Landrieu Cited Journalists in Backing Up Her Attack on the Bush Administration

A little something from Sunday's Face the Nation that shouldn't go unnoticed: Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu (LA), unable to cite, off-hand, examples which illustrated her allegation that the White House was orchestrating a smear campaign of local officials who responded to Hurricane Katrina, told host Bob Schieffer that he need only ask various "journalists throughout town."

About eight minutes into the program, host Bob Schieffer asked Landrieu: "Do you think the White House is trying to put the blame on local officials?"

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) began a stemwinder of an answer: "I am unfortunately aware that, yes, they are. While the president is saying he wants to work together as a team, I think the White House operatives have a full-court press on to blame state and local officials, whether they're Republicans or Democrats, whether it's Haley Barbour or Kathleen Blanco, whether it's Mayor Nagin or a Republican mayor from Mississippi. And it's very unfortunate.

Landrieu then went on to assert that FEMA was underfunded and underequipped for the disaster, after which Schieffer pressed her, "That's a very strong charge you've just leveled. What are some examples of that?"

Landrieu replied, "Well, I think that there are journalists throughout town that can give you those examples, and I'll be happy to provide more detail as the week unfolds..."

Schieffer didn't press the case further than that, but it's rather telling that a liberal Democrat, unable to substantiate her rhetoric, would urge a liberal journalist he need only consult his colleagues to see that her claims are valid.

Hurricane Katrina CBS Face the Nation