Estimates of the casualty toll in the Haiti earthquake are all over the place. Anywhere from 30,000 to 500,000 in a country of about 10 million. I can't even fathom the immense human suffering and what will transpire in the aftermath. Americans really just don't have the ability to discern what constitutes human misery on a massive scale. We're still stuck on Hurricane Katrina and the wintry cold spell that gripped the midwest.
Pat Robertson's comments struck me as completely twisted. He claimed the citizens of Haiti struck a "deal with the devil" and that is why their country has been repeatedly victimized by hurricanes, natural disasters and continual poverty. Obviously, their voodoo worship is the reason god has decided to punish them. But then why the fuck is he encouraging his followers to donate money to the Haitian relief fund? Wouldn't that be the equivalent of assisting the followers of satan?
Rush Limbaugh's comments were even more predictable. He opted to rip apart Obama for his speedy desire to help people of color as a means to cement his popularity with African American voters. Then, he lambasted Obama for not addressing the Amsterdam/Detroit attempted terrorist attack as quickly. That's like tying the 2001 Anthrax attacks to the Indonesian tsunami.
But here is what I found most fascinating as I flipped through the news channels seeking coverage of the earthquake. Fox chose to barely mention it. While CNN and MSNBC were totally committed to this natural disaster of epic proportions, Fox "News" barely even mentioned it. They just ran tag lines at the bottom of the screen. How can they call themselves a "news" channel if they fail to report on the biggest story on the planet.
Instead, they chose to air an entire hour of Glenn Beck interviewing Sarah Palin. She was happy to share her earth-shattering views about how we live in the greatest country in the world and how she doesn't understand why the current leadership wants to be more like Europe. Then, she rehashed her views about the 2008 presidential campaign and how we need to reign in government spending. Next up, she went after Obama on national security. For the love of Christ...
Right now, Hannity is talking about the political races in Massachusetts and who will eventually replace Sen. Ted Kennedy. He's also spewing rants about socialized health care and more bank bailouts.
I hate to sound cynical, but there's only one logical conclusion. The producers of Fox News have made a voluntary decision that their viewers probably don't really care much about the human suffering in Haiti. Could it be racially motivated? I doubt it. I'm guessing they figure that the other major news outlets have it sufficiently covered. Therefore, let's just stick with Sarah Palin interview. After all, she's our future bread and butter.
For Fox to seriously portray itself a news outlet and not even remotely provide minimal coverage on a cataclysmic tragedy of this magnitude is beyond belief. I'm not even talking about the notion of "fair and balanced." I'm just talking about what constitutes "news" itself. Even right now, there's a panel bitching about Harry Reid. Unbelievable.