You just can’t make this stuff up….

Email to FEMA head Mike Brown from his press secretary during the Katrina crisis

”Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt — all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this (crisis) and on TV you just need to look more hard-working.”



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2 responses to “You just can’t make this stuff up….

  1. There’s nothing odd or surprising about this (or bad). People are hired for the purpose of making sure a certain image is maintained. That takes place whether the organization in question is Republican, Democratic, or a private company. In a recent election campaign in Germany, a candidate lost ground because she was seen with “sweat patches” during a debate. Sweat patches have nothing to do with her work ethic, ability, or dedication, but it was still important. Whether or not Brown and others were “working hard”, its important that they convey a message; even though it may seem trivial to you. It sends a message whether we like it or not. Democrats and anyone else in a publicly visible position makes similar decisions.

  2. Yes, Ethan, that’s self-evident. But it’s the rest of the story about “Brownie” and FEMA’s ineptitude that makes one grimace at this anecdote. Unless I miss my guess, John H. posted it as a symbol that helps us induct, rather than ignore that entire sorry episode. This is not just any handler’s attempt to spin an image. It’s one of the highest forms of irony that the Bush administration dumped on us.

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