Mike Brown, the former head of FEMA during the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, has been using the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to sell some book he's written and to promote his business.
Mike Brown is the infamous "Brownie" as in the "You're doing a heck of a job" Brownie, and works at a Denver firm as vice president …
I'm going to let you swallow your coffee. Ready? Ok.
… as vice president "of its disaster recovery practice."
I know, I know. It sounds too weird to be true but it is.
According to an article in Politco, Brown's running from one cable news studio to another is not
"an attempt to rehabilitate his image or set the record straight. Nothing that dramatic. Rather, he just wants the publicity.
"He wants to sell his new book, he says, and he wants to get some clients for his company."
As some of you might remember, I was in Baton Rouge with your guy Brownie right after the hurricane hit.
Even then, it was all about Mike Brown.
A bunch of other folks who came down to help and I were sleeping on buses. Brown was staying at a hotel but it was not a hotel which was a member of the chain in which he was collecting frequent stayer points. One of Brown's staffers spent his time and the taxpayers' money making frequent calls to the preferred hotel to try and get him in there.
The FEMA command trailer was in Baton Rouge which was largely untouched by the hurricane being about 80 miles northwest of New Orleans. It was suggested that the trailer be "moved forward," that is, closer to the action. The suggestion was rejected because Brown didn't want to have to drive back to Baton Rouge every night for dinner.
Prior to Katrina, Brown was making plans to leave FEMA and return to private life. The morning after a network ran an unflattering portrait of Brown he was terribly upset, but the staff was focused on the recovery effort. Someone said, "We have to get our arms around this thing," which Brown took to mean repairing the damage done to his reputation, not repairing the damage done to New Orleans.
"I know it," he said, completely missing the point. "I have three offers on the table and they're all going to be withdrawn if we don't fix this."
The staff in the trailer didn't risk looking at one other. Eyes were glued to computer screens, and fingers began typing at speeds which Mavis Beacon would never have believed possible