As efforts to raise money for tragedy-struck Haiti gain speed, there is a parallel conversation that weighs a biting critique of some of the senseless death on the Caribbean Island. On one hand, stories of hope spur people to give and actively improve circumstances, but on the other is a portrait of an already severely impoverished country, crushed by overwhelming need. Last night, Anderson Cooper, one of the first journalists to report from Haiti, spoke out on Larry King Live about the agony of seeing “stupid death.” Transcribes NY Mag:
“There’s just stupid death happening here now. It doesn’t have to happen, and it’s really upsetting to see. A little girl is dying because her leg was crushed. Someone doesn’t have to die of that. A leg can be amputated if there’s a doctor there to do it. If there’s antibiotics, they can take an infection to be treated. It doesn’t have to spread through the body and kill somebody. It’s really stupid. It’s infuriating. People died today who did not need to die. People will die tonight, in the next hour, who do not need to die.”
NY Mag frames the journalist’s dilemma well: Even if the portrait is accurate, how much horror is too much? How do you balance it with stories of hope? Does Anderson Cooper have “disaster fatigue”?
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