Couric Claims RNC Connection Let Barbour Collect Increased Katrina Cash

Now it's getting nasty. Katie Couric has pointedly suggested that Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's past chairmanship of the Republican National Committee permitted him to snare a disproportionately large share of Katrina rebuilding funds.

The accusation came in the course of Couric's interview of Jim Amoss, editor of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. An aside: whereas Katie seemed frustrated in an earlier interview this morning of Mayor Ray Nagin when he was unwilling to point the finger at the Bush administration for allegedly slow progress, Amoss was much more compliant. He laid most of the fault at FEMA's feet, and also blamed the federal government for doing nothing to improve levees it allegedly knew were insufficient.

In a classic bit of one MSM outlet piggybacking on another's charges, Katie advanced this theory:

"I know there was a piece on the front page of the New York Times not too long ago talking about how Haley Barbour the former head of the RNC, and now Governor of Mississippi, has been very effective in securing a lot of money, $5 million [sic, she surely meant $5 billion] for housing, which is about the same as New Orleans or Louisiana. Yet the number of homeless people or destroyed homes is much greater in Louisiana."

Couric didn't find it necessary to give Gov. Barbour or a federal official the opportunity to respond.

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.