Following the resignation of Michael Brown as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Richard Stevenson writes in Tuesday's New York Times: "Mr. Brown had become a political liability to the White House, even in his constrained new role. Democrats in Congress had been questioning how the administration could retain him in such an important job as director of FEMA after his performance in responding to the hurricane. A poll taken over the weekend by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a nonpartisan research organization, found that more than 6 in 10 respondents judged the federal government's response to be fair or poor. A variety of polls in recent days have found Mr. Bush's approval ratings at or near their lows, with his support eroding even among Republicans."That's a rather selective interpretation of the story. Stevenson, whose reporting on Bush and the Hurricane has been consistently slanted, ignores a finding that Pew itself points out in its own summary: The public has become more critical of the local government response to Hurricane Katrina. "Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the public has become significantly more critical of the response by state and local governments in Mississippi and Louisiana. Currently, just 34% give state and local governments an excellent or good rating on their handling of the disaster, down from 41% last week. Public evaluations of the federal government's response to the disaster are largely unchanged from last week 37% positive, 61% negative."
Public Blaming Locals More Than Bush -- But NYT Ignores It
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.