NRO readers are writing in after Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell attributed FEMA’s preparedness to bold moves by the Clinton administration. At one point, according to an MB reader, Matthews said, “Imagine the help that would be available if we weren’t bogged down in Iraq.” Mike B. wrote:
In what has got to be the most politicized coverage of the natural disaster in New Orleans and the surrounding areas, both Matthews and Mitchell took the opportunity, while footage of the disaster was shown on the screen, to talk up the hypocrisy of states’ rights people in times like this, basically opining that the federal government is looked up to in these situations, as if this somehow proves they should be looked up to in every situation. They also ‘wondered’ aloud on how the National Guard deployment in Iraq has affected Guard deployment in the devastated areas. While they admitted such an issue is unquantifiable, nevertheless they assumed the Iraq War hampered our rescue efforts in this instance.
And, to top it off, they gave Clinton credit for making FEMA work as well as it does, even in spite of both Bushes’ efforts to undermine it in some fashion (though how they did, and do, manage to undermine it is not mentioned).
I teach middle school kids, and if any one of them attempted to pass off as well-thought-out answers the garbage Mathews and Mitchell just did, I would have a long, stern talk with them about applying critical thinking techniques.
I also heard Matthews saying something like (I’m paraphrasing), “You know, al Qaeda could be watching this and saying, ‘Well, look at how much damage this did, all we would have to do is blow up one of these levees…” at which point NBC’s science correspondent corrected him, saying “Well, I don’t think they could match the devastating power of a hurricane, which has the force of hundreds of nuclear bombs…”
UPDATE: NewsBusters now has the full transcript.