Little after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs attacked Fox News for going too easy on former FEMA director Michael Brown’s claim that the Obama administration did not react quickly enough to the Gulf oil spill, MSNBC gave the controversial Bush-era figure a second shot on Hardball, and Chris Matthews was determined not to repeat Neil Cavuto’s mistakes.
Matthews let Brown expand on his original comments on Your World, where he suggested that the Obama administration may have chosen to react slowly to the oil spill in order to cause a disaster large enough to impact both public and legislative opinion on energy policy. On Hardball, he took this a step further, linking the oil spill to an accusation that the President wanted to “bankrupt the coal industry,” and suggesting that the President claimed to approve of offshore drilling while not actually doing so, only to discredit it later. “When he comes out and says he would like to see the coal industry bankrupted,” Brown noted, “I think they see a crisis like this and they” try to find a way to exploit it. It was complicated, and Brown was interrupted several times by objections from Matthews such as “I’m confused” and “that sounds insane.”
More interesting even than the very direct response to Brown’s attacks from the White House is the fact that Brown is on television at all. Why are news outlets giving him air time? One possible explanation that the phrase “Obama’s Katrina” has been making the cable news rounds, though even that is insufficient reason to bring in the majority share owner of the original Katrina disaster to assess this new, completely different one. Maybe it’s just because he makes for such great TV. Video below:
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