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Heck of a snow-job, Brownie: Gibbs chastizes Fox News for giving a platform to Michael Browns crazy oil spill conspiracy theory

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"Heck of a snow-job, Brownie: Gibbs chastizes Fox News for giving a platform to Michael Browns crazy oil spill conspiracy theory"

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The pro-pollution extremists have been pushing any number of conspiracy theories as their “drill baby drill” dream starts to crumble under the reality of the BP oil disaster (see Fox pushes ‘conspiracy theory’ that massive oil spill was ‘deliberate’ ‘sabotage’).

The latest crazy theory comes from the most unreliable source on disaster response in the world — disgraced FEMA director Michael Brown, who oversaw the Bush administration’s bungled response to Hurricane Katrina. “Brownie,” as he was affectionately known to President Bush, became famous for padding his resume to hide his almost nonexistent disaster management experience.  But that didn’t stop Fox News from giving him a platform to push his new snowjob.  TP has the story in this repost.

Yesterday, Fox News brought on disgraced FEMA director Michael Brown, who oversaw the Bush administration’s bungled response to Hurricane Katrina. “Brownie,” as he was affectionately known to President Bush, became famous for padding his resume to hide his almost nonexistent disaster management experience. Brown told Fox News host Neil Cavuto that the Obama administration wanted the devastating oil spill as an excuse to backtrack on its offshore drilling plan:

BROWN: And so now you’re looking at this oil slick approaching, you know, the Louisiana shore, according to certain “” NOAA and other places, if the winds are right, it will go up the East Coast.

This is exactly what they want, because now he can pander to the environmentalists and say, “I’m going to shut it down because it`s too dangerous.” While Mexico and China and everybody else drills in the Gulf. We’re going to get shut down.

In today’s White House press briefing, Fox News correspondent Wendell Goler tried to ask Robert Gibbs about criticisms that this oil spill is Obama’s “Katrina” (spread by pundits like hate radio host Rush Limbaugh). Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace also raised the criticism with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Sunday. However, Gibbs said that he wasn’t going to answer Goler because, in light of the network allowing Brown to air his conspiracy theory without any push back, he wasn’t “entirely sure a factual answer that I might give to any one of your questions is going to change the notion that your network put out”:

GOLER: It wasn’t just Fox calling this your Katrina.

GIBBS: No, but Fox had the very special and unique interview with Michael Brown “” you opened it and I had to do it “” who, for those weren’t let in on the big secret, Mr. Brown “” FEMA director Brown under Katrina “” intimated on Fox “” and it wasn’t, I will editorially say, appear to be pushed back on real hard “” that this spill was leaked on purpose in order for us to walk back our environmental and drilling decisions, and that the leak that we did on purpose got out of control and now is too big to contain. So, suffice to say “”

GOLER: What is Mr. Brown’s attribution?

GIBBS: I can only wish that the network that you work for asked that prior to interviewing him yesterday.

GOLER: The reporters in here asked that. So I’m asking you “”

GIBBS: You should call headquarters, my friend, and ask for somebody who makes the decisions to put people like that “” because I’ve got to tell you Wendall, I’m not entirely sure a factual answer that I might give to any one of your questions is going to change the notion that your network put out the former FEMA director to make an accusation that the well had been purposefully set off in order to change an offshore drilling decision.

Watch it:

It’s important to note that Brown wasn’t the only one on Fox spreading these theories. On Fox and Friends yesterday, former Bush press secretary and current Fox News contributor asked whether the oil spill was “deliberate.” Fox Business’ Eric Bolling later similarly asked, “The question is did they let this thing leak?”

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17 Responses to Heck of a snow-job, Brownie: Gibbs chastizes Fox News for giving a platform to Michael Browns crazy oil spill conspiracy theory

  1. Lore says:

    Brown also made an appearance last night on “Hardball”, with Chris Matthews, in which Chris pushed back pretty hard on the questions. Why this loser is getting any air time is beyond me. Which was echoed by Chris’s next guest former Governor Howard Dean.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/#36948458

    More from MediaMatters here:

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201005040066

  2. John McCormick says:

    Michael Brown is one pathetic man.

  3. rocco says:

    I think we need a name for this stuff – truthers, birthers… oilers?

  4. mike roddy says:

    Unbelievable. And people go for it.

    Let’s take a deep breath and say thanks, that at least our government is no longer being run by fossil fuel executives on leave, recent graduates of Jesus Camp, and brain dead members of the leisure (Arabian Horse Association) class.

    We may not have had much change, but at least there is hope, and the black cloud of madness and greed has been remeved.

  5. PSU Grad says:

    “…and the black cloud of madness and greed has been remeved.”

    Unfortunately, I don’t think so. Where do you think the tea party lunacy is coming from? An outfit called FreedomWorks, funded by a variety of corporate interests. These tea party people have been conned into supporting the interests of various corporate contributors, in direct contravention of their own economic interests. We have an extremist outfit here in PA, funded by corporate dollars, that recently cancelled some Freedom rally blah blah where people were going to shoot bullets into cars labeled with various “liberal” (to them) slogans. And they have the nerve to state that their “first and second amendment rights” are being taken away.

    The first sentence was far more accurate…”And people go for it.” Yup, against their own personal interests. Boggles the mind.

