A little stingy with the truth, don’cha think?
Ever since Al Gore invented the Internets, rightwingers have used it to keep urban myths alive. Take Cifford May, for example:
Remember that U.N. official who complained about Washington’s contribution to the tsunami victims? He neglected to mention that even as he was deriding Americans as “stingy,” the United Nations was refusing more than $50 million in aid.
Now don’t feel bad that you don’t remember the UN official singling out Americans as “stingy”, because it never happened.
Wrong. Jan Egeland, U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said no such thing. According to a transcript of a Dec. 27 news conference, what Egeland was talking about was, generally, what he considered low levels of foreign aid money from wealthy nations and, specifically, the fear that these countries would spend all of the new year’s foreign aid allocations on tsunami relief, leaving little money for the other emergencies that typically happen:
We were more generous when we were less rich, many of the rich countries. And it is beyond me why are we so stingy, really, when we are — and even Christmas time should remind many Western countries at least how rich we have become. And if actually the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of their gross national income, I think that is stingy, really. I don’t think that is very generous.
So the bad news is that May lied at the beginning of his column. The good news is that now you don’t have to read the rest of it as Cliff joins Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher as just another Clownhall columnist with credibility problems.