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Outraged, Gibbs singled out the network for airing an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory spun by President Bush’s FEMA director, Mike “Brownie” Brown.
On Monday night, Brown — the former horse association director blamed for the White House’s sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina — claimed the Obama administration let the Gulf oil leak get worse so they could retract its own promise to expand exploratory offshore drilling.
“I would not be surprised if the White House said, you know, we might be able to, guess what, do what? Use this crisis to our advantage. Let this crisis get really bad, and then we will step in,” Brown told Neil Cavuto. “We will be able to shut down offshore drilling. We will be able to turn to all these alternate fuels.”
Gibbs, responding to an oil leak query from Goler, called the network out for failing to challenge Brown, now a conservative Colorado radio host.
“I watched Fox yesterday — you open both the double doors — and waaah! — here I am,” Gibbs said.
As Goler tried to calm Gibbs down, the press secretary began talking about “the special and unique interview with Michael Brown, who for those who weren’t let in on the big secret … intimated on Fox and it wasn’t – didn’t appear — to be pushed back on real hard — that this spill was leaked on purpose in order for us to undo decisions.”
Goler tried to differentiate between the network’s news operation and its columnists, but Gibbs would have none of it.
“You should call headquarters,” he told Toler, and talk to “whoever makes the decision to put people like that on.”
Despite recent tensions between Fox News and the White House, the first lady will soon be making an appearance on the network.
No, the sit-down won’t be on Glenn Beck’s show and is not likely to touch on hot-button political issues or 2010 races. Michelle Obama, who has taken up the cause of fighting childhood obesity, will discuss the issue with former presidential-candidate-turned-host Mike Huckabee.
““I’m not running a popularity contest here,” Mesley said. “If I’m the bad guy to the average citizen . . . and their taxes have go up to cover my raise, I’m very sorry about that, but I have to look out for myself and my membership.”
Mesley added: “As the president of the local, I will not accept ‘zeroes.’ If that means . . . ticking off some taxpayers, then so be it.””