FEMA Emails Released

By Deane Barker on November 3, 2005

Lawmaker: E-mails show Brown ‘out of touch’ during Katrina: If you’re a government employee, watch what you send in an email, because all of it may get regurgitated very publicly.

Emails sent by former FEMA chief Michael Brown around the time Katrina beat up on New Orleans have been published. None of them indicated anything criminal or inappropriate, but they’re not flattering either.

Melancon said that on August 26, just days before Katrina made landfall, Brown e-mailed his press secretary, Sharon Worthy, about his attire, asking: “Tie or not for tonight? Button down blue shirt?”

A few days later, Worthy advised Brown: “Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt all shirts. Even the President rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this [crisis] and on TV you just need to look more hard-working.”

On August 29, the day of the storm, Brown exchanged e-mails about his attire with Taylor, Melancon said. She told him, “You look fabulous,” and Brown replied, “I got it at Nordstroms. … Are you proud of me?”

Basically, Brown used email like we all do, it just matters more because of the situation he was in.



  1. It matters more because it’s evidence that he was apparently out of touch with how to begin to deal with a crisis on this magnitude. In the quotes above he certainly comes off as being more concerned about how he appears on TV then how best to provide aid after the huricane hit. I would hope that if your house was burning and the news media interviewed you in front of your house you wouldn’t email me the next day to ask how you looked on camera.

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