Tuesday, September 06, 2005

In the News: Bush Administration Strikes Back at Critics of Disaster Relief Efforts

(Note: I write fake news stories. This is one of them.)

WASHINGTON (September 6)— The Bush Administration has begun to strike back at critics of its handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Speaking aboard Air Force One in Mobile, Alabama yesterday, President Bush voiced his support for the job being done by Michael Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

“Brownie, you’re doing one heck of a job. Unless I miss my mark, I’d say someone’s bucking for a promotion to Supreme Court Justice.”

Back in Washington, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said he wanted to “set the record straight” on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s actions as the crisis began to unfold last week.

“Some people have said that Secretary of State Rice showed insensitivity by buying shoes and seeing Spamalot during the immediate aftermath of Katrina. But the fact of the matter is, the Secretary had been planning to see Spamalot for weeks. Those tickets are hard to get these days. And Dr. Rice had already been looking for strappy black sandals with a slight heel for at least a month,” said McClellan.

“Keep in mind, too, that Secretary Rice already has a debacle of her own in Iraq,” said McClellan.

McClellan also sought to counter the perception that the President’s response to the disaster lacked empathy.

“The President was touched by what he saw when he visited New Orleans last week. In fact before taking off [to return to Washington], President Bush ordered that all of the pretzels, peanuts and soda be taken off Air Force One and distributed to the needy.”

McClellan then turned to critics of the Administration’s apparent lack of preparedness for Hurricane Katrina. Detractors have criticized the Administration’s lack of leadership in responding, as well FEMA’s inability to act quickly in delivering aid in the aftermath of the hurricane.

“I don’t think there is any way the President could have predicted this disaster without reading or watching the news, which as you know he does not do at the ranch. Likewise, there was no way that the President could have known that FEMA would be a bad place to stick a crony who had been fired from running horse shows.”

“And let’s not forget,” added McClellan, “that the President has been distracted by the enormous effort that has been required to ignore Cindy Sheehan.”

14 Comments:

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous sweetone said...

i think you left out the part about any criticism of the relief efforts being pathetic "partisan bickering" and how the only patriotic thing to do is band together in support of the administration. oh, and how clinton would have done worse.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous windbag said...

bravo!

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger babyjewels said...

Saw your link off she walks. Very funny stuff.

 
At 4:23 PM, Blogger alex said...

It's funny because it's true....uhh, well, it might as well be.

Anyway, I saw this scathing criticism of the disaster response yesterday on MSNBC's Countdown, and wanted to share it. It doesn't have any terribly unique arguments, but I thought it was well said (link goes to entire transcript):

Instead of hiding behind phrases like "no one could have foreseen," had he only remembered Winston Churchill's quote from the 1930's. "The responsibility," of government, Churchill told the British Parliament "for the public safety is absolute and requires no mandate. It is in fact, the prime object for which governments come into existence."

In forgetting that, the current administration did not merely damage itself — it damaged our confidence in our ability to rely on whoever is in the White House.

 
At 7:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think our government (we) are doing a great job in the rescue and recovery effort. it's easy to be critical. the hurricane was less than 2 weeks ago for goodness sakes. far, far too early to analyze things.

 
At 6:07 AM, Anonymous changeseeker said...

Anonymous, tell that to the folks that went five days without food and water.

Ish, MORE fake news. NOW. :-)

 
At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

changeseeker, THE WORLD IS FAR FROM PERFECT. deal with it. what did you want bush to do, tell katrina to please please go away?

 
At 8:40 AM, Blogger Ish said...

Anon,

I welcome your comments and the opportunity to have a dialogue about this.

I am happy to acknowledge that the world is far from perfect, and that decisions have to be made with imperfect information. My difficulty is that once the information was available, the response was too little, too late, with tragic consequences.

Let me be clear: no one is suggesting that the President is responsible for the weather. That this conflation of blame for the disaster response with blame for the disaster itself persists in cyberspace seems to me to require a degree of willfulness...

 
At 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi ish,

thanks for the thoughtul reply to my post. i guess where we disagree is in the too little too late department. i think help may have been one or two days late, but i don't think it was too little, nor do i think rescuing a city (which was below sea level to begin with) from a category 5 hurricane is something that ANY government would have had an easy time with.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous KIRIN said...

OK - NOW I think you're funny! Good post.

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Ish said...

Kirin,

Thanks for coming back, and thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it!

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger terry said...

It may be a fake news story, but it's a little disturbing, in that it's so close to the truth!

And you ARE funny. Not Funny-ish.

 
At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like karl rove

 
At 8:55 AM, Anonymous changeseeker said...

I've figured it OUT! Anonymous IS Karl Rove! Wow! Gee, Karl...er...Anonymous, you must be REALLY desperate!

 

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