Fox news host smacks down Roves false claims about Obama’s response to BP oil diaster

In a Fox News interview with Karl Rove Thursday, host Jane Skinner noted that many in the media (and on the right) claim that the oil rig explosion in the Gulf is President Obama’s “Katrina.” Rove said he “wouldn’t compare this to Katrina,” but he then ran through a timeline of the events as if to accuse the White House of having a delayed response to the disaster. However, Skinner didn’t buy it, noting that the White House was involved from the beginning:

SKINNER: Before we get too far in this time line, I just want to read because the press secretary Robert Gibbs has been asked so many questions about this and this was his response, “The morning after the Secretary “” the Interior Secretary deployed his deputy to the region to coordinate it all and on the 22nd when it sank, the national response team was activated and later that day the President convened a meeting in the Oval Office with all those involved.”

I mean at some point in the beginning they were relying also on the oil company BP, this was a disaster that people didn’t have a lot of information about, it’s all happening a mile under water.

Rove then complained that the Interior Department Secretary’s chief of staff went on a work vacation after the oil spill, suggesting that it was somehow indicative of a hands-off approach from the Obama administration. Skinner promptly knocked this argument down as well:

SKINNER: Karl I know a lot of people are making a big issue about that but, first of all, he’s not the Interior Secretary, he’s not the Deputy Interior Secretary, those are the bosses of the department. He’s a chief of staff. You know, I know well what the job of a chief of staff is. “¦ It’s not like the country, the Interior Department can’t run without the chief of staff.

A flustered Rove claimed the White House is “trying to rewrite history and say ‘we were engaged right from the beginning.’ No they weren’t!” “I just want to point out again is they do say they had the Deputy Interior secreteary down there, that he was the one that was actually in charge, tasked with organizing this,” Skinner replied. Watch it:

Similar to Rove, other conservatives are trying pin blame on the administration or to make the spill response “Obama’s Katrina.” “I think the parallels to Katrina are very real,” Newt Gingrich said yesterday. Today, MSNBC host and former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough called such a comparison “absolutely obscene,” adding that “anybody that draws that analogy is an idiot.”

Many on the right aren’t buying the delayed response argument either. Charles Krauthammer, the Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes, and even Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) have all noted that the Obama administration responded appropriately to the Gulf oil spill. “What could [Obama] have done? “¦ This is insane,” Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly said of the administration’s critics.

This is a Think Progress repost by Ben Armbruster.

10 Responses to Fox news host smacks down Roves false claims about Obama’s response to BP oil diaster

  1. Stuart says:

    A little good news from the media, maybe they will start to question more of the right-wing spin machine.

  2. Jim says:

    Amazing! Watching Fox News actually doing their job is surprising. Normally, you would expect to see Rove dictating the discussion. I think he was surprised that he didn’t have his normal Fox News soft pitch interviewer.

  3. Ted says:

    Well, she’s doomed.
    Fox has no place for a reporter who can think for herself.
    Rove rules at Fox and any reporter who challenges him, and tries to get to the TRUTH for a change, will be put on Rupert’s back burner.

  4. Paul K2 says:

    There were far more errors in Rove’s statements than exposed… practically everything he said was a lie. The Coast Guard had a helicopter on the scene in an hour, and considering the site is over 80 miles from the nearest launch location, that is impressive. Coast Guard had people on the workboat with the survivors that night, and interviewed the survivors before the workboat landed the next morning. The response team in the Interior Department was mobilized within 24 hours. The statements about the sheen being due to fuel on the rig came from BP, and the government repeated the statement from the company; the assessment of the blowout was still underway by the MMS. The blowout fed a fire for several days, which was burning off the oil and gas, then the rig sank, the riser piled up, and the underwater “spill” began. Rove implies in his statement that the high spill rate started on Day 1. The rate was uncertain even after the rig sank and riser broke, and the spill rate could not determined for at least 4-5 days… He confuses gallons with barrels… and on and on, one lie after another. What a jerk!

    Karl Rove has a doctored timeline of nonsense put together… this interview is as disgusting a piece of Rovespeak as anything. What a pathetic man this political operative turned out to be, when his full character is revealed, as this interview shows. I am disgusted that for eight years this person had the power (though his invention and creation of George W. Bush) to run America.

  5. J4zonian says:

    It’s interesting that so many right wing people are trying to make this into Obama’s Katrina moment, since as far as I know they’ve never done anything but deny that Katrina was Bush’s Katrina moment. Have they ever apologized for their uncaring attitude, or made any attempt to do more in the years since to actually help people there in a reasonable way or amount? Have they ever admitted that it was an example of disaster capitalism, a la Naomi Klein? Have they, in the intervening years, given any sign that the philosophy and attitude that cause Bush’s Katrina moment has changed?

    But disregarding initial response time, the line between corporate Republican rule and corporate Democratic rule is looking pretty thin. I don’t hear much coming out of the White House or Congress about how we need to stop drilling, start using solar and wind in massive amounts as soon as we can… etc. Coal sludge lake disasters, coal mine disasters, oil blowouts… signs of climate catastrophe everywhere… how many such signs do we need before our corporate-government complex realizes that long-term profits will be better if civilization is not destroyed? And how can we help them figure it out soon?

  6. Mike Roddy says:

    I agree with Ted, they don’t like actual reporters at Fox.

    Good thing she interviewed him instead of Beck or Hannity. Otherwise they both would have been frothing at the mouth.

  7. CW says:

    Isn’t this a weird argument for these guys to make? We don’t want big government, hate the words “I’m from the government and I’m here help”, etc. … BUT it’s the government’s fault this spill thing got so bad.


  8. Lewis Cleverdon says:

    Given that the last I heard was that over 1800 bodies had been recovered since Katrina, and that about 6,600 people are still missing, unaccounted for, claiming an equivalence with 11 dead and an appalling oil slick seem tendentious. Not to mention that seeking political gain via such claims is grossly disrespectful of Katrina’s victims and blatantly callous of their kins’ feelings.

    Its intriguing that a Fox employee should publicly embarrass a ranking filth like Rove – do the owners have something against using the rig’s disaster as a political football ? If the disaster became a higher profile partisan issue, might oil sales become more of a target for replacement ?

    On the other hand, maybe the reporter is just fed up with the lies and wants a fat redundancy cheque. If so, good luck to her.



  9. bill says:

    Journalism at Fox? Cannot process… cognitive dissonance off scale…


    Completely agree that it’s breathtaking that Big Government is the villain up until the (unpleasant material) hits the fan, and then it’s all Big Governments fault for not being Big enough! (At least it is if it’s the Democrats in office – if it’s the Republicans Big Gov’s job is to cover up and then pay for the whole thing; ‘privatize the profits, socialize the losses.’)

  10. robhon says:

    Wow. It’s more than a little scary to me when Bill O’Reilly is the voice of reason.