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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Finding vs. Looting (word choice in AP caption)
Howie McCormick, Photographer
Proctorville | OH | USA | Posted: 8:59 AM on 08.31.05
->> A friend of this just sent me this link and I thought it might generate some interesting conversation.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/firewall/38725768/
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | USA | Posted: 9:24 AM on 08.31.05
->> Okay, lemme get this straight. Your home is under water. You are wading through chest-deep water to find food.

While I don't exactly think this situation makes grocery stores fair game, I see it this way...if I've got a family to feed, flooded food supply is fair game to me. If they didn't want it stolen, they should've had a staffer there with a cash register.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 9:30 AM on 08.31.05
->> I do not have a problem with people who "find" survival items, as long as they share what they have "found" with others in need AND that they provide physical assistance to help others who are unable to go out and scavenge. I'm not advocating theft, but food items left in supermarkets would almost certianly have to be "written off" anyway due to the sanitation issues. Food items left in a flooded grocery store would probably NOT be sold to consumers once the city returned to normal, and eating to survive is neither greedy nor evil.

On the other hand, people who drown while trying to put a water damaged big screen TV into an inflatable raft are pretty much asking for whatever happens to them!
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Kathleen Hinkel, Photographer
Cocoa | FL | USA | Posted: 9:35 AM on 08.31.05
->> Interesting find Howie.... if it was the same photographer writing both cutlines, then I would say that it is racist but since one is AP and the other AFP, I think it is just a difference of opinion. It sure does look bad when you put the images with the cutlines side by side though.
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Adam Hemphill, Photographer, Student/Intern
Willimantic | CT | US | Posted: 9:51 AM on 08.31.05
->> I don't have time to look at the moment, but who wants to bet that they can find photos with similar cutlines but reversed races? It would certainly be bad if the photos were from the same photographer or perhaps even the same agency, but as presented it demonstrates nothing aside from the fact that people speak and write in their own ways.
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Northwood | OH | USA | Posted: 9:54 AM on 08.31.05
->> I don't have a problem with people taking food during a time like this, but some of the video I saw this morning on CNN showed the looting of non-survival items.

Shows that in a diaster like this, it brings out both the best and worst in people.
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Jeff Gritchen, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 10:03 AM on 08.31.05
->> Maybe the person who FOUND the item did FIND it floating in the water and maybe the person who LOOTED did TAKE it from teh store. And maybe the photographers saw this?

How about contacting the photographers before jumping to conclusions
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Ben Jenkins, Photographer
Geneva | IL | USA | Posted: 10:06 AM on 08.31.05
->> Food, water, medicine, etc. is definetly understandable.

However, the [bulk of the items looted]flat screen TV's, video game counsoles, footballs, toys, DVD players, and all of the other 300+ non-survival items I saw being looted on the news yesterday is unacceptable.

It's sad to see this when so many people's lives and livelyhoods have been, or may be, lost.

Embarrassing.
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Dick Van Nostrand, Photographer
Bay City | MI | USA | Posted: 10:48 AM on 08.31.05
->> It might be better to write a caption saying a person 'leaves' a grocery with a side of beef and allow the authorities to determine if he/she is a looter. We photograph people in court and refer to 'alleged' crimes until the person's trial is over.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
St. Petersburg | FL | USA | Posted: 11:00 AM on 08.31.05
->> The referenced flikr page is crap. I posted the following somewhere else but just in case folks don't know how yahoo photos works here goes:

The photos on yahoo's site are an aggregate of several wire services photo streams. Sort of like how google news aggregates stories. The captions as far as I can tell don't get modified when they hit yahoo's site from the original that is transmitted by the photographer. There's no racism at work here - just different "styles" in writing captions.

As for the "looting" or "finding" or whatever you want to call it....we all know right from wrong. Last time I checked my momma taught me stealing is wrong unless there is a strong moral or ethical argument to be made and even then it's still wrong but acceptable. Taking food because you're going to starve is justifiable but taking consumer electronics because no one is minding the store is just plain disgusting.

There's a reason we call it civilization.
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | USA | Posted: 11:17 AM on 08.31.05
->> Folks...there's no DVD players in either of the linked images.
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Jack Howard, Photographer
Somerville | NJ | USA | Posted: 11:41 AM on 08.31.05
->> http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/hurricane_katrina;_ylt=AqFwRG5clPaAbvRuk.pqRdKs0...--

AP via Yahoo reporting on the Times-Picayune reports that all the guns at the "giant new Wal-mart" were taken during 'finding' or 'looting.'

