Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

February 23, 2006

Nation Magazine continues rancid coverage of Haiti

Filed under: Uncategorized — louisproyect @ 4:39 pm

It is common knowledge that Nation Magazine contributor Amy Wilentz has been hostile to Father Aristide for years now. Most of what she has written is in line with the Marc Cooper/Time Magazine “balanced” journalism approach to Hugo Chavez. You mentions a couple of good things about the subject and then heap a ton of abuse.

Wilentz’s shoes have apparently been filled by somebody named Kathie Klarreich, who has written for Time Magazine herself, the Christian Science Monitor and been a reporter for NPR. Exactly the background one might expect.

In the current online edition of the Nation, there’s an article by her titled “The Fight for Haiti” that states:

“The most polarizing figure in Haiti’s recent political arena, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, had twice won the presidency and had twice been forced out, first in a 1991 military coup d’état seven months after taking office and then again in 2004, two years shy of the end of his five-year term. Although the former president currently lives in exile in South Africa with his wife and two daughters, the distance hasn’t diminished his influence on the Haitian political scene. He remains wildly popular at the same time that he is feared and despised, a contradiction that accurately reflects Haiti’s fractured society and that was played out again in the allegiances of the thirty-three presidential candidates.”

Of course Aristide has been “polarizing”. That is like saying that two men kissing on the quad at Oral Roberts University is polarizing. If you don’t want to be polarizing figure in Haiti, just accept the continued super-exploitation of 95 percent of the population with equanimity. Despite being a priest, Aristide would have none of that.

She also writes:

“How things play out over the next five years depends in large part on Préval’s leadership, which doesn’t seem to be a trait critics and even some of his friends say is strongly developed, yet was evidenced in his handling of the electoral crisis. While he is credited with building roads, beginning the implementation of a national agrarian reform program and lowering the price of fertilizer during his 1996-2001 term, he was also perceived as a puppet of Tabarre, the area where Aristide settled after his first five-year term ended in 1996.”

You’ll note the clever formulation “puppet of Tabarre”. What does this mean exactly? That Tabarre is infiltrating Haiti? This kind of language, of course, is exactly what you learn to use at whorehouses like Time Magazine. Why Nation Magazine editors permit is another question altogether.

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