CBS’s Early Show today featured a taped tirade by Aaron Broussard, the Democratic president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, who, on Sunday's Meet the Press essentially accused FEMA and the Bush administration of "murdering" New Orleanians. Broussard did try to sound some conciliatory notes, talking about shaking hands with FEMA officials and worrying about blame later, but then launched into an extended baseball analogy lampooning the Bush administration's reaction to the hurricane disaster which made Smith crack up laughing. Smith didn't challenge any of Broussards bombastic claims and his colleague Hannah Storm, co-hosting from New York, praised Broussard as embodying "the spirit of Louisiana":
6 September 2005 (Tuesday)
@ 0719 EDT
Aaron Broussard, Jefferson Parish president: "What I told FEMA was, listen, I've got a lot to tell you about what happened the last couple of days, but I've got people who are starving in their homes, and my list is getting bigger and bigger, and my resources are burnt out. I said, well, let's shake hands and let somebody else sort out fault of yesterday, and let's begin today to save lives that are still hoping against hope that somebody's out there.
Bureaucracy has murdered people in the greater New Orleans area, and bureaucracy needs to stand trial before Congress today. So I'm asking Congress: please investigate this now. Take whatever idiot they have at the top of whatever agency, give me a better idiot. You know, give me a caring idiot, give me a sensitive idiot, just don't give me the same idiot..."
Harry Smith: "Left to your own devices you could solve all of these problems if you could just get the government to get out of the way."
Broussard: "No, sir. I need the government to get in my face. I need the kind of support that I needed the day after this hurricane. Why would the president declare a disaster in advance of a hurricane? That's like a pitcher right before, okay, he's doing his windup, he says I'm throwing you a pitch..."
Broussard: "...the pitcher has stood like this for nine days, the catcher, me, my legs locked, I passed out, I fell over, I went into a coma, I'm exhausted, I woke up, it was day three, I woke up, it's day four. I'm looking at the stands, I see people dying in the stands, I'm going, 'are you going to pitch? Give me the pitch, the pitch, the pitch.' The stadium's filled with people screaming out for the pitch. I'm the catcher, I'm giving every signal I've got. Throw me something, anything...today, I get an underhanded lob. I'll take it, I'll take it because I need it... I need everything."
Smith: "That's Aaron Broussard, who's the President of Jefferson Parish, right next to New Orleans here. He's the guy who's letting people into his community for a day or two. We'll have more on that before they evacuate everybody and get back to the rebuilding process. That's it from here for right now, let's go back to Julie or Hannah."
Hannah Storm, from New York City: "Alright, thanks a lot, Harry. Sure embodies the spirit of Louisiana, doesn't he?"
### @ 0721 EDT ###