This is scary whatever politically correct verbiage you choose to employ.
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Marc F. Henning, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 1:32 PM on 08.31.05
->> self preservation is one thing, selfish pillaging is another. how the hell is a 32'' television going to help you in a time like this.

widespread violence and disease, the next step with a breakdown in civilized society, is just around the corner if things in New Orleans and other devestated areas aren't brought under control soon.

marc
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Sean Maye, Photographer
Springville | Ut | USA | Posted: 2:32 PM on 08.31.05
->> Sad to sad but in situations like this selfish pillaging/violence is always going to occur. I think itís sad and unfair how the media portrays some groups of people in such a negative state. But on the other if you donít want to be labeled donít do stupid out in the open SHXX. So, the question Finding vs. Looting? If they are carrying food then id say find, if they are grabbing tv and other material thing for selfish gain id say looting!
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 2:50 PM on 08.31.05
->> I'd guess this is part of the same thinking that results in one news agency's "terrorist" being another's "militant"...
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Sean Maye, Photographer
Springville | Ut | USA | Posted: 2:54 PM on 08.31.05
->> (terrorist" being another's "militant")... lolol Its CALLED IGNORRANCE or not willing to research and print the correct information!!
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Mark Smith, Photographer
Elk City | OK | USA | Posted: 3:10 PM on 08.31.05
->> That is an idiotic conclusion on the part of whoever deemed this racism. Two captions, written by different people, to make one comparison, and they declare that an entire company is racist.
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Armando Solares, Photographer
Venice | FL | USA | Posted: 3:10 PM on 08.31.05
->> While covering Hurricane Charley last year, one of our photographers took pictures of people "looting" or so he thought. In actuality the owner of the store told police to let people take everything. His store was destroyed but a lot of the merchandise can be of good use to someone, he said. So, I say, let's not jump in to conclusions.

At this point however, it is all about self preservation. Guns can be used for protection because the police can't get anywhere quickly.
Merchandise like TVs, DVDs and other things can be used to barter or trade or just to have after your life begins again. Wal-Mart isn't taking a loss. Their insurance company and our government will help it rebuild and restock.

I'm not advocating looting of any kind or illegal behavior. All I'm saying is that these are times like no other before. In a city that is destroyed and its people are going through something beyond our comprehension. What we see on tv is 1/10000 of the story.

"Of what you hear believe none, of what you see, believe only half," My grandpa. Who I'm sure heard it or read it somewhere.

To those of you out there be safe.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 3:24 PM on 08.31.05
->> "Their insurance company and our government will help it rebuild and restock."

And where do you think the government and the insurance companies get the money to pay out the claims due to looting?

As far as what's actually going on there... I feel one person I read about who observed the looting all around them accurately summed it up when they said "Welcome to Baghdad!" For example, while the medical staff of the Tulane University Hospital were busy yesterday treating the wounded, their cars were being looted in their parking area.
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Armando Solares, Photographer
Venice | FL | USA | Posted: 3:58 PM on 08.31.05
->> 'And where do you think the government and the insurance companies get the money to pay out the claims due to looting?'

The loses from looting at a Wal-mart that has been flooded and it probably isn't structurally sound are minimal. Because the store in isurance terms, is a total loos. And probably a write-off on next year's tax bill. They cannot and will not resell those items to consumers once they have been compromised. They will end up in a dump somewhere.

Again, I'm not advocating looting, stealing, or finding. All I'm saying is that MOST of these people under normal circumstances would not act the way they are . They would not steal, loot or find. In this scenario I think they are just trying to survive in a very tragic situation.

Where are you going to plug your wet, new flat screen tv that may or may not work? It really isn't rational, is it?

The whole situation is really sad.
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Mike Brice, Photographer
Northwood | OH | USA | Posted: 4:26 PM on 08.31.05
->> Armando said that most of these people under normal circumstances would not act the way they are.

It reminded me of this quote that I looked up to confirm.

The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out. --Thomas Babington Macaulay


And while I think taking food, water and medical supplies is acceptable in order to survive, I think the other instances of looting (whether insurance would cover the loss or not) demonstrates the quality of character of the people doing the looting.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 4:33 PM on 08.31.05
->> "The loses from looting at a Wal-mart that has been flooded and it probably isn't structurally sound are minimal. Because the store in isurance terms, is a total loos."

Perhaps we're talking about different Wal-mart's. The video I saw of a Wal-Mart being cleaned out was high and dry at the time of the looting. If left unmolested and had the levees not later broken, the store (minus the perishables) could have been re-opened for business as was.

