Huffs and Puffs, Blowing the Story


Luis Fortuño, Newt Gingrich

Who can explain why a seemingly left-leaning website like the Huffington Post can portray an Puerto Rican politics issue trending toward the center-right? Is it because there is so little coverage of Puerto Rico in any English-language media that there is no understanding of its politics by editors who are otherwise capable of grasping things like Big Oil’s responsibility for the BP Gulf spill or the irresponsibility of the Obama administration in the handling of the Afghanistan War? Maybe Oliver Stone needs to make a documentary about Puerto Rico that could be a primer to the mainstream leftstream?

Today’s post, already taken off the home page, features an AP story–written by the same reporter who helped spread misinformation about the Puerto Rico birth certificate controversy by repeating the ruling PNP’s outright lie that false Puerto Rican birth certificates were involved in 40% of all U.S. identity fraud cases–that essentially re-states the PNP’s case for an identity fraud “crisis” as a justification for a law, going into effect July 1, requiring all native Puerto Ricans to obtain a new birth certificate.

The article, which references an unspecified number of identity fraud cases (numbered in the “thousands”), giving no context for the scope of the problem, and again tying Puerto Ricans and their birth certificates to illegal immigration and, according to an unnamed FBI source, “terrorism,” is content to again quote the source of the aformentioned misinformation, as a rhetorical flourish:

“‘Birth certificates have become legal tender,'” said Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico’s secretary of state.”

Guess what, Sherlock, I mean McClintock. So has every garbage dump with un-shredded documentation of millions of U.S. citizens who would never be pulled over by Arizona police as part of SB 1070’s “papers please” enforcement mandate.

To add insult to injury, the HuffPost then offers this blatantly pro-statehood post as, I don’t know, a balancing opinion piece?

Here are some quotes:

Congress can’t leave the island to define its relationship with the US by itself. This absent parent approach has not worked.

I guess that is the same absent parent that controls the economy, uses the FBI to squash pro-independence activism and has the final say in any legal matter pertaining to Puerto Rico’s status.

Except for France’s equivalent to states in the Caribbean (Martinique and Guadalupe), Puerto Rico still enjoys the best standard of living in the archipelago.

…With a virtual 25% unemployment rate and a 5-year recession crisis.

Al Pacino said it in Scent of a Woman, “Puerto Ricans make the best soldiers.”

That reminds me of some of my favorite Al Pacino quotes from Scarface:

I kill a communist for fun, but for a green card, I gonna carve him up real nice.

In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.

All I have in this world is balls and my word and I don’t break ’em for no one. You understand?

And, of course:

You wanna fuck with me? Okay. You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend.

The author goes on to pay tribute to famous Puerto Ricans Gigi Fernandez (?) and Lin-Manuel Marin, who I guess wrote the hit Broadway play “In the Commonwealth.”

Perhaps the Huffpost should pay attention to websites like http://www.theamericano.com, which features an interview of current PNP Governor Luis Fortuño by none other than shut-the-government down Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Here Fortuño makes the ironic claim that Puerto Ricans, and by extension Latinos have a “natural distrust of government,” making them natural Republicans. The recent widespread support for the University of Puerto Rico’s student strike seemed to prove there is a natural distrust of a government (Fortuño’s) that would impose draconian cutbacks that would leave tens of thousands jobless and without access to higher education.

One last comment from Fortuño: “The late President Reagan said, “Latinos are Republicans, they just don’t know it,” and he was so right.” From the way the Huffington Post covers Puerto Rico’s politics, it seems they might not know they’re Republicans either.

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