Even some conservatives cringed at remarks made by televangelist Pat Robertson and radio talker Rush Limbaugh regarding the earthquake in Haiti.  The Republican governor-elect of Robertson’s home state of Virginia, Bob McDonnell,  said he had not heard Robertson’s remarks “but from what I know of them, I disagree with those comments.”  Conservative firebrand Pat Buchanan called Limbaugh’s remarks “deeply insensitive.”

Robertson attempted to clarify his remarks.  While he did not retreat from his argument that Haiti’s founders made a pact with the Devil during the slave rebellion of 1791, he noted on his Web site that he “never stated that the earthquake was God’s wrath.” Furthermore, he said, his “humanitarian arm” had shipped millions of dollars worth of medications to Haiti and had sent disaster team leaders “to ease the suffering” — the pact with the Devil thing notwithstanding.

Limbaugh, whom God recently sent to the hospital with chest pains, showed no signs of retreating from his remark that the Obama administration would use its earthquake aid to Haiti to “burnish their, shall we say, ‘credibility’ with the black community — in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country.”

Well-meaning, perhaps, but … The owner of Hound Dogs apparel store in Knoxville, Tennessee, saw University of Tennessee anger at departing football coach Lane Kiffin as an opportunity to do good.  Bring  in one of the “It’s Time” T-shirts featuring Kiffin’s picture — not yet torn or burned — and  get 20 percent off the purchase of a new shirt, Dan Burks told UT fans. The Kiffin shirts, he said, would be sent to earthquake victims in Haiti.

Southern heroes in Haiti: Dr. William Conner, a family practitioner from Matthews, North Carolina, paid his own way to Haiti, via the Dominican Republic, to treat patients out of his medical bag on the streets of Port-au-Prince … Linda Graham of Durham, North Carolina, who was making her first visit to Haiti with two friends to deliver supplies to an orphanage, wound up delivering two babies in the aftermath of the earthquake at an abandoned hospital near a soccer field.

The new silent majority: The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that a new report by the Atlanta-based Southern Education Foundation shows that slightly more than half the students in 15 Southern states are nonwhite.  The report authored by foundation vice president Steve Suitts declares that “the South is now the first and only region in the nation’s history to have both a majority of low income students and a majority of students of color enrolled in public schools.”

Dew Droplets: Country music Hall of Famer Carl Smith died at the age of 82 … Chilton Searcy Price, who wrote “You Belong To Me,” recorded by artists ranging from Tony Bennett to Bob Dylan to Tori Amos, died in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of 96 … Carnival Cruise Line in Miami has banned “cougar” tours … In Virginia, Chesapeake Animal Control Superintendent Kathy Strouse has written a book, Badd Newz: The Untold Story of the Michael Vick Dog Fighting Case about her role in the investigation of the former Falcons quarterback … In Louisiana, The Advocate reports that tickets for this weekend’s Saints-Vikings game are going for an average $812 on FanSnap.

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for ajc.com and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.