Alternate headline: “Gibbs puts his boot on Fox News’s throat.” Honestly, laying aside the specifics of Brown’s accusation against the White House, I don’t know what Cavuto was thinking in having him on to talk about, of all things, crisis management. He’s forever discredited by his Katrina performance; it’d be absurd theater even without the conspiracy theory. But for the record, here’s what he said:

“And I would not be surprised if the White House said, you know, we might be able to, guess what, do what? Use this crisis to our advantage,” Brown said on Monday on Fox News. “Let this crisis get really bad, and then we will step in. We will be able to shut down offshore drilling. We will be able to turn to all these alternate fuels.”

You can watch the Brown clip at Mediaite. There’s a variation of Truther that takes this same attitude towards 9/11. The strong-form crowd insists that Bush orchestrated the whole thing; the weak-form crowd counters that Al Qaeda did it, but that Bush knew all about it and looked the other way because the attack would give him a pretext to attack Iraq. Brown’s adapting the weak-form argument to the BP spill. Note to Brownie: The White House is already in a “panic” over how the spill could eventually destroy the image of competence they’re trying to craft for the elections ahead. I’m sure that’s why Gibbs freaks out here, in fact. The thought of “Obama’s Katrina” taking hold as a meme among the public is so dangerous — much more so than if they’d contained the spill and pissed off their base by pressing ahead with drilling — that he immediately reverts to Fox-bashing mode to steer the exchange towards another subject. Heckuva job. Be sure to read this AP fact-check of the White House’s response to the spill, though, specifically noting how causal Gibbsy himself was at the briefing held three days after the explosion on the rig. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they had their boot on his throat.