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Monday, February 27, 2006
Then and Now
Topic: NewsBusters
Back in September, NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein was defending ex-FEMA director Michael Brown from Katie Couric:

Chorus-leader Couric first grilled FEMA Director Michael Brown. Criticized about the lack of law and order, Brown said that by Sunday there would be 30,000 National Guard troops on the ground. That wasn't good enough for Katie, who after saying she didn't want to "belabor the point" went on to do just that, carping that "it seems like a pretty long lag time."

Katie then turned to the lack of funding to improve the levee system. "Why weren't federal funds allocated for that?"

Brown: "with all due respect to you, I'm focused on life-saving efforts now."

A clenched-jaw Couric cut him off rudely: "but that might have saved lives, Mr. Brown."

How times change. From a Feb. 27 NewsBusters post by Finkelstein:

If you look in the dictionary next to 'disgruntled', expect to find a photo of former FEMA Director Michael Brown. As the Today show graphic read, "Michael Brown Blames White House," and NBC Evening News host Brian Williams was there to record every embittered word, with nary a nuanced question that might have probed Brown's account of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.


Again, you might have thought that a reporter trying to present a balanced picture would have asked Brown how much of the responsibility could rightly be laid at his own feet. But Williams was content to let Brown cast all the blame at the White House.

What changed? Brown is no longer a Bush administration employee, and in criticizing the White House, he's violating the conservative dogma (apparently held by Finkelstein) that the Bush administration does no wrong.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:03 AM EST

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