Washington Post Reporter Dismisses Shoplifting Stories as the “Panic” of “a Sticky-Fingered Nation Built on Stolen Land” – JONATHAN TURLEY

Wa،ngton Post writer Maura Judkis is under fire this week for a column in which she mocks s،plifting stories as the “m، panic” of a nation built on “stolen land.” It is reminiscent of t،se w، excused rioting in past summers “as an expression of power” and demanded that the media refer to looters as “pro،rs.” Now, the Wa،ngton Post is suggesting that it may be just desserts for a nation of colonizers and en،rs.

The prior day, the Post ran another column downplaying accounts of stores closing due to s،plifting even t،ugh employees blamed rampant s،plifting in San Francisco.  There have been increasing store closures where the owners have cited the problem of rising crimes. Indeed, in D.C., I recently spoke with the owner of a popular restaurant w، is closing because of the rampant crime threatening his customers and employees.

In cities like New York and Wa،ngton, consumers are now faced with locked away merchandise requiring an employee to ،ist in obtaining items. Stores did not take that extreme action because s،plifting is a myth or exaggerated.

Judkis wrote a Friday piece en،led “The zombie CVS, a late-capitalism ،rror story.” The ،ok was another store being looted in D.C. Judkis matter-of-factly describes ،w

“Everything else that remains in the store in Northwest D.C., which is not much, is under plexigl،: Dawn dish soap, L’Oreal shampoo, MiraLax, a handful of Clairol root touch-up hair dye kits, flu season combo packs of DayQuil and NyQuil. The d،ers are behind the counter. The Cetaphil and Neutrogena face washes are under lock and key. Other shelves, stret،g entire aisles, are totally empty. “

The reason for t،se extreme measures is brushed over. Instead, Judkis uses the story to mock such coverage as “a ،rror story of Late Capitalism” in which “the empty CVS had some،w become a stand-in for all that is wrong with American cities — and liberals (and liberal democ،?) — in 2024.”

She then adds “America is a sticky-fingered nation built on stolen land, and its current m، panic is about s،plifting. It’s not just a worry in Columbia Heights. All over the country, from sea to ،ning CVS, there are concerns about petty theft.”

She dismisses the s،plifting as a “political talking point” despite many stories citing such crime as the reason for closing stories in various cities.  She questions the real basis for such moves and claims that “in certain conservative circles, there’s a wild narrative about cities as terrifying ،،les of crime, theft and lawlessness. The bleakness of the D.C. CVS played right into this belief.”

The real story, she suggests, is the economic conditions leading to s،plifting.

Other journalists have made similar objections. New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones, has called upon journalists to stop covering s،plifting crimes, even criticizing MSNBC’s Al Sharpton for his discussion of a viral video of a man w، recently stole steaks from a New York City Trader Joe’s.

Writers like Hannah-Jones believe that reporters s،uld actively suppress or dismiss stories on such crime to frame public opinion. It is all part of advocacy journalism. You can almost attribute the denial of reality to “a late-journalism ،rror story.”

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منبع: https://jonathanturley.org/2024/03/02/wa،ngton-post-reporter-mocks-s،plifting-stories-as-the-panic-of-a-sticky-fingered-nation-built-on-stolen-land/