Newly released e-mails sent by former FEMA head Michael Brown indicate he was more concerned about his image on television during Hurricane Katrina than its effects, even as he received reports of the crisis developing in New Orleans.
The e-mails were released by a House panel investigating the government's sluggish preparations and reaction to the storm.
In one exchange on the morning Katrina hit, Brown writes to a deputy director of public affairs who complimented his attire: "I got it at Nordstrom’s. Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?"
An hour later, Brown adds: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god."
A week later, Brown's aide, Sharon Worthy, reminds him to pay heed to his image on T-V. "In this crisis and on TV you just need to look more hardworking ... ROLL UP THE SLEEVES!"
Congressman Charlie Melancon chastised Brown, saying the e-mails show he was overwhelmed, indecisive and superficial.