Tags: Steve Malzberg Show | Michael Brown | FEMA | Hurricane Katrina | Brian Williams

Ex-FEMA Director: Review of All Katrina Media Coverage Needed

By    |   Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 04:21 PM

The fantastic stories that Brian Williams concocted about the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans beg for a probe into how other journalists covered it, says Michael Brown, former director of FEMA, which oversaw the nation's after-storm relief.

Brown said he started getting emails from former FEMA employees when questions began arising last week about the now-suspended NBC News anchor's Katrina coverage. "Former employees, people that were actually down in the Super Dome and people who were in the high up … were so upset," Brown said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"Primarily because they would say, 'Mike, do you remember how much trouble we had tamping down the rumors and the false stories about rapes, murders or illnesses and stuff?' and I was like 'Yes, I know.'

"[A review of other stories is] going to happen ... Part of the problem we had was dealing with all of these falsehoods."

Williams — suspended for six months as anchor of "NBC Nightly News" for lying about being aboard a chopper forced down by sniper fire in Iraq — is now being probed for statements he made about his time in New Orleans after Katrina.

Those include claims he saw a dead body floating by his five-star New Orleans hotel, that he faced roving gangs in the hotel's stairwell and that he witnessed a suicide in the Superdome.

Brown, host of the syndicated radio program "The Michael Brown Show," told Steve Malzberg: "In fact, there were people working for FEMA in that same hotel and you may have seen the pictures that have been posted on the Internet with schedules and 'food will be available at this time' and 'don't use the stairwells because we just can't.'

"I mean everything was fine, but never let the facts get in the way of what the narrative is … The narrative was, let's blame the Bush administration, Michael Brown and George W. Bush for everything going wrong.

"In fact, we were spending much time trying to get through the rumor mill and tap that down to keep people informed about what was really going on …"

"The narrative at that point was going to be that Bush and Brown are racists or even pulling it back a notch, maybe we're not racists, but we don't care about black people," he said.

"I always found that so offensive because it disparages Bush who doesn't deserve it, it disparages me who doesn't have a racist bone in his body and it disparages the people of FEMA, black, white, brown, of all ethnicities, that worked to help everybody all the time. It was just stupid."

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The fantastic stories that Brian Williams concocted about the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans beg for a probe into how other journalists covered it, Michael Brown, former director of FEMA, tells Newsmax TV.
Michael Brown, FEMA, Hurricane Katrina, Brian Williams
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2015-21-12
Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 04:21 PM
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