Thursday, April 12, 2007

Fighting Poverty

NPR takes a look into Paul Wolfowitz's tenure at the World Bank. Tom Gjelten does a so-so job discussing Wolfowitz's "campaign" against corruption as head of the World Bank. Two big problems with this little NPR piece. First, Renee Montagne introduces the report as follows:
"When he was the Deputy Defense Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz was a leading advocate for the Iraq War. His enthusiasm for the cause made him an early target of opponents of that war. In 2005 President Bush named Wolfowitz as the US choice to head the World Bank, but fighting poverty can be almost as controversial as waging war."
Now that just killed me! His enthusiasm made him the target? How about his ignorant, venal, vicious arrogance and willingness to unleash "Shock and Awe" on the human beings of a non-threatening nation? And then to add the insult of saying Wolfowitz is "fighting poverty" and that fighting poverty is "controversial."

The second problem relates to the first. Gjelten never mentions that the World Bank is not universally considered a "poverty fighting" institution - and in fact is considered a key player in the neoliberal project of impoverishing the globe through structural readjustments.

For challenges to NPR's myopic view see this site from the Bank Information Center and this information from Global Issues. Wikipedia and Sourcewatch also have more balanced assessments.


Anonymous said...

ThuthOut had a long piece on Wolfie, from an imbed with the NYTimes. If I were more paranoid I'd say there was a concerted PR push going on.

Porter Melmoth said...

Part 2 of Gjelten's 'review' of this story was, as expected, a dud. I learn more from shallow Yahoo news briefs than I do from NPR any more. Courtly behavior in journalism has its place, but extending every courtesy and benefit of the doubt to a proven creep is contemptable. Yeah, well, whatever...

Porter Melmoth said...

Just heard Gjelten's update for ATC. As the scandal heats up, he's getting a bit more adventurous. In the great NPR tradition of timidness, it's safer to be behind the game than ahead of it.