Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Not an illustration

In the Sept. 28, 2005 AJC, Leonard Pitts (whom I respect) reports on a claim by a Britain named Ged Scott, who was on vacation in New Orleans when the city was devasted by hurricane Katrina. Ged claims that some policemen refused to help a group of women stranded on a roof because they wouldn't show their breasts. Mr. Pitts said that Ged's claim "received considerable play in British newspapers." Doing a Yahoo search on "Ged Scott" showed that it did indeed receive attention in the British press. The articles I saw did not appear to make an effort to ascertain whether this claim was true, or if Ged was even in New Orleans. Mr. Pitts himself admits that when he first heard the story, he assumed it was an urban legend. He goes on to cite it as an "illustration of the utter banality of evil." While it is possible that Ged's account is true, I would say it cannot be used to "illustrate ... evil" unless it is better documented to be true. It might turn out to be a better illustration of human gullibility!

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