Hey, Media: Don't Call It 'Looting'

Desperate, hungry people are just trying to feed their families
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 1:05 PM CST
Hey, Media: Don't Call It 'Looting'
A group of detained men gathered on a police truck bed after they tried to break into a supermarket.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Reports of "looting" in Haiti are surfacing, and Jerry Lanson isn't happy about it. He's not upset with the so-called looters, but with the reporters who are using the term. He cites one story in which the New York Times said "officials reported looting at a collapsed grocery store." Remember, those "looters" hadn't eaten in days, and relief was nowhere in sight.

"Is it looting to feed yourself and your family?" asks Lanson, writing for True/Slant. "Is it looting to take food that will rot in time from the shelves or floor of a 'collapsed grocery store?' Shame on the officials. And shame on the Times. One man’s looter is another’s humanitarian or mother or father. I’d urge the media to choose their words with care." (More Haiti earthquake stories.)

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