  6. Doug Bostrom says:

    Brown’s another example of the deeply weird, contorted intransigence so-called “conservatives” exhibit when their romantic ideology is threatened by reality.

    How about this?

    It was hailed as a breakthrough in the fight to cut carbon emissions. In 2007, researchers found that heavy electricity users cut their consumption after being told that they used more energy than their neighbours. Almost a million US households have since received similar feedback and have cut electricity use by an average of 2.5 per cent.

    But a new study has identified a wrinkle in the plan: the feedback only seems to work with liberals. Conservatives tend to ignore it. Some even respond by using more energy.

    The findings come from a study of over 80,000 Californian households, just under half of which received feedback on energy use. Overall, the technique worked: households who got the feedback cut electricity by around 2 per cent, say Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    But important difference emerged when Costa and Kahn looked at the political leanings of those in the survey. Homeowners who identified themselves as Republicans cut energy use by just 0.4 per cent on average. And those Republicans who showed no practical interest in environmental causes – people who did not donate to environmental groups and did not choose to pay extra for renewable energy – even increased electricity use by 0.75 per cent.

    Republicans won’t be nudged into cutting home energy

    Bizarre.

  7. Fire Mountain says:

    These conspiratorial delusions coming from the right are simply amazing. That people who represent themselves as serious actually believe they have credibility in spouting this spew is the really serious situation. I guess it all goes back to that “paranoid aesthetic” in American politics and culture. It cannot be systematic failure happening here, not some indication that the reliance on fossil energy and large complex systems to exploit increasingly difficult resources are fundamentally flawed. No, there must be some devil somewhere making this all happen. Secret Greenpeace saboteurs. Russian subs. Or then, maybe it’s God, as Rick Perry says. In any case, it is somebody besides us, because we are the pure essence of righteousness, unsullied by the possibility of human error. No surprise in these reactions, because this event strikes at the core of business-as-usual assumptions and calls upon people to do that which is most difficult – Change.

  8. Rick Covert says:

    Joe,

    Will you also post the Jon Stewart episode where he montages all of the politicians, Palin, Bachman, Landrieu, Obama and Boehner and then states, “Spoken like true scientists…. in the first reel of a disaster movie.

  9. Keith says:

    Why is Gibbs the one who has to call out this idiot? Because the MSM remains, at best, right-of-center corporatists. This, despite all we’ve learned over the past 3 years from the wreckage of unfettered capitalism

  10. Dean says:

    Michael Brown is going to be following Palin onto the conservative speaking circuit where they love this kind of thing. Fox is giving him the job interview that will allow him to be hired by the places that hire the speakers. Who else would hire the doofus?

  11. Mike Roddy says:

    PSU grad-

    I agree, that the black clouds of madness and greed are still here. Just less so in our government, since at least the Tea Partiers are no longer totally in charge.

  12. SecularAnimist says:

    Of course, CNN is now reporting Brown’s comments on Fox as “news”.

    That’s how the corporate-owned so-called “mainstream” media legitimizes the propaganda of the corporate-owned so-called “conservative” media for a wider audience.

  13. Chris Winter says:

    Fox Business’ Eric Bolling later similarly asked, “The question is did they let this thing leak?”

    No, Mr. Bolling. The question is, Why do you all put forth such wild speculation?

    Although I will grant your question makes some sense — but only if “they” is taken to mean BP or Transocean (or maybe Halliburton), the firms who apparently skimped on redundant safety measures.

  14. Richard Brenne says:

    I used to pass the Arabian Horse Association on my way to a documentary job and I’d always say a “Heckuva job, Brownie” as I passed. And if I’m not mistaken few Arabian horses drown during Katrina, so Brownie has a perfect track record protecting those he cares about most.

    Too bad he didn’t care for the 1800 people who died agonizingly torturous deaths with no one coming to their aid for days, completely unnecessarily and largely because of Brownie’s complete and utter incompetence and deeply cynical uncaring.

    Grossly incompetent, uncaring failures used to disappear from the national scene – now they’re all on Fox and speaking tours. You can be a drug addict like Rush Limbaugh daily advocating the locking up of drug addicts – there is no morality or ethics at all with these people.

    What is the precedent for high-ranking members in one administration sliding down moonbeams to make outrageous, treasonous, irrational and grossly irresponsible accusations against the next? Rove and Cheney have done the same thing. When has a former vice-president done this?

    They need to be called on it by every responsible and non-brain dead member of the media, again and again and again. Pushback, follow-up questions, articles purely about their slanderous and dangerous remarks, etc.

    No rest, no timidity, no fear, no hob-knobbing with such obvious evil – each of us needs to do this in every way that we can, and everyone at every level of every kind of media needs to put their fear, timidity, ego, status and schmoozing in their lunch pail and for once get to work and do their friggin’ jobs.

  15. Chris Winter says:

    Rocco wrote: “I think we need a name for this stuff – truthers, birthers… oilers?”

    Drilfers.

  16. Mike #22 says:

    “Pseudologia fantastica, mythomania, or pathological lying is one of several terms applied by psychiatrists to the behavior of habitual or compulsive lying”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudologia_fantastica

  17. climateprogressive says:

    I guess this was bound to happen while there are such deluded individuals out there and less-than-impartial media outlets offering them the oxygen of publicity….