Target: Clear Channel Communications
Goal: Fire ex-FEMA chief Michael Brown from his job as radio host at their subsidiary 630 KHOW
What Nature can damage only Man can truly ruin. Such was the case with Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 storm that claimed 2,000 lives and did $81 billion in damage. The hurricane itself was powerful but far more deadly was the human incompetence that followed. Now the man chiefly responsible for mismanaging the government response to Katrina, ex-FEMA head Michael Brown, is cracking jokes about this tragic history.
The matter revolves around the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. During Katrina the football stadium acted as a temporary shelter for refugees of the storm. It quickly became a nightmare: government officials had failed to stock enough food and water, and the lower levels became flooded. The temperature soared. There were reports of fistfights and shooting as desperate survivors scrambled for supplies.
Much of the blame for the poor government response that resulted in these deaths lies at the door of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, headed at the time by Michael D. Brown. Brown was informed of the situation inside the Superdome but failed to act for another week. Six people died while waiting to be evacuated. Brown resigned shortly after the disaster but has resolutely insisted that the media was using him as a scapegoat.
Flash forward 7 years. Last week the Superdome hosted the NFL Super Bowl, with some difficulties: the stadium lost power for 34 minutes mid-game due to issues at the local power station. This prompted Michael Brown–who now hosts a talk radio show on 630 KHOW in Denver–to hop on Twitter and make the following comment: “Someone just told me there was fighting going on in the NOLA Superdome. #shocked”
Normally when government officials cause the loss of human life and dignity through their own incompetence, they have the decency to quietly fade from the public sphere. Brown, however, has taken the opposite approach and decided to publicly mock the tragic events that unfolded inside the Superdome, events that he was partially responsible for creating. It’s a terrible insult to the memories of those six people who lost their lives and an affront to American citizens.
By signing this petition you are urging Clear Channel Communications to cancel “The Michael Brown Show” and remove Michael Brown from the airwaves.
Dear Clear Channel Communications,
Recently one of the hosts of your radio station 630 KHOW made a truly unfortunate public remark. While commenting on the power outage during the Super Bowl, Michael Brown of “The Michael Brown Show” made light of the tragic events that unfolded there during Hurricane Katrina. This is especially insulting considering that Mr. Brown is the former head of FEMA. The mismanagement of FEMA’s response is well-known, especially its failure to evacuate the Superdome. Six people died while waiting for help that came too late. Mr. Brown was forced to resign shortly afterwards.
Now he apparently thinks it’s acceptable to joke on Twitter: “Someone just told me there was fighting going on in the NOLA Superdome. #shocked” Normally when government officials cause the loss of human life through their own incompetence, they have the decency to quietly fade from the public sphere. Since Mr. Brown seems disinclined to do so of his own volition, I urge you to do it for him and cancel “The Michael Brown Show.”
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NOAA via Wikimedia Commons