Voting booths Haitians
Citizens vote on Election Day at Fire Station #71 in Alhambra, Los Angeles County, on November 6, 2012 in California, as Americans flock to the polls nationwide to decide between President Barack Obama, his Rebuplican challenger Mitt Romney, and a wide range of other issues. Alhambra is one of 6 cities in California's 49th Assembly District, the state's first legislative district where Asian-Americans make up the majority of the population. AFP PHOTO / Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

By Garry Pierre-Pierre

In 2003 I watched in absolute horror as my colleagues and friends in the mainstream media beat a constant drumroll urging the country to go to war with Iraq. The reports were largely based on false information and at times fabrications. But Saddam Hussein was no angel, and few, if any reporters, felt compelled to buck the anti-Hussein mob.

I’m not writing this out of a sense of sanctimony. My motives are deeper than that. More than a decade later, I see a disturbing pattern emerging and if we’re not careful, we’re about to repeat the mistake of the Iraq debacle. The consequences this time for sure will be more detrimental than one war.

For over a year now we’ve been deluged daily with stories about the GOP’s presumptive nominee. His every proclamation is covered like it’s the unveiling of a new set of Commandments.  News broadcast outlets are making millions with him and they’re loving it. So they’re feeding us this bullshit and too many of us are eating it like pate.  So on and on and on it goes.

Some people claim they are attracted to the golden hair man because of his creed as a political outsider. Well, let me tell you about outsiders. My beloved, but deeply troubled homeland, just had a stint with a political outsider. So far, the verdict is out but the trend doesn’t bode well for Haiti.

Sweet Micky took Haiti by storm and bamboozled his way to the presidency, with the help of Democratic front runner Hilary Clinton, who brokered the former musician ascendancy to the ruins of the National Palace.

Former Haitian President Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly
Former Haitian President Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly

During his reign, Sweet Micky organized two carnivals a year and made proclamations about Haiti being open for business and bombarded social media with pictures and promises of grandiose projects that were either underway or under construction. He was the country’s mayor ubiquitously XXXX public works projects like a two-lane viaduct on the Delmas Road.

The last two years of Micky’s reign was an abject lesson as to why you need smart people with innate political skills and not neophyte blowhards as a country’s president.

Sweet Micky got and implemented real bad advice and failed to hold elections until the very end. He thought he was clever ruling without a Parliament for most of his 5-year term. He eventually held elections beginning last August and those were the most disastrous ones since Haiti began its modern day democratic experiment in 1986.

Just last week, a special commission tasked with verifying the results of last year’s presidential elections, is recommending throwing out the results and holding a new vote. The commission’s recommendations come after the international community coughed up more than $70 million to organize the elections.

Haiti is limping along as it has been since its inception as a republic in 18004, and its resiliency is legendary as my colleagues like to say. It will plow through another disaster and say “God is Good.”

But I am not so sure how the United States can withstand a clown in the White House and how our partners and foes around the world will deal with this.

In a fascinating interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, former presidential candidate Marco Rubio spoke of when he debased the conversation, how the news media started covering his campaign more intently and when he stopped, the microphones were gone. That’s a major indictment in our business. The New York Times and Washington Post as well as others are taking a tough stance and calling that spade a spade. I just hope that the networks and cable news channels take a cue from their print centric brethren and bring some levity to this process. The world cannot afford another disaster.

Garry Pierre-Pierre is a Pulitzer-prize winning, multimedia and entrepreneurial journalist. In 1999, he left the New York Times to launch the Haitian Times, a New York-based English-language publication serving the Haitian Diaspora. He is also the co-founder of the City University Graduate School of Journalism‘s Center for Community and Ethnic Media and a senior producer at CUNY TV.

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