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Media Bizarrely Claims Looting in Aftermath of Hurricanes is a “Myth”
Despite the fact that every extreme weather event in recent years has been followed by looting
Paul Joseph Watson
October 30, 2012
The mainstream media has responded to our report about Twitter users flooding the social network with threats to loot in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy by ludicrously claiming that the tweets are all “jokes” and that looting virtually never happens after an extreme weather event, when in every instance it does.
In a story that has gone viral since it was picked up by the Drudge Report, we highlighted numerous tweets from people attempting to join others in exploiting the post-Sandy chaos to go on looting sprees.
Since the hurricane hit the east coast, the first reports of looters being arrested are now coming in.
The Atlantic’s Elspeth Reeve responded by claiming that the tweets were not genuine threats to loot. Her main argument for suggesting this was the fact that one of the users is wearing a chef’s hat in his avatar.
“The Drudge Report is helping to stir up a panic that looters are going to come and take your stuff — yes, you, you right there, sitting in your home, feeling frustrated an vulnerable — you are about to get your stuff stolen by looters,” she writes.
In reality, there is not one place in our article where it is suggested that potential looters are going to attack people in their own homes. Indeed, virtually all of the tweets we highlighted implied that looters would target stores to steal things such as televisions and other electrical goods.
Reeve’s previous articles suggest she doesn’t consider Hurricane Sandy, which has already killed 16 people in the United States and claimed a further 69 lives in the Caribbean, to be that much of a big deal. In one of her pieces, she scours twitter to find users blabbering about how the hurricane is ruining their hair.
Playing down the threat of looters with sneering, sophomoric jibes may fit the bill for a snarky blog post, but it probably wouldn’t be received too well by people in England who had their towns and cities terrorized by looters only last year who caused £200 million pounds (roughly $321 million dollars) in damage and razed entire streets to the ground as if they had been bombed from the air.
Although Reeve thinks the threat of looters is a big joke, that probably wasn’t how the New York National Guard saw it when they decided to dispatch troops to deal with the issue. It likely was also no laughing matter for shopkeepers on the east coast who put signs in the window announcing that staple items were sold out in order to deter looters.
Gangs of looters already plague American businesses in the absence of any extreme weather event. Criminals are using Twitter in increasing numbers to organize flash mob robberies.
“Of 129 retailers surveyed by the National Retail Federation, nearly 95 percent said they were victimized by organized criminals in the past year and 85 percent said the problem has worsened over the past three years,” reports Fox News.
Perhaps even more ludicrous than Reeve’s article was a piece by the Daily Beast’s Jonathan M. Katz, an Associated Press correspondent. The Daily Beast is a leftist news website that merged with Newsweek in 2010.
In his article, Katz writes that, “Fears of wanton lawlessness, panic, and doom follow most every natural disaster, but they almost never come true.”
For a start, our article never suggested that “wanton lawlessness, panic, and doom” were on the horizon as a result of Hurricane Sandy. We merely suggested that the threat of looting, which has followed every other recent hurricane, was obviously a concern given that people on Twitter were openly planning to loot.
However, Katz goes on to imply that the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti was a relative cakewalk compared to the media’s portrayal. In reality, other journalists who were there at the time reported a “frenzy” of looting characterized by “violence” and “chaos”.
CBS News also reported on, “bands of Haitian youths armed with machetes wandering the streets looting, as the local police were largely invisible.”
“The “looting” article Drudge shared with his million daily readers is laughable at best, conflating obvious jokes (“I’m looting today in preparation for the hurricane,” reads one quoted tweet) with persistent legends from the past,” writes Katz.
Legends from the past? Every single extreme weather event in recent years in the United States has been followed by looting.
As MSNBC reported at the time, looting during Hurricane Katrina was so prevalent that it “took place in full view of police and National Guard troops.”
Residents described the scenes as being like “downtown Baghdad” as looters filled garbage cans full of stolen goods and floated them down flooded streets.
Looters also targeted victims of the Colorado wildfires earlier this year.
It remains to be seen whether Hurricane Sandy will be followed by looting on any sizeable scale, but for the lefitist media to claim that such behavior in the aftermath of major weather events and other crises is a “myth” is plainly ludicrous given that every such event has been followed by looting.
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