WASHINGTON—Accuracy in Media (AIM) congratulated ex-FEMA Director Michael Brown for giving powerful testimony before Congress on Tuesday exposing how the major media, led by Time magazine, published demonstrably false accusations about him.
AIM editor Cliff Kincaid commented, “Brown’s testimony turned the tables on those in the media who want to use him as a scapegoat to shift the blame from incompetent state and local officials. Not surprisingly, the major media ignored Brown’s chilling indictment of their own sleazy conduct. The media owe Brown an apology.”
In a startling revelation, Brown testified that the media feeding frenzy against him began with a story on a blog entitled, “horsesass.org.” The story accused Brown of padding his resume and was picked up by Time and other media. Brown said, “The story was false. But the media repeated the story over and over.” Brown’s testimony included affidavits proving the accusations to be false.
Brown revealed that Time rushed into print with the story and didn’t give him a chance to rebut it. “Time magazine called FEMA’s press office while I was in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, coordinating the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina,” Brown testified. “The press office was told of allegations that I had supposedly embellished my resume, and was given approximately 45 minutes to respond. The story wasn’t true. But that apparently didn’t matter.”
Brown submitted an analysis for the record by his attorney Andrew W. Lester contending that Brown was a victim of the “Washington personal destruction machine” and that “America’s media served as accuser, prosecutor, judge and jury” in order to fix blame for what appeared to be a slow relief effort. Lester wondered how Brown could get his reputation back.
Kincaid commented, “This is another sad chapter in the continuing story of the decline of journalistic standards in our society. Who will hold the media accountable? AIM will do so.”
Accuracy In Media (AIM) is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.