I agree this is a sad situation, and I understand that you have been in a hurricane swept zone while I haven't, but unless were talking about food, diapers, water, medical supplies, etc. I can't place any understandable label on the looting. I also feel that in a non-hurricane scenario, if the people thought there was an equal likelihood that they could get away with the theft of the items like they can now... 95% of them would do it in a heartbeat. People loot things like TVs and jewelry for one reason: Because they can.
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Howie McCormick, Photographer
Proctorville | OH | USA | Posted: 4:36 PM on 08.31.05
->> Well, it's not up to me to say who's looting and who's simply "finding", I just found the link and posted. I'm not jumping to ANY conclusions.
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Bob Croslin, Photographer
St. Petersburg | FL | USA | Posted: 5:11 PM on 08.31.05
->> What I find sad (and par the course in this day and age) is that this "looting" vs. "finding" thing is making it's way around the internet while there's literally dead bodies floating in the streets of New Orleans.

I seriously think some folks need a reality check right about now.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 5:35 PM on 08.31.05
->> BTW..the idea that insurance covers the situation (flooding) is usually NOT correct. Most Homeowner and Business insurance specifically precludes FLOODING. There is seperate coverage available for that. Most people don't take it.

In one respect, the looting is a good thing: If you're looted, you're probably covered.


Finally, that big screen TV, if it floats home with you, is trashed. And to point out the obvious, since the government has ordered everyone out of New Orleans because most of the houses are going to end up under water... what good is carrying the TV home? It's going to end up under water anyway.
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Chris Graythen, Photographer, Photo Editor
new orleans | LA | USA | Posted: 6:10 PM on 08.31.05
->> Jeasus, I don't belive how much crap I'm getting from this. First of all, I hope you excuse me, but I'm completely at the end of my rope. You have no Idea how stressful this whole disaster is, espically since I have not seen my wife in 5 days, and my parents and grand parents HAVE LOST THIER HOMES. As of right now, we have almost NOTHING.

Please stop emailing me on this one.

I wrote the caption about the two people who 'found' the items. I believed in my opinion, that they did simply find them, and not 'looted' them in the definition of the word. The people were swimming in chest deep water, and there were other people in the water, both white and black. I looked for the best picture. there were a million items floating in the water - we were right near a grocery store that had 5+ feet of water in it. it had no doors. the water was moving, and the stuff was floating away. These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. They picked up bread and cokes that were floating in the water. They would have floated away anyhow. I wouldn't have taken in, because I wouldn't eat anything that's been in that water. But I'm not homeless. (well, technically I am right now.)


I'm not trying to be politically correct. I'm don't care if you are white or black. I spent 4 hours on a boat in my parent's neighborhood shooting, and rescuing people, both black and white, dog and cat. I am a journalist, and a human being - and I see all as such. If you don't belive me, you can look on Getty today and see the images I shot of real looting today, and you will see white and black people, and they were DEFINATELY looting. And I put that in the caption.

Please, please don't argue symantics over this one. This is EXTREMELY serious, and I can't even begin to convey to those not here what it is like. Please, please, be more concerned on how this affects all of us (watch gas prices) and please, please help out if you can.

This is my home, I will hopefully always be here. I know that my friends in this business across the gulf south are going through the exact same thing - and I am with them, and will do whatever I can to help. But please, please don't email me any more about this caption issue.

And please, don't yell at me about spelling and grammar. Im eating my first real meal (a sandwich) right now in 3 days.

When this calms down, I will be more than willing to answer any questions, just ask.


Thank you all -
-Chris Graythen
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Monty Rand, Photographer
Bangor | ME | USA | Posted: 6:16 PM on 08.31.05
->> I wonder how long before people start shooting these looters if it hasn't happened already?
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 6:44 PM on 08.31.05
->> Chris,

I'm sorry that I speculated that this may have been an editorial call made above you. Lesson learned. After watching the Athens flameout here, I should have known better.

Peace... and take care of yourself. I can't even begin to imagine the crap and mindjob you're experiencing right now.
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Nick Doan, Photographer
Scottsdale | AZ | USA | Posted: 7:31 PM on 08.31.05
->> Chris,

Thank you for taking the time to help educate us. Know that we wish you the best, and you and all of the flood victims are in our prayers.

And, I hope that everybody sees this, and will back off with the nitpicking until things calm down.

