Time's Alex Perry, the magazine's Africa bureau chief, responded in the FAIR Blog comments section to FAIR's Julie Hollar, who recently (FAIR Blog, 6/25/10) criticized Perry for neglecting to mention the U.S. and Belgium's role in propping up the Mobutu regime in Congo. Perry said: The idea that the U.S. created Mobutu and maintained him in power belittles Africans and is typical of the kind of racism that dogs analysis of Africa from commentators and journalists who get as close to Africa as, er, America, like old Julie here. The U.S. did not create Mobutu. They certainly did support him. [...]
NBC reporter Ann Curry's fawning interview with actor Ben Affleck (NBC Nightly News, 5/19/10), about his celebrity activist work in the Congo, is downright embarrassing: CURRY: Why do you pick the place that people think is actually one of the worst places in terms of the number of atrocities, in terms of the level of suffering, one of the worst places on Earth? AFFLECK: I really do see tremendous hopefulness. I'm really moved by the power of folks to find solutions to their own problems. The Congolese sense of kind of strength and self-sufficiency and resilience. CURRY: And he's seen [...]
The dominant story from Hillary Clinton's trip to Africa was not her comments about combating rape and sexual violence in Congo. No, the top story was Clinton's testy response to a question about what her husband thought of Chinese business interests in Kenya Congo. That exchange prompted a whole story in today's New York Times by Jeffrey Gettleman ("Clinton's Flash of Pique in Congo"). While that's already kind of sad, it turns out that the questioner misspoke; he actually meant to ask what Barack Obama thought of these deals. But either way, apparently, you get to psychoanalyze Hillary Clinton: After [...]
There are two major conflicts in Africa that receive U.S. media attention. In Congo, it is estimated that 5 million people have died in a conflict that has raged for about 12 years. In the Darfur region of Sudan, estimates can range from 200,000 to 400,000. The Darfur conflict, though, has received much more press attention than Congo–which serves to explain why Newsweek magazine would run a (short) article about Congo under the headline "Africa's Other Holocaust."