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Heckuva Job, O'Matzie

Brownie In Action
Good newspapers today. Damn good, really, but I only have time for the cream of the crop. Sally Kestin had a wet dream of a story regarding the FEMA coverage she led. FEMA released e-mails showing the feds freaked out over the Sun-Sentinel's stories about the agency's waste, fraud, and abuse in Miami-Dade. The e-mails showed -- shockingly, shockingly -- that the Bush Administration didn't think twice about misleading the public. Here they discuss their best lie -- that it was a population density thing -- but rue the fact that, hey, they've already figured out that isn't true:

"Should we say the density in population in Miami-Dade versus the other affected counties (just sheer numbers) to somewhat explain the disparity in funding," McBride wrote to seven FEMA officials. "However, FYI -- the reporter and those she contacted have driven around looking for physical damages to justify the funding and that will not be seen because those type of damages just did not occur in Miami-Dade."

Then the e-mails show that they actively tried to cover up what they thought was the truth:

Former FEMA official William Carwile replied that he suspected the problem was in FEMA's computerized approval system to fast-track claims, but that explanation is "for our internal use only" and "not the right answer for the media, obviously."

Megan O'Matz, meanwhile, has got to be happy today. An official wrote Michael Brown: "She wants to interview you on this -- I can certainly buy some time, but ... she strikes me as the kind who will track you down."


(I wanted to put a picture up here of O'Matz, but when you Google her image all that comes up is a Dept. of Homeland Security emblem and, dead serious, a mugshot of Rosie O'Donnell. Ah, the perils of journalism).

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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