Your perseverance in all this (and your taking the time out to post at all) is amazing!
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Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 8:18 PM on 08.31.05
->> Stay safe Chris and I hope it all works out for you, your family and all the other victims.
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Alex Menendez, Photographer
Orlando | FL | USA | Posted: 8:44 PM on 08.31.05
->> I'm having a hard time-going back and forth in my mind-as to how important this post is right now. I saw the first post this morning before I left to go to work in Orlando and thought about it all day. Yes I agree, the same image should have had the same quote and should not have been changed but keep in mind that the photographer Chris only shot what he saw and I could tell whats happening without any quote. Whats happening is people are not themselves and only trying to survive, its their instincts to get it and get it now. I have a 2 1/2 year old and a 9 month old and would do whatever it took to keep them safe and healthy as everyone on this site would for their families. The unfortunate thing is that in this day and age-we are still dealing with this mess. We had plenty of warning and common sense told the lucky ones that they should leave, the unfortunate and unwealthy are the ones who are suffering. Let the people take what they need to survive, do you really think the store owner gives a crap? You and I know whats happening but most of the people in these towns don't have a clue how bad the situation is, they only care about themselves right now. they have no water, clothes, power, toilet paper, deodorant, homes.....It must be maddening. Its not a Black and White issue and won't be, Sheppard Smith is on TV right now calling it racism because Black males aren't getting picked up on the highway by vehicles trying to leave town...well why aren't they helping the less fortunate if they are that healthy and have the power to walk away? If I lost everything and had nothing to do and no where to go you can bet your butt I'd be helping where I can - maybe thats just me!
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Nik Habicht, Photographer
Trenton | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:38 PM on 08.31.05
->> Color me silly, but I would imagine that if my colleagues and I were covering this particular news story, we might wind up with such a captioning nightmare. Not because of underlying, subconscious racism, but because of being in a pressure cooker under deadline conditions. Moving around to cover the story would undoubtedly be hard, as would worrying about the status of home and loved ones in the community. Factor in some deadline pressure, lack of sleep, and stress ---- and it's fairly easy to see how this could get by even several people......
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Mark Smith, Photographer
Elk City | OK | USA | Posted: 11:39 PM on 08.31.05
->> Interesting that the original flickr.com page has been removed.
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Will Lester, Photographer
Rancho Cucamonga | CA | USA | Posted: 4:02 AM on 09.01.05
->> I really sympathize with those in N.O. and throughout the rest of the South, but I really cannot comprehend how people can go into a clothing store and steal, yes steal, loot, or whatever you want to call it and take designer clothing, nike tennis shoes, etc.(I'm NOT talking about those who are taking/finding essential survival items). The death toll and disease factors are only going to get worse before they get better.
But hey, these looters will have the best looking bodies when they are found seeing how they'll be dressed in designer clothing and expensive shoes.
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William Jurasz, Photographer, Assistant
Cedar Park | TX | USA | Posted: 11:06 AM on 09.01.05
->> Armando wrote: "Wal-Mart isn't taking a loss. Their insurance company and our government will help it rebuild and restock."

Money just doesn't magically appear out of thin air from the coffers of an insurance company or government agency. The fact that you think otherwise is highly disturbing.
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Craig Glover, Photographer
London | ON | Canada | Posted: 11:16 AM on 09.01.05
->> "But hey, these looters will have the best looking bodies when they are found seeing how they'll be dressed in designer clothing and expensive shoes."

You are assuming these people have shoes on their feet and that the other people stuck with them have clothes on their backs. What about the people who figure they are going to have to trek a fair distance to find help. The clothes they are wearing could be soaked with chemicals which will end up burning them if they continue wearing them.

I'm not condoning theft, but these people aren't exactly stealing PS2's and big screen televisions ... they are stealing clothes, which after several days in sub-sanitary conditions, I'm sure they would be glad to change into.

It's impossible to fully comprehend what is happening there and yet all too easy to criticise people's actions from our living rooms. These people are simply trying to survive.
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington, DC & Seattle | WA | US | Posted: 10:36 PM on 09.01.05
->> Wow...look at waht yahoo had to say about the photos:

"To our readers: This photo was removed from Yahoo! News at the request of AFP.

Yahoo! News statement on photo language controversy."

The AFP image was here:
http://news.yahoo.com/photo/050830/photos_ts_afp/050830071810_shxwaoma_phot...

and you end up clicking to go here:
http://news.yahoo.com/page/photostatement
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Will Powers, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:07 AM on 09.07.05
->> In the Arizona Republic today it was reported that some Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriffs saw NOPD officers taking things from stores in New Orleans.

