Haiti News That Makes You Sad–But Should Make You Angry

If you listen to CounterSpin this week (and you should be downloading the podcast EVERY WEEK), you’ll hear this item:

USA Today ran a version of an AP story September 29 about the outrageous and depressing fact that not a penny of the $1.5 billion the U.S. pledged to Haiti for rebuilding after the devastating earthquake nearly nine months ago has actually been delivered. It’s the sort of news that might make readers sad, but it should make them angry. Trouble is, you have to get to paragraph 10 of the 12 paragraph piece before you learn why the money hasn’t moved: Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who is holding up the authorization bill on purpose because he believes it includes one unnecessary staff position. One, as his spokesperson unashamedly declares.

Part of the strategy behind these Senate holds is that you can sort of get away with it without anyone noticing that you’re being a creep. Of course, this works even better if the press plays along.

I mention this mainlybecause last night, after recording this week’s CounterSpin, I tuned in to the Daily Show to see Jon Stewart had a very similar take. (His was, I should say, funnier.) And it featured Democracy Now!‘s Amy Goodman. Watch it here..

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.