A Real President Talks About Staffing FEMA
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The Thought of George W. Bush Is a Spiritual Atom Bomb of Infinite Power!

Joining Amity "George W. Bush's Was Prepared for Katrina! And His Preparedness Has Already Saved Lives!" Shlaes http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2005/09/the_thought_of_.html and Ben "Bush Doggedly Goes on Helping the Least Among Us!" Stein http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2005/09/the_thought_of__1.html is James "It's All the Mainstream Media's Fault!" Pinkerton:

TCS: Tech Central Station - The MSM Bites Back!: Newsweek... knows how to wield a deft micropolitical shiv against Republican soft underbellies... the weekly jibed that Bush suffers from poor "situational awareness" about the Katrina disaster, such that presidential counselor Dan Bartlett had to make him a DVD compendium of the news coverage to get the point across to his uncomprehending boss. Now how do you suppose that Newsweek got that nugget?... Bartlett either leaked it himself or someone leaked it about him. Either way, the trust level inside the Bush White House, once high, has now fallen lower than the New Orleans land-level....

The New York Times provided a Blanco-eyed view of the recent events, giving long shrift to the Democratic governor -- and short-shrift to the Republican president. In the article's opening scene-setting vignette, the reader is informed that embattled Pelican State Governor Kathleen Blanco was "blistering mad" because she couldn't get help from the Bush administration: "Only a fraction of the 500 vehicles promised by federal authorities had arrived." But what about all those other buses...?... Other MSMers did their part, too. Time broke the Michael Brown resume-padding story, and two days later the Federal Emergency chief was out of a job.... The Los Angeles Times broke another story about the Republican loyalists who filled up FEMA's first tier -- implying that they were nothing but patronage hacks....

Bush's approval rating has dropped three or four points, to between 38 and 42 percent.... To put it plainly, the substantial pro-Bush contingent of the New Media -- that is, cable news, talk radio, and the Net -- was overwhelmed.... So while a few bloggers are hacking away at the accreting conventional wisdom that Everything is Bush's Fault, that battle is being lost even before Bush's big "I take responsibility" concession on Tuesday.... [T]he MSM got there firstest with the mostest.... [W]hile CNN, strictly speaking, might not be part of the MSM, its heart is clearly with its elder brethren. Its president, Jonathan Klein is the former #2 at CBS. So it was easy for CNN talent, such as Anderson Cooper, to get into the MSM groove....

Has the MSM paid any price for its liberal-tilting? Has the American public turned off all these nattering nabobs of negativism? Apparently not.... So is there any hope for the administration? And, more to point, for a fair and balanced media? And for a limited government to go with it? Sure there's hope.... [But i]n the meantime, Bush, and what remains of his domestic-policy revolution, is being buried under an avalanche of bad news, badly reported -- all part of the media-'Trina juggernaut. It's a big wave, indeed, a Category Five assault on the progress of the last five years.

It is very interesting what Pinkerton thinks of as a "biased press": a press that reports on what Dan Bartlett (or whatever) thinks of George W. Bush, that reports on FEMA's inability to fulfill its promises about transportation, that reports on the state of Michael Brown' resume, that reports on the emergency management experience of high FEMA officials.

It is also interesting that these three are willing to do so much damage to their own credibility right now in order to do the administration's bidding by defending the wisdom of George W. Bush. What's the upside for them?