Fox also undertook two cut-and-pastes of a photo of a young sentinel standing calmly with a semiautomatic rifle on a quiet nighttime street in the zone, which it had already published intact. In one altered image, it set him in front of shattered storefront windows that had been photographed a week before CHAZ/CHOP was set up, more than a mile away. (Storefronts and windows have been spared in the autonomous/organized zone—even those in the vacated police station.) In the other, he stands by a street barrier and a hand-lettered sign reading, “You Are Now Entering Free Capitol Hill.” An editor’s note acknowledging the removal of the storefront mashup called it a “collage,” suggesting it was not intended to look like a single photo.
Fox is also slippery in its verbal attributions. It has hammered at the idea that the CHOP has made neighbors alarmed and fearful. But the only purported “resident of this part of the city” it has presented is a “former Seattle City Council candidate” named Ari Hoffman, who said nothing about the neighborhood but inveighed against “domestic terrorists.” One problem: Hoffman, a familiar face on Fox, isn’t from Capitol Hill. He lives in Seward Park, an affluent neighborhood 4 miles away. And when a member of the Police Department’s African American Community Advisory Council told protesters they had “hijacked” the movement and “taken the meaning away,” a Fox headline, echoed in later coverage, blared something very different: “Black Lives Matter protesters say Seattle’s autonomous zone has hijacked message.”
Such misrepresentations reverberate in subsequent reports and commentaries, painting a dark picture of the “organized protest” as illegitimate, divided, armed and violent.