Apr
27
2011

WashPost's Hot Air on Haiti's 'Fresh, Vital Force'

Washington Post editorialist Lee Hockstader wrote a puff profile on Haiti's thuggish President-elect Michel Martelly ("Haiti's 'Sweet Micky' Martelly Turns Presidential," 4/24/11), whom he depicts as a fresh, vital force on the political scene, bringing with him energy and a new (mostly untested) crop of advisers, unbeholden to any recent political establishment. Little wonder that in the runoff election, Martelly, who is 50, beat a professorial 70-year-old former first lady 2 to 1. How can you write about Martelly's run-off "victory" without noting that both rounds of the election had historically low turnout–not just for Haiti, but for the Western […]

Jan
22
2010

'You Can't Write These Things About People You Respect'

Amy Wilentz has a strong critique of the media in her column in the new issue of the Nation (2/8/10). Starting with the New York Times' David Brooks (1/15/10; see FAIR Blog, 1/15/10), she demolishes his facile comparison of Haiti and Barbados ("Why is Haiti so poor? Well, it has a history of oppression, slavery and colonialism. But so does Barbados, and Barbados is doing pretty well") and then moves on: Brooks goes on to discuss the Haitian family, seemingly basing his argument on a book by Lawrence Harrison, a conservative cultural critic who also knows nothing about Haiti. "Child-rearing […]

Jan
15
2010

Heartless, Patronizing Haiti Pundits

While many are opening their hearts and purses to Haiti's suffering, itâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s important to note the corporate media's high profile exceptions. Televangelist Pat Robertson, carried on Disney's Family Channel, suggested Haiti invited the disaster by making a deal with the devil 200 years ago (FAIR Blog, 1/14/09). Radio big Rush Limbaugh discouraged donating to Haiti disaster relief on his January 13 show, saying: "We've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax…. You just canâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t keep throwing money at it." Meanwhile, Fox's Bill O'Reilly and New York Times columnist David Brooks each presented nauseatingly patronizing prescriptions for Haitiâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s […]

Jan
14
2010

Robertson: Haitians Signed Up for Catastrophe

While other cable news programmers responded to the grim news out of Haiti by calling for emergency aid and furnishing directions for how to help, right-wing religious broadcaster Pat Robertson took to the air with commentary disparaging the earthquake victims in a way that could very possibly discourage needed aid to the stricken nation. Robertson told viewers of his 700 Club (1/13/10) that Haiti has been visited by so much tragedy over the years because it had signed a deal with the Devil. As Robertson told his co-host, when Haiti was under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon […]