aka, the Tea-bagger quake.
The Fox “news” coverage of Haiti has been very informative so far. Several blogs have noted that while all the other news outlets on earth have been flooding the airwaves, cable broadcasts and “inter-tubes” with “all Haiti all the time” over the last couple of days, Fox has had a very different track. As mediamatters notes:
On January 13, Fox News’ three top-rated programs for 2009 — The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, and Glenn Beck — devoted a combined total of less than 7 minutes of coverage to the earthquake in Haiti, instead choosing to air such things as Beck’s hour-long interview with Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly’s discussion of Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, and Sean Hannity’s advocacy for Massachusetts candidate Scott Brown’s Senate campaign. By contrast, the content of MSNBC’s three top-rated shows underscored the significance of the Haiti disaster; Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Hardball devoted a total of more than two hours to the earthquake.
Personally I think they just needed the right angle. Much of the news coverage by other sources has been the same mindless “a tragedy! oh the humanity!” over and over, and certainly other things have happened in the world that maybe need a bit of news coverage, but still 7 minutes total?
Soon they will start blaming Obama for not reacting fast enough after the quake. Kinda like they didn’t report it for a few days. They don’t have irony in the no spin zone.
But they are starting to report.
Today I stopped to fill up the car on the way home and forgetting the station down the road has a Fox propaganda contract whereby they show the “news” station while I pay them money, I glanced at the screen while I waited. The reporter spit out something very close to this: “The scene is horrific! Thousands of people have gathered at the one time sight of the Haitian government thinking that surely if they could find relief this would be the place, but there is no relief coming, because there is no government. There is no infrastructure left at all.”
Isn’t that a cardinal goal of the rightwing movement in this country? Shrink the government till you can strangle it in the bath tub? Who needs infrastructure, the market will provide? Cut taxes and keep the government out of my life (but they can stay in Dave and Ted’s lives please if you could cause I don’t want them to get married, thanks) and everyone else needs personal responsibility!
Sounds like a major quake did to Haiti what the right has been trying to do to America since they started. If they can just destroy the government and the social contract, we can be just like Haiti…
I went yesterday to help build emergency packages to be shipped to Haiti by the Methodist church. They sent towels, soap, water, toothpaste, nail clippers, basic first aid, and so on. Basically everything they had in the warehouse that could be put into a very small packet to hand out. Except they made sure everyone knew not to include items that could be easily used as weapons. Metal nail files, combs with sharp handles, things like that. They are afraid that as a lack of law and order and regulation combines with lack of food and water, such things would just add to the problems.
I look at that and wonder about the inability to buy bullets over the last year. In many cases you simply couldn’t buy ammunition because the manufacturers couldn’t keep up with the demand. I remember an interview with a militia type who explained her rabid pro gun stand pretty simply. “When you have a problem who do you call? The police! Why? Because they are armed! Cut out the middle man!”
I would argue that the reason to call the police would be to have an unaligned third party that represented the rule of law to help mediate a bad situation, and that if they needed to draw weapons, they have already failed. I would also point out that sometimes you call a lawyer and go to see a judge. This is not because they have guns, but because they too represent the physical manifestation of the social contract, and an unaligned third party to referee a dispute.
Clearly the tea-baggers don’t want this. They want to do away with such government interference and let the “violent brutish and short” way of life that John Locke described as the human world pre-social contract reign. That is why they want to be armed for when it happens. Because might makes right after all.
So it occurs to me that Haiti is currently a tea-bagger paradise. It is what they want America to look like after all.
They just haven’t yet worked out where their own stance leads.