The shameful reporting of the Miami Herald

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JustinFelux

The shameful reporting of the Miami Herald

Post by JustinFelux » Thu May 20, 2004 3:57 pm

Has anyone else following the news these past few months been as angered by the Miami Herald as I have? I mean, none of the mainstream media does a good job of covering Haiti, but the MH seems to have a right-wing bias that is above and beyond the others.

This surprises me, because I've always regarded the MH as one of the better newspapers with regards to coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean (not that it takes much to be considered "better" than the rest of the mainstream media).

This report from yesterday about the attacks against the pro-Aristide marchers is a good example:

[quote]Pro-Aristide protesters fight police

Partisans supporting former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide protest in the streets and battle police, who were backed by U.S. Marines.

BY MICHAEL DEIBERT

PORT-AU-PRINCE -- Police backed by U.S. Marines on Tuesday clashed with s
upporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide as Haitians marked the 201st anniversary of the creation of their national flag.

With helicopters swooping low overhead, several hundred partisans of Aristide, who fled the country Feb. 29 amid an armed rebellion, began their protest in the capital's impoverished Bel Air quarter.

''Without Aristide, there is no Haiti. This new government doesn't work with the Haitian people,'' said Jean Denis Chevalier, a 26-year-old videographer, speaking for the young, mostly male crowd.

The Associated Press reported one young man was shot to death, but that it was unclear who fired the shot. U.S. Marines said they did not fire any shots during the clash.

Aristide was elected to a second term as Haiti's president in December 2000, but his rule grew unpopular due to what critics charged was pervasive corruption and brutality. An interim government, headed by President Boniface Alexandre and Prime Minister Gerard Latortue, is now in charge
of running the country until new elections, likely in 2005.

Convoys of U.S. Marines rolled through Bel Air's hilly streets as heavily armed Haitian riot police set up cordons to block the protesters.

''This is an illegal demonstration . . . Return to your homes immediately,'' said an announcement broadcast over loudspeakers to the crowd.

U.S. Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Colonel Dave Lapan said Marines were there to support the Haitian police and police concluded the demonstration was illegal because the group had no permit.

At one point demonstrators began throwing rocks at passing cars and then ran toward the capital's Champs de Mars plaza, in front of Haiti's National Palace. Riot police responded with volleys of tear gas.[/quote]

1. The demonstrators are described as "partisans." Being pro-democracy is not a "partisan" position. The people that participated in demonstrations were not merely pro-Aristide people. Some of the morons who were duped into su
pporting the Convergence were protesting the occupation as well.

2. Saying they "battled police" makes them sound like they either instigated the violence or the violence was coming from both sides, when in fact the violence was completely one-sided according to every credible report I've read.

3. Aristide "fled" the country; he wasn't taken out by force.

4. The article describes "several hundred" protestors being there, when there were easily over ten thousand.

5. That it was unclear who fired the shot that killed that boy is utter nonsense.

6. More BS charges of "corruption and brutality" repeated without a rebuttal or even a credible source. How do you think the U.S. would react if a newspaper in a foreign country flippantly asserted that the Bush administration was "corrupt and brutal?"

7. The notion that the protestors didn't have permission is another lie that is repeated without a rebuttal.

8. The protestors are again presented as if they instigated
the violence, by throwing stones. This is like the New York Times' coverage of the middle east: Palestinian child throws a stone, therefore the Israeli military is justified in blowing up a neighborhood with rockets.

Charles Arthur
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue May 25, 2004 7:35 am

Post by Charles Arthur » Tue May 25, 2004 7:40 am

Unfortunately this sort of reporting is what we have come to expect from Michael Deibert, the former Reuters correspondent. It is a shame that he is back on the Haiti beat. I felt that the Miami Herald coverage was some of the best in recent times -admittedly it was the best of a bad lot. I thought Michael Ottey went some way to report on Haiti from the majority perspective in sharp contrast to those others who just stay in the hotel environs and regurgitate the AFP/Metropole/184 line.......

JustinFelux

Post by JustinFelux » Tue May 25, 2004 6:05 pm

Yeah, I usually don't pay attention to the name of the reporter when I read a news report. I should start doing it. Two that have consistently gotten under my skin are Polgreen and Wiener at the NYT.

I wonder why the Aristide govt didn't do a better job of coddling the international press corps. Journalists love being close to power and officialdom--it wouldn't have taken much to get his message out. Look at how well Guy Philippe did during the past few months. By letting journalists have access to him, he ended up getting glowing reviews in the press.

I guess the journalists there just take their cue from the U.S. embassy. It's probably the same for most foreign correspondents, especially in poor countries. Robert Fisk says that when U.S. journalists show up in the middle east the first place they go is to the U.S. embassy so they can be told what to do.

(Love your books BTW, Charles)

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