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March 1, 2010

Reuters Calling People Crooks Over … Toilet Paper??

Chile So-Called Looters Toilet Paper.jpg

First NOLA, then Haiti, now Chile. What I want to know is….

How many times must we suffer through this same kind of character assassination by the media in criminalizing behavior that, under catastrophic circumstances, is normal and expectable.  If this photograph showed Chilean citizens running from a store with boxes of brand new large screen TV’s — especially given widespread power outages — that’d be one thing. But really!

Someone at Reuters should be slapped upside the head for running a caption simultaneously describing these people as “desperate and hungry” then labeling them — twice, no less — as “looters” for making off, yes, with bulk-size packages of toilet paper.

I mean, God forbid the staff at Reuters World Headquarters should ever find itself in a situation where a magnitude 8.8 earthquake has hit the city, the Pathmark across the street was standing open and in shambles, with little order in existence for miles, with people “having to go” and Cottonelle supply running desperately low.

Chile So Called Looters Milk.jpg

And then, my question for the AP regarding the “looter caption” they partnered with this one is: Just what’s your position on milk?

…Finally, what about this?

(photo 1: Marco Fredes/Reuters. caption: Looters carry merchandise they stole from a market in Santiago February 28, 2010. Chilean rescuers used shovels and sledgehammers Sunday to find survivors of a huge earthquake in Chile that unleashed a Pacific tsunami and triggered looting by desperate and hungry residents. photo 2: Natacha Pisarenko/A.P. caption: A man carries goods during looting in a supermarket in Concepcion, Chile, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010. A 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Chile early Saturday.)

  • Books Alive

    Chilean President Brachelet has announced that the government will pay the stores for the food and other necessities that are distributed. Electronics, TVs and other optional products are not included in the arrangement. How reassuring to learn that a functioning and compassionate president is in charge. Can it be maternal instinct?

  • Wordsmith

    Then, there’s this poor guy being hauled off over diapers.

  • PhoenixRising

    The quote in the NYT was, ‘looters are running off with raw meat–despite having no way to store or cook it, since electricity and gas utilities have been disrupted’. The ignorance this displayed embarrassed me as a human.
    1) I’m sure that Kroger is glad to learn that in the event an emergency disrupts transport and utilities to your neighborhood, they will face the costs of cleaning up maggot-ridden freezer cases in addition to replacement of their stock.
    2) As Chileños are not familiar with the technology ‘fire’, they have no way to prepare that raw meat for the hungry people in their neighborhood.

  • Wordsmith

    Apparently no one at the NYT has been camping where the only ‘modern intervention’ IS toilet paper.

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