AP (Miami Herald) | Brown rips into Bush administration officialTell me: In what other context could any elected official say "you all look alike to me" and get a free pass from the national press?
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown verbally attacked a top Bush administration official during a briefing on the Haiti crisis Wednesday, calling the President's policy on the beleaguered nation "racist" and his representatives "a bunch of white men."
Her outburst was directed at Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. Noriega, a Mexican-American, is the State Department's top official for Latin America.
"I think it was an emotional response of her frustration with the administration," said David Simon, a spokesman for the Jacksonville Democrat. He noted that Brown, who is black, is "very passionate about Haiti."
Brown sat directly across the table from Noriega and yelled into a microphone. Her comments sent a hush over the hourlong meeting, which was attended by about 30 people, including several members of Congress and Bush administration officials.
Noriega later told Brown: "As a Mexican-American, I deeply resent being called a racist and branded a white man," according to three participants.
Brown then told him "you all look alike to me," the participants said.
During the meeting, Brown criticized the administration's response to the escalating violence in Haiti, where rebels opposing President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government have seized control of large parts of the country.
After her comments about white men, Noriega said he would "relay that to (Secretary of State) Colin Powell and (national security adviser) Condoleezza Rice the next time I run into them," participants said.
This story, like an increasing number of character-revealing incidents, is being more widely discussed in blogs than in the "real" press. Winds of Change has two posts (so far) tracking the coverage, or lack thereof, in what can be considered national newspapers. Of those named, only the Washington Post has mentioned it... in the context of covering (I might say trivializing and dismissing) Rep. Henry Bonilla's call for her resignation, not the incident itself. And it's only a three-paragraph item buried in the middle of a story about something else.