Fox Defends Michael Brown Interview: He's An 'Expert On Botched Responses'
Fox News is defending itself from yet another wave of White House criticism, this time saying the decision to let former FEMA chief Michael Brown speak unchallenged about the Obama administration's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was justified because Brown is "an expert on botched responses."
Fox News' Neil Cavuto, who conducted the interview with Brown on Monday -- in which the former FEMA chief insinuated that Obama welcomed the oil spill disaster because of the political advantages he could reap -- circled back to the topic again on Wednesday's show.
"Nowhere in the exchange nor the rest of the interview... did Michael Brown ever say, ever say that the White House was behind this spill, or set this spill, or started this spill," said Cavuto. "That is beyond laughable."
"Here is what is not," he added. "Dismissing what Mr. Brown did say about a president who might have botched a lot since that gulf spill. Just as Mr. Brown argued the last president did in the immediate aftermath of that gulf hurricane -- he was criticizing his old boss -- Mr. Brown says he has become an expert, an expert on botched responses. That is why I had Michael Brown on. Robert Gibbs seems to have done the same for botched White House pressers. That is why I invite him on. So, whenever you want, Robert, it would be a pleasure to have you on. You're always welcome here. Robert, come by."
On Tuesday, Gibbs took Fox News to task for allowing Brown to go unchallenged when he proclaimed a lack of surprise "if the White House said, you know, we might be able to, guess what, do what? Use this crisis to our advantage," Brown would go on to insist that the president would use the oil spill in the Gulf to "shut down" calls for additional offshore drilling -- insinuating that politics had already infested the crisis.
The administration, naturally, was a bit peeved with the insinuation. And when Fox's White House correspondent Wendell Goler asked Gibbs to address the matter, it produced yet another element of strain between the White House and the cable news network.
"I got to tell you, Wendell, I'm not entirely sure that a factual answer that I might give to any one of your questions is going to change the notion that your network put out the former FEMA director to make an accusation that the well had been purposely set off in order to change an offshore drilling decision," Gibbs said.