his fault is because people should not have expected him to be able to do his job too well in the first place:
The American public needs to learn not to rely on the government to save them when a crisis hits. The larger the disaster, the less likely the government will be capable of helping any given individual. We simply do not have the manpower to help everyone. Firefighters and rescue workers would all agree the true first responders are individual citizens who take care of themselves.
Karoli at Crooks and Liars was scathing in her assessment:
The entire Brown op-ed is nothing more than a zillion words of whining and excuse-making. He ran that agency, but pretends everything just "happened to him." As if he had no responsibility to anticipate and fix potential problems before they happened.
Conservatives do not believe in government, so they break it. And then they say, "Hey, it didn't work, so that just proves government cannot work." This is the thrust of the entire Michael Brown claim that we shouldn't blame him for the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, despite the fact that he didn't prepare, he had no clue how to respond, and he didn't believe government really should have responded.
But Fox host Regan seemed to think it was her job to validate Brown, not question anything he said. She began the interview by lobbing a softball: “Have you been sort of falsely tarnished by all of the events that happened there?"
Brown replied, "(Then Chief of Staff) Andy Card said that Michael Brown was not part of the problem, and when problems arose that Michael Brown was not given the opportunity to be a part of the solution, and I believe Andy Card."
"How did you not have that opportunity?" Regan asked.
Brown blamed then Department of Security secretary Michael Chertoff. "Under the Stafford Act, the FEMA Director reports directly to the President, and suddenly - Tom Ridge, the first secretary of Homeland Security, honored that process that had always been used, and then Michael Chertoff came in and Michael Chertoff broke that chain of command,” Brown said. “So we now had an added level of bureaucracy on top of us." He said it "took extra hours, and sometimes extra days" to execute a job.
Regan seemed to have done absolutely no research as to what Brown did or did not do during Katrina. Or if she had, she kept it to herself. Instead, she played the gracious host and helped promote those anti-government talking points. She said sympathetically, "That had to have been immensely frustrating for you to see that kind of bureaucracy at a time when really needed you to be able to just act."
"In the post-Katrina act, Congress, even after vilifying me, Congress came back and said, ‘You know what? Mr. Brown's right, we really need to codify that chain of command.’"
Regan said that in covering the storm, she had noticed the FEMA trailers sitting empty while people who needed them couldn’t reach them. “It really seemed to me to speak to the bureaucracy in our government.”
Brown also blamed President George W. Bush, saying that if Bush had asked the cabinet to “give this guy whatever he wants, I think that could've changed things."
"Was there not the will to do that?" Regan asked.
Brown said he kept “trying to make things work" but "every time something would go back to D.C., it would take an extra five hours." He added that by that time, “the bus had already run over me and that’s just politics. That’s the way it works.”
“And that’s also sometimes, big bloated government,” Regan helpfully added.
She closed by saying, "Wonderful to have you here."
Watch Regan help acquit Brown below, from the August 28 Your World. Underneath, watch Rachel Maddow shred Brown, from the August 27 The Rachel Maddow Show.