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Reporter says Haitian kids eat trees, cause deforestation; then apologizes

Reporter says Haitian kids eat trees, cause deforestation; then apologizes
screengrab from youtube

Weather Channel Meteorologist Jen Delgado reported in a weather segment about Hurricane Matthew that hungry Haitian kids eat trees and contribute to deforestation in the country. 

“They take all the trees down, they burn the trees, even the kids there, they’re so hungry, they actually eat the trees.”

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In a weather report as Hurricane Matthew moves toward Haiti,  Delgado noted that Haiti suffers from a deforestation problem. Haiti’s deforestation, a well-documented problem, is actually caused by Haitians cutting down trees to use for charcoal, the island nation’s chief choice for fuel.

Former Haiti Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe posted the Weather Channel video on Facebook, he wrote:

“Shame on you!! Jennifer Delgado and #Weather #Channel. Deeply disturbed by your reporting that Haitian children are eating trees! Where did you get this #info?”

Delgado later issued an on-air apology, others still not convinced: 

“I want to begin by  apologizing  for a statement  I made yesterday that was found inappropriate. My intention is always to inform and educate.”

Delgado also posted an apology on her Facebook account.

But many commenters noted her statement was not simply “inappropriate”, it was false. “You lied on TV. You deserve to be dismissed,” wrote McKenzie Fleurimond, a former North Miami Beach councilman.

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Mia Lopez, a Miami resident, took to her Instagram account writing,  “It is disgusting that in 2016 #theweatherchannel can have uneducated people like…Jennifer Delgado on the air telling MILLIONS that children in Haiti eat trees because they are going hungry!”

A signature campaign was circulating online demanding an apology from Delgado received more than 500 signatures.

See more social media reactions below:

@JenDelgadoTWC Did you really blame the deforestation of Haiti on the children eating trees? You are dangerous and ignorant woman.

— Melissa Malebranche (@MelMal422) October 4, 2016

Please sign the petition against Jennifer Delgado the ignorant reporter from the weather channel. https://t.co/HJYuq91qA3

— TOUJOULA (@toujoula) October 4, 2016

#JenniferDelgado Haitian kids do not eat trees. Why are you on TV spreading such nonsense? #JenniferDelgado @weatherchannel get your girl!

— TANIA STUART (@TaniaVirtualSS) October 4, 2016

I’m certain Haitian children do not eat trees. I’m not certain [email protected]’s been eating. #haiti#HaitiMatthew

— Peter James Hudson (@darkfinance) October 4, 2016

[This post first appeared via wlrn.org]

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