Friday, August 12, 2011

Reuters Imitates Satire: London Rioters' Feelings Hurt

One may be excused for initially thinking that Reuters, famous for refusing to label terrorists as such lest it lose its air of professional detachment, has posted a story that is more satire than probing journalism.  But no, this is a serious piece, titled (I kid you not) 'London rioters resent media image of hooded teen thug'.
Residents of a London housing estate laughed at a televised plea by police for parents to call their children and help rein in the youths who looted and burned swathes of the city.

Not only were some of the parents at the riots themselves, but many of those taking part were not the hooded, teenage delinquents on which many have pinned the blame for the worst street riots Britain has seen for decades.

"Some of the parents were there.  For some parents it was no big surprise their kids were there.  They've gone through this all their lives," said an Afro-Caribbean man of 22 who gave his name as "L," voicing the frustration and anger felt by youth and parents over yawning inequalities in wealth and opportunity. . . .

"They were not your typical hoodlums out there. There were working people, angry people. They've raised rates, cut child benefit.  Everyone just used it as a chance to vent," L said, referring to government austerity measures the poor say have hit them hardest.

Witness accounts and media footage reinforce his view [??!!] -- Afro-Caribbeans, Asians, whites and others of various ages were involved in riots that spread across London and further afield to the cities of Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham. . . .

"The looting was done, not just because they can't afford the stuff, it was done to show they just don't give a shit .... We're here and not going away," Michelle said. . . .

"It's like the old days.  It's bringing the community spirit back.  Even though it's a sad way to do it, it's bringing the community together," Ariom said.

". . . [I]f the riots kick off again, I'm going.  It's history, it's a revolution," Ariom said.

"I loved Hackney during the riot.  I loved every minute of it.  It was great to see the people coming together to show the authorities that they cannot just come out here bullying."
I particularly like the reporter’s comment about “witness accounts and media footage reinforce [L’s] view”.  What view?  Narrowly defined, the claim would be that these are not your ‘typical’ hoodlums, here used as young and non-Anglo.  By stating the line, the reporter not only agrees with L’s conclusion but accepts the premise, as if the riots are some sort of celebration of diversity, with this rainbow coalition reacting normally to the government taking what is somehow rightfully theirs.

Anyone dedicated to the fall of western civilisation is sure to find a sympathetic ear at Reuters.

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