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Michael Shaw Headshot

Reading the Pictures: Reuters Calling People Crooks Over ... Toilet Paper??

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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.)