I almost feel bad about all those hit jobs written on Michael Brown, the former Federal Emergency Management Agency director charged with messing up the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. That's because he asked and I—and many other reporters—have clicked "confirm" to be a Facebook friend. Fact is, his is an interesting comeback story, and his Facebook page, which you have to sign up for to see, tells it. He's a long way from President Bush's disaster plaudit, "Brownie, you're doin' a heckuva job," but he remembers it well, dubbing it his least favorite quote. He follows that up with this advice: "Don't always believe what you read. Ask me instead." Apparently, many are. He had about 85 friends two weeks ago, and with some active marketing, he's nearly topped 225. He's now associated with five firms, including his own, and many touch on disaster planning and mistakes, both of which he says he knows about. Duh. For example, he chairs Cotton USA, a disaster recovery firm, and is a VP at the disaster-training firm Resilient.
And here's his Facebook personal profile:
Activities: Hiking, travel, reading, photography, music.
Interests: Politics, media, public policy issues.
Favorite Music: Van Morrison, Beatles, Neil Young, Alison Krauss, Bob Dylan, Bobby Darin, Springsteen, CSNY, Dwight Yoakam, Elvis, Emmylou Harris, Enya, Fleetwood Mac, Phil Coulter, George Harrison, Jackson Browne, James, Mellencamp, Johnny Cash, Led Zepplin[sic], Nanci Griffith, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, Stones, Orbison, Soul Asylum, Tom Petty, Tennessee Ernie Ford, U2, Zevon, and anything gospel or bluegrass.
Favorite TV Shows: Yawn. I am so sick of television. But, Monk, 24, Sunday Morning, and then incessantly flipping between Fox, MSNBC, and all the talking heads.
Favorite Books: The Power Broker, Mornings on Horseback, Same Different as Me, Mere Christianity.
Whispers (Paul Bedard) is also new to Facebook, and I'm begging for friends. Log on and friend me.