Washington Times Plans Minstrel Show

The Washington Times wins the cultural sensitivity award with Richard S. Ehrlich’s report on “superstitious Thailand,” where Thais are “spooked” by the spirits of tsunami victims, refuse to eat fish because of angry sea creatures eating human remains, and probably won’t vacation at the old, destroyed resorts next year for fear of wandering ghosts. How does Ehrlich know this? He chatted with a cabby, who told him the resorts might be viewed as “bad luck,” retold some ghost stories being spread by “Thais and foreigners,” and recounts the experience of a Thai relief worker who was startled to hear a moan from a dead baby as gas exited its body. What’s so wrong with filing a puff piece with a little local flavor? Substitute “superstitious blacks” for “superstitious Thais,” “9/11” for “tsunami,” and then mock survivors who refer to their dead kin as angels or ghosts, and see whether the story — or the response it generates — still seems like light fun.