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a120: Haitian journalists: Chamberlain replies to Smith (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Robert Smith <lakay200@yahoo.com> wrote:

> one cannot also ignore the fact that some of the
> "attacked" journalists are opportunists that are
> taking full advantage of the chaos to get out of the
> country legal.  

So THIS is why the Lavalas mobs attacked them...
Because they were jealous that they could get
out of the country this way...  An extraordinary 
revelation...  So they obviously deserve everything 
they get.

> I personally know two of them who managed to get out

There are hundreds of dedicated journalists who 
have to, and also choose to, stay in Haiti at great 
personal risk.  They too are obviously in it for 
Personal Gain.  What you mean is that someone 
who managed to run out of the WTC just before it 
collapsed was a traitor because (s)he didn't stay 
in there and be a martyr and so provide moral 
backing for the US war in Afghanistan... 
Or in Haiti, did not stay behind so that the regime
(any regime) could have a handy target of violence
to divert attention from government incompetence
and corruption.

> Let's be clear about the situation and stop claiming
> that ALL journalists in Haiti deserves to be respected
> under the banner of "freedom of speech."  

So let's tell the mobs this.  You think they would make 
this fine distiction?  

> Some of them who work for private radio stations 
> have been accused of taking money from the elite 
> to spread propagandas on their talk shows.  
> No, I don't have any proof, but it's not something that 
> I think is impossible.

Well, that's a relief !  America killed a lot of people
by mistake in Afghanistan, so obviously all Americans
must be exterminated !  Millions of Haitians did not
leave Haiti during the coup years or under the 
Duvaliers.  They too are clearly torturers and 
murderers.  Some Haitians have AIDS = All Haitians
Have AIDS.  And so on.

> If we are going to be honest about the siituation, 
> we must admit that journalists in Haiti have never
> enjoyed such freedom of speech in Haitian history.  

Indeed.  The fact is that since 1986 (the fall of the
Duvaliers), the media is perhaps the only
important social institution that has managed to 
establish itself and grow in Haiti.  Let's reflect on
how each political situation since then would've
been different had there not been a local media 
fighting to be free during all those years.
However, it's clear they wouldn't've had much of
a chance if you'd had anything to do with it, Robert. 

> the people are too broken, and healing will be a 
> very slow process. 

A _very_ slow process, if the "breaking" of the people
is encouraged by this familar habit of denying and
decrying how essential to democracy-building 
the media is, for all its occasional errors.

        Greg Chamberlain