Ten years ago today I received the following email from an HA reader:
I think I’ve told you that I’m into Arab horses. Well, for 3 years Michael Brown was hired and then fired by our IAHA, the International Arabian Horse Assoc. He was an unmitigated, total fucking disaster. I was shocked as hell when captain clueless put him in charge of FEMA a couple of years ago. He or the WH lied on the WH presser announcing him to FEMA. IAHA was never connected to the Olympic Comm, only the half Arab registry then and the governing body to the state and local Arabian horse clubs. He ruined IAHA financially so badly that we had to change the name and combine it with the Purebred registry.
I am telling you this after watching the fucking shipwreck in the Gulf. His incompetence is KILLING people.
After a little bit of sleuthing I turned the tip above into this scathing post that quickly went viral, transforming FEMA’s inadequate response to the tragedy in New Orleans into a national conversation about cronyism. Within days, FEMA director Mike Brown was out of a job. A month later, while testifying before congress, Brown would blame HorsesAss.org by name for his agency’s failures:
The path this story took—from a single reader’s small piece of specialized knowledge, to a local blogger, to a national blog, to the national media—may not be the first example of the transformative power of blogging. But it’s certainly one of the clearest. And I’ll always be proud to have played my little role.