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Hating on Haiti: Is Pat Robertson Gods gift to Journalists?

January 14, 2010

Yes Pat, all eyes are on you.

Lately I have been running a vague kind of vox pop of my most interesting and informed friends to discover the news sources they favour. I have been doing this to combat my perpetual suspicion that somewhere there is an ultimate website, newspaper,  or magazine that in one fell swoop will imbue me with great understanding and mind bending perspective on all of the most salient happenings around the world.  So far I remain a slave to trawling the usual suspects.

Day to day this is mildly unsatisfying on a fairly general level, however when I am actively looking for real information about a specific event, the paucity of the global media machine becomes violently apparent. The recent earthquake in Haiti is a case in point. Highly esteemed publication after highly esteemed publication trotted out identikit stories with the same quotes, the same non factual facts and the same inane technical information of little interest to anyone but the random geologist they managed to dig up for said inane technical fact, in order to disguise the actual fact that essentially no one knew much at all.

But then to rescue of well-meaning journalists pandering to the news hungry masses everywhere came the crazy religious people.

Pat Robertson, an American televangelist, has ramped up reporting on the issue greatly, by suggesting, none too subtly, that the earthquake was punishment from God because of a pact the Haitians made with the Devil in order to get rid of the French.

Oh yes he did.

He describes how “They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘Ok it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another.”

He goes on to note that the relatively success of the Dominican Republic, which neighbours Haiti, is evidence that there is a biblical curse that has been brought down on Haiti alone. He then suggests that people ought to donate money to him to help the Haitians.

But of course.

Now Pat Robertson is renowned for tripping the light fantastic a little when it comes to relating his views to minor issues like, say, reality. My personal favourite is a quote he made way back in 1992 opining that “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”

Why yes Pat, yes it is.

But his growing penchant for preying on global tragedies as fodder for pushing his outlandish views smacks of either mental illness or the most terrible lack of humanity. Michael Rowe of the Huffington Post reflects that Robertson is “Writing horror stories in the blood of innocent victims of a monstrous natural occurrence–again.”Yet Rowe optimistically suggests that the very appallingness of these comments might lead to a reassesment of the role of the religious industry in America.

The sad thing is, even if Pat Robertson takes the entirety of religious crankery down with him in a blaze of bigotry and narrow mindedness, he has already made a mockery of a tragic event, and further victimized people who already have a surfeit of suffering to deal with.

 For actual real information on the situation in Haiti after the earthquake, or to donate, please go to http://www.msf.org/

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2010 3:24 pm

    We all need to download this clip, and then come after this guy in six months or so. Start a twitter campaign to block his 1-800 number for donations. Sign his donation address up for every imaginable spam, both electronic and postal. He needs to be shut down. But, I think we should wait for six months or so – let the disaster in Haiti take precedence.

  2. January 14, 2010 3:27 pm

    (It is so easy to nab a YouTube video in Safari, lol)

  3. Reggie permalink
    January 14, 2010 11:04 pm

    Why would anyone attack another?You dont attack Pat Because of a statement he made!!!Why is everyone making it a big deal?Its just giving him more attention,leave it and let it go

  4. einsteinsdreams permalink*
    January 15, 2010 4:14 am

    Its a fine line isn’t it? They (the stupid and bigoted) win every time we waste our brain power and news time on them. But they also continue winning if nobody stands up to them and demands the world acknowledges their views to be completely unacceptable.

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