The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

09 February 2010

HuffPo Smear Machine Places Words In Bill O'Reilly's Mouth


WaPo-Owned Site: Criticism Of Haiti's Government = Racism

To the list of forbidden words in our increasingly PC society, add the newest "C-word": corruption. Move over, "retarded", you've got serious competition this week.

For that, we can thank a Washington Post - Newsweek co-owned website, The Root (and its smear-peddling enablers at the Huffington Post, who excerpted it) whose stated objective is to "provide thought-provoking commentary on today's news from a variety of black perspectives."

Somehow, merely pointing to corruption in a Third World country isn't just racist, but extremely derogatory as well. Didn't actually use a slur in your argument? That's okay, the Smear Machine will insert one straight into your mouth.

Look how this was done in a piece called "Haiti, Bill O’Reilly and The Myth of the Dark Savage":

Bill O’Reilly rants that “massive corruption is the problem with Haiti” and that if you send money to the island, the Haitian authorities “will most likely steal it!” He says that he gives to Haiti through a reliable friend but doesn’t provide much guidance to his viewers as to how they, too, can find alternative means to donate. Not particularly constructive. Further, he “tut tuts” about looting and thuggery, yet I have seen no images of people stealing flat screen TVs or trashing local businesses—assuming there are standing structures to trash.

Watching the tragedy play out on television, I have seen suffering, yes. I have seen death, certainly. I have seen hungry, injured people struggling to find food and medicine for themselves, for their children. That’s not looting. That’s survival at its most urgent. We celebrate the tenacity of the human spirit when rugby players stranded in the Andes are forced to turn to the carcasses of their fallen brethren for sustenance—and even make a movie about it. So surely we can acknowledge the impulse to push back against the throngs of souls who grab at the same meager bowl of rice that you are fortunate enough to hold in your hands.

I’ve come to expect drivel from Fox TV, but they’re not the only ones playing up the lawless Haitian meme. Time wonders “Will Criminal Gangs Take Control In Haiti’s Chaos?,” while The Daily Beast laments "Haiti's Lawless Streets.” And on and on, the coverage goes, as if it is morally wrong when desperation doesn't simply tip its hat and form a queue.

Violence is indeed an aspect of Haiti’s story, but so are heroism, generosity and hope. I fear the over-emphasis on violence as somehow an anomalous reaction to catastrophe rests on a far too familiar trope: Black as savage, other, incomprehensible. Inhuman.

Is this hyperbole? Perhaps. Or perhaps we ought to ask the Idaho church group who thought they could simply leave the island with orphaned (and maybe some not-so-orphaned) children without the appropriate documentation. Or the Brazilian troops who last week trained their rifles on a hungry crowd of displaced Haitians, firing pepper spray into the crowd to keep the peace. Perhaps we should ask the Haitian people who again and again have had to attest to their own humanity.

One problem with the "dark savage" theory: O'Reilly is 100% correct. Had the author spent even a moment looking into the facts, it would become clear that thievery in Haiti's government is endemic.

According to Transparency International, the country is among the world's five most corrupt. And in the 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index, Haiti scores a paltry 1.8, below Cuba, Venezuela, the neighboring Dominican Republic and virtually any other country on the globe.

With decades of expertise in the subject, why would they stop stealing foreign aid now? And how is pointing this out racist?

HAVE YOU SEEN our companion site for New England regional talk radio updates?

Amazon orders originating with clicks here benefit The Radio Equalizer's ongoing operations. Your PayPal contributions keep this site humming along. Thanks!


Post a Comment

<< Home

Page Rank Checker

Powered by Blogger