The story talks about how the Deputies thought the officers were stealing from the store, when it was later determined that the NOPD had been authorized to take necessary items by the stores owners, particularly Walmart.

Looting vs appropriating
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 2:18 PM on 09.07.05
->> I shot a photo of a young boy and older man just on the fringe of the french quarter district two days ago. the young boy had about 15 very nice polo shirts draped over his shoulders on hangers. the older fellow had just ducked through the shattered front door of a store. I waited for him to come out and shot a photo of them both. we had received emails about the "looting"-"finding"-"stealing"-appropriating" controversy. I wrote the caption saying "A young boy with two armloads of t-shirts awaits a man leaving a convenience store on Rampart Street on the fringe of the French Quarter of New Orleans ." I didn't know what the situation was and to tell the truth the reporter and I had just been warned we were in very dangerous section of town (even before the storm) and we hadn't seen a cop in over 10 blocks. so we moved out of there pretty quickly. at first with no one to restore any order, new orleans was like some kind of weird sci-fi movie, end of the world apocalyptic stuff. things are getting a little better with the military presence patrols and the police have help to try and stop the bad people, who were bad people before this catastrophe hit. the fact of the matter is we report what we see. no matter what I think, if a shooter sees someone smash a window or break down the door of someon'e home and steal a TV (when there isn't any power for about a 75-100 mile radius) that's looting. I don't buy the bartering thing whatsoever. I mean does that give someone the right to break into your house under the best of times, steal your stufff then barter with it (take it to the pawn shop) to make their life better. I think not. but is it okay for a person to go in through a broken door and look for neccessities (i.e. food-water-baby supplies and such) of course it is. I heard one story of a guy who was jumping from rooftop to rooftop for the first few days pillaging apartments for food and water. I don't think anyone would call him a looter, even the owners of the homes. and he didn't try to rip off anyone's tv. sorry I'm tired, want some decent food and a shower....it kinda pisses me off that whoever started that link about guys like chris and mullett don't know what the hell they're talking about.
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Dave Kennedy, Photographer
Nanuet | NY | US | Posted: 10:27 PM on 09.07.05
->> This is only slightly off topic, but much has been made of New Orleans Police possibly looting. I was talking with a New Orleans PD Officer last night and he explained how they had worked straight 36 hours at least until they got ANY food or water! They were told by WalMart's corporate office they could take what they needed to sustain themselves. They got NO help from the Red Cross, NO help from FEMA, NO help from the US Government of any kind. They were on their own. He told me that most of the police force quit because they just couldn't deal with the horror of what was going on. He told me one of the officers commited suicide. I didn't look at the links for the pictures, frankly I don't care to. As far as I'm concerned they can take what they want, they deserve it, they were the only one's between, some small piece of civilization and total anarchy.

I agree with Chuck and, of course, Chris, this is a desperate situation, and sometimes desperate measures are required for survival. And that's what we're talking about here, people need to survive.

Semantics are for those who can afford the luxury of not having to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

DK
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Jeff Gritchen, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 4:52 PM on 09.09.05
->> Just got a scathing e-mail from someone who read this forum, did anyone else get it?

I sent her back a well thought out reply, but her e-mail bounced.

I guess she didn't have the guts to put her real address
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Marc F. Henning, Photographer
Bentonville | AR | USA | Posted: 6:22 PM on 09.09.05
->> jeff,

i received the same email, read halfway through it and trashed it. if you want to say something in this "forum," then join ss.com, if you can get in, and say it. but don't email each individual poster to the "forum" to debate an issue in a community you're not a member of.

marc
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Jack Howard, Photographer
Somerville | NJ | USA | Posted: 10:51 PM on 09.09.05
->> Oh man, I thought I was special. You all got it too? That cheapens it for me!
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Jeff Gritchen, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 1:34 AM on 09.10.05
->> I didn't have a problem receiving the message, I just thought it was pretty weak to send out such an emotional e-mail and not include a valid return address
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Jack Howard, Photographer
Somerville | NJ | USA | Posted: 2:03 AM on 09.10.05
->> Actually, I did reply with a simple: "Thanks for sharing your thoughts" before reading this and it was sent OK, and I got a reply to that one...
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Jeff Gritchen, Photographer
Long Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 5:31 PM on 09.10.05
->> nope, email got bounced back again.. oh well..

"its all fish wrap tomorrrow"
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Thread Title: Finding vs. Looting (word choice in AP caption)
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