RachelWatch: Aftershocks from the Haiti Earthquake

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Today: Rachel looks at the worsening situation in Haiti, the outpouring of help, and the difficulty of getting aid into the country.

Earthquake in Haiti

Rachel started off with a look at the chaos in Port-au-Prince. Help is on the way, but in the meantime the situation has been getting worse and there are enormous problems with actually getting aid to the people who so desperately need it.

Rachel showed anguished reports from NBC’s Brian Williams, Kerry Sanders, and Tom Llamas.

Earthquake in Haiti: SOS

The need for medical supplies in Haiti is desperate. Rachel reported that an inflatable hospital is on the way so that health care workers can perform hundreds of necessary surgeries.

She also welcomed Tracy Kidder, author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, to talk about Partners in Health. Kidder is passionate about the cause. He emphasized the importance of adapting aid to the local culture and made sure to point out that the devastation from this earthquakes comes from very human failings, not a pact with the Devil.

Earthquake in Haiti: The Rush To Help

Rachel noted that the Dominican Republic and Haiti have had a difficult history. But, as she said last night, crises of this magnitude make politics quaint.

Michele Wucker, executive director of the World Policy Institute and author of Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola, dropped in to talk about the Dominican Republic’s moving willingness to drop old tensions and help their neighbors.

Earthquake in Haiti: U.S. Response

Rachel spoke with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who promised a “substantial improvement” in the next 24 hours and a long-term commitment to Haiti’s recovery.

Rachel brought up the bottleneck in getting aid into getting aid into Haiti and addressed parallels with Afghanistan, voicing the hope that we’ll be able to help the country without dictating to it or causing harm in the long run.

Pat Robertson: Still a Jackass

Rachel explained The Christian Broadcasting Network’s reasonable explanation of the “Reverend” Pat Robertson’s revolting statements about Haiti:

Robertson doesn’t think the island was hit with the wrath of God because of a pact with the devil. That’s callous and silly. He believes the nation has been cursed for generations because of a pact with the devil.

See? Totally different! And actually less clear about whether it’s God or Old Scratch that Robertson is accusing of being a dick for the last couple of centuries, but what the heck?

I have a few questions. Like who on earth vetted that public statement? Nobody on hand could understand why the original statement made people upset and maybe suggest that the second one wasn’t addressing those issues? The folks at CBN couldn’t hit the Internet for a few minutes?

And even if he believed such a medieval, monstrously callous thing, wouldn’t it occur to Robertson that maybe less than 24 hours after a major disaster is the wrong time to say it? I usually try to cut the elderly a little slack, but criminy, Pat Robertson, who raised you?

And what pact did they make with the Prince of Darkness to make you turn out like this?

See how that feels?

It’s wrong to end with Pat Robertson. Let’s finish with the fact that millions of dollars have poured into the Red Cross through $10 cell phone donations. You can make one too by texting “Haiti” to 90999.

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