Managing the Media Crisis

"The White House rolled out a plan this weekend to contain political damage from the administration's response to Hurricane Katrina," reports the New York Times. Led by Bush political adviser Karl Rove and communications director Dan Bartlett, the PR plan includes "visits by cabinet members to the region," leading up to Bush's Labor Day return (during "his first visit, on Friday ... the president had little contact with residents left homeless"). "Administration officials who went on television on Sunday were instructed to avoid getting drawn into exchanges about the problems of the past week, and to turn the discussion to what the government is doing now." And, in accordance with "Mr. Rove's tough political style, the administration is also working to shift the blame away from the White House and toward officials of New Orleans and Louisiana who, as it happens, are Democrats."