So FEMA (search) is still having trouble — and telling me they're not.
So let me explain how this could be.
Wednesday we have a major story in the paper about FEMA hoping to meet an October 15 deadline to get people from Katrina (search) and Rita out of shelters and into housing.
Now this is what, six weeks after the hurricane?
I know we have a new FEMA leader and we have a renewed FEMA energy and we're supporting FEMA to do the right thing, but I would just submit to you that this is slow.
The cruise ship thing didn't work out. They're housing New Orleans city workers on the ship because evacuees didn't want to go live on a ship. That cost $236 million.
FEMA is getting trailer house cities ready. That was slow because you can get trailer houses fast but you can't get places to put them fast. Places to put them require roads, sewers, electricity, water. It takes time.
Ok, fine, but do you mean to tell me a dirty bomb goes off on the East Coast and a few hundred thousand people have to abandon their homes and they're going to sleep in tents for six weeks while FEMA figures out emergency housing, which is its job?
I say this is slow.
So what's FEMA doing? One of the things is they're watching TV and calling when they see things they don't like. Like Tuesday, as I was on the air doing a story about FEMA sending home Arizona emergency crews.
Well FEMA was on the phone to my boss complaining they didn't like what we were saying. Would FEMA come on the air? No. They just wanted to sit in their room watching TV and complaining.
In fact, the FEMA TV watcher has now called my boss four times.
Might be on with him again right now.
"Is she on again?" We don't know — yet.
I submit FEMA should stop watching TV and get housing and emergency plans together.
And if they have any extra time they should come on TV and explain what they're doing.
Are we really paying federal bureaucrats to watch TV and complain?
That's My Word.
And FEMA is welcome here anytime — really.
Watch John Gibson weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on "The Big Story" and send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org