The Cape Cod Times editorial yesterday,
"Damaged goods - A little perspective on looting"
reached a new low for Bill Mill's Editorial Page when it endorsed the looting in New Orleans.
By mid-day Howie Carr on WRKO was deriding it with the mirth it deserved. To quote just the first five paragraphs,
Predictably, it was anchors on Fox News and right-wing talk radio who ginned up the most indignation over the televised scenes of looting in flood-ravaged New Orleans.
As if this were the biggest problem facing people there as the devastation widened and deepened in that stranded, vulnerable city. At best, the misbehavior is a fleeting sidelight to a profound community tragedy on a scale unseen in this country this century.
Looting is never pretty, but reasonable people make distinctions. In some cases, people need supplies: bottled water, food, diapers
A little perspective and prioritizing would have been appropriate along with the indignation. Many people were still trapped in their homes; there was no electricity, no drinkable water, neighborhood stores were closed with no prospect of opening. And the water is still rising.
When destruction is total over a wide area, some items may rightly be considered lost and abandoned. In other cases, the goods are already a loss and will go to waste anyway....
If Mr. Mills had called a couple of his subscribers and advertisers who own "mom & pop businesses" here, he might have been told what a disservice he was committing to public safety.
He justified his position by reminding Cape Codders that there was looting here too after Hurricane Bob in 1991 and that our ancestors were "Mooncussers" and shipwreckers. That's a bit like justifying a murder by reminding us of the Boston Strangler.
It is rumored that The Times has not named a replacement for Mr. Schectman because it is looking outside the company.
That's a very good idea.