An ABC News reporter has been slammed as a ‘snitch’ after reporting that he’d seen ‘looters’ raiding a supermarket.
Tom Llamas, the anchor of ABC World News Tonight, was on assignment in Houston Tuesday when he tweeted the report, sparking an instant backlash from some Twitter users.
‘We’re witnessing looting right now at a large supermarket in the NE part of Houston & police have just discovered a body nearby,’ Llamas tweeted late Tuesday morning.
‘We informed police of the looting and Coast Guard is now flying overhead. Multiple officers now on the scene,’ he wrote in a follow-up that has since been deleted.
Tom Llamas, the anchor of ABC World News Tonight, was on assignment in Houston Tuesday when he tweeted the report of ‘looting’, sparking an instant backlash
Amateur journalism critics took issue with two points: highlighting looters ahead of a dead body, and calling people raiding a grocery store during a disaster ‘looters’
This tweet, which has since been deleted, drew accusations that Llamas was a ‘snitch’
The response to the tweet was swift and harsh as Twitter users reacted
Many disagreed that breaking into a supermarket during a disaster was looting
Others took a harder line and concurred that any kind of burglary in a storm is looting
Amateur journalism critics took issue with two points: highlighting looters ahead of a dead body, and calling people raiding a grocery store during a disaster ‘looters’.
‘Looting a supermarket in a flood is also known as getting food,’ responded John Burns.
Others disagreed: ‘Getting food from a supermarket that is not open is called looting,’ wrote Michael Hughes.
Some inferred a racial element from the report, though the race of the looters was unclear.
‘This racist, classist, stupid bulls**t will not fly in the age of social media,’ wrote Twitter user @mattbc.
Some hours later, Llamas returned to Twitter to defend himself.
Some hours later, Llamas returned to Twitter to defend himself
The clarification drew even harsher responses than Llamas’ initial report
Satire of Llamas’ finely tuned sensitivity to criminal activity became the rule of the day
‘Let me clear this up–we were w/police who had discovered a dead body & mentioned we saw ppl w/faces covered going into a supermarket nearby,’ Llamas wrote.
The clarification drew even stronger condemnation from indignant Twitter users than the original tweet.
‘Ty for clearing this up. Some reporters have risked their lives to save others, & you chose to be snitch & rat out people trying to survive,’ wrote @idavidro.
‘It’s a sad day for journalism when reporters on the ground decide reporting ppl for trying to get food in a flood is their job. Shame on you,’ wrote @MsKellyMHayes.
Further details on the identity of the dead body and cause and manner of death were not immediately available.