Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
The New York Times has refused to correct, much less retract, a claim by TV critic Alessandra Stanley that FOXs own Geraldo Rivera forced himself into a New Orleans rescue for dramatic effect. Stanley reported that Geraldo "nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way so his camera crew could tape him as he helped lift an older woman in a wheelchair to safety."
But this video, on which Stanley says she based her report, shows the serviceman in question moving around to the front end of the wheelchair so Geraldo could help him lift the woman down the stairs. Still, a spokesman for the Times now says, "Several editors here have reviewed the tape and we feel comfortable that Alessandra described the scene accurately."
Despite more than a week of negative coverage blasting the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, most Americans still don't blame the president for the disaster. A new Gallup poll shows that 42 percent of Americans think President Bush responded poorly to Katrina, while 35 percent give him positive marks. Federal emergency agencies received similar numbers, while the response of state and local officials rated slightly higher.
But when asked who was most responsible for the problems in New Orleans, only 13 percent blamed the president. Eighteen percent of Americans blamed federal agencies, and 25 percent put the blame on state and local officials, while 38 percent said no one was to blame for the New Orleans disaster.
Feeling the Heat?
Democrats are calling for FEMA director Michael Brown's head in the wake of what they call a slow federal response to Hurricane Katrina. New York Senator Hillary Clinton says she would "never have appointed such a person," and Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski says, "let's bring in someone who is a professional."
Critics say he was unqualified for the position, citing his background as the head of the International Arabian Horse Association. But such concerns were not evident during Brown's confirmation hearings in 2002, when the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee approved his nomination. Then-committee chairman Joe Lieberman said at the time that Brown's earlier experience as an assistant city manager in Edmond, Oklahoma, was a "particularly useful experience."
South Carolina officials scrambled to prepare for a plane full of evacuees yesterday, after FEMA informed them the plane would be landing in Charleston in 30 minutes. Police and medical staff gathered at the airport in time to meet the plane, but despite FEMA officials insisting that the flight had landed in Charleston, the evacuees were nowhere to be found.
Turns out, FEMA had notified the wrong Charleston. The plane was safely on the ground in the West Virginia city of the same name. The director of South Carolina's Department of Health director says his state remains ready to accept evacuees, adding the rapid response to FEMA's errant call was "phenomenal."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report