Tags: George W. Bush | MidPoint | Michael Brown | weather | Katrina | Juno | hype

Ex-FEMA Chief Brown: It's Post-Katrina Age of Weather Hype

By    |   Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 03:56 PM

The man most vilified for the government's handling of Hurricane Katrina told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that in the decade since, journalists, politicians and public safety officials are presiding over an era of weather-event hype and overcorrection for fear of becoming, well, the next Michael Brown.

"Here's what has happened post-Katrina," Michael Brown, chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the fateful summer of 2005, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner.

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As Katrina hammered the Gulf Coast, and New Orleans in particular, "You saw the failure of state and local government, you saw mistakes made at the federal government," said Brown, host of TalkRadio 630 KHOW in Denver, Colo.

"And now every politician saw what happened to me, what happened to [President] Bush, what happened to everybody else," said Brown. "And so now it's always an overreaction as opposed to a measured reaction."

Brown weighed in on the winter storm, Juno, that was reportedly menacing New York with 2 feet of snow before it veered — to the relief and annoyance of millions of New Yorkers ordered to stay home from school and work, and to forget about riding the subways.

"You always want to be overprepared and not underprepared," said Brown.

But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio failed to react flexibly to changing conditions, he said.

"You need to monitor the situation hour by hour, and be willing to either go forward or pull back, and that's where they made the mistake," said Brown.

"No. 2," he said, "I'm so tired of the hype.

"It's January," said Brown. "Guess what? It snows in January. So quit talking about 'Snowmageddon,' Armageddon, all these other things. The hype tends to turn people off. They get to the point where they're cynical and when you need people to listen, they won't."

Brown said that news, weather reporting included, "is no longer truly just about news."

"It is a business," he said. "It's about ratings. How many eyeballs can you get on that screen? So the more you can hype it, the more your ratings are, and weather is something that everyone is interested in."

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The man most vilified for the government's handling of Hurricane Katrina told Newsmax TV on Wednesday that in the decade since, journalists, politicians and public safety officials are presiding over an era of weather-event hype.
Michael Brown, weather, Katrina, Juno, hype
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2015-56-28
Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 03:56 PM
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