The American media no longer believes in just reporting the news — it’s all about shaping the narrative.
“My job is to present all sides, not just the one that aligns with my values or worldview,” wrote Jonathan Choe, formerly of KOMO, an ABC affiliate in Seattle, Washington.
Choe had worked as a reporter for 20 years but said in a Medium post on Friday that he was fired from KOMO after live-tweeting a recent Proud Boy march in Olympia, Washington. Flyers for the event said that the Capital City Proud Boys were protesting the treatment of individuals still in custody for the January 6 riot.
As a veteran journalist, Choe believed that the rally was worth reporting on since the Proud Boys have become more prominent in the past few years. He knew that the Southern Poverty Law Center had labeled the Proud Boys an “extremist hate group” and he thought that it would be newsworthy just like a KKK rally would be, so he decided to go down and live-tweet.
Choe wrote, “I wasn’t taking sides. I wasn’t saying anything was good or bad.”
“Aside from some middle fingers and heckling from those who opposed the rally, the day ended peacefully and without incident,” wrote Choe.
He said that he wasn’t received warmly by the marchers who distrusted the mainstream media and no one would talk to him on the record, so he just started following their route and captured photos and video which he posted on his Twitter account.
Choe is an American of Asian descent, but he was still labeled a neo-Nazi, a fascist, and a white supremacist after he posted a photo montage of the event with natural background sounds.
In an attempt to actually report what was going on at the rally, Choe was accused of creating a propaganda video for the Capital City Proud Boys.
In a Tweet recapping the day, I decided to create a photo montage with natural sound from the march(in TV news this is what’s called a “NAT Pkg”). One of my videos picked up music blasting from a speaker strapped over the shoulder of one of the protesters. I could not make out the words and had never heard this song in my life. You could also hear car horns and the footsteps of marchers as I weaved in and out of the crowd. I laid some photos over this natural sound from the video and hit send.
Hours later, the critics started pouncing on this final Tweet, accusing me of intentionally creating “white supremacist propaganda.” Several people even claimed I went out of my way to rip this music off a CD and lay it under the photos. That is untrue. I wanted to simply capture a moment in time, with authentic visuals and sounds. It was clearly misinterpreted by some on-line.
I later learned the song is called “We’ll Have Our Home Again,” and is sometimes played at white nationalist rallies. This piece was never meant to air on KOMO News and it never did. I wanted it to be a conversation starter, and it sure did incite an unexpected response. In hindsight, I wish I added more context to this Tweet. But before I could clarify or respond to the criticism, my news director told me to take down all my social media related to the Proud Boys march. I was also told by my boss not to speak to any outside media. The following day, I was fired from KOMO.
Here is the raw video that Choe used for the recap video.
RAW VIDEO: This audio is what was posted on line with a series of photos recapping the day. I did not rip the song from a CD. In tv, it’s called a “NAT Pkg.” Please have a look and listen for yourself. @FTVLive @thedailybeast @dailykos @TheStranger pic.twitter.com/MpBfGIVbhY
— Jonathan Choe Journalist (@choeshow) March 25, 2022
Choe then said that he was surprised at the reaction because the network has covered Antifa pretty extensively for the past two years despite vocal, extremist elements and the violence that often occurs when Antifa black bloc show up.
He says that there appears to be a double standard in the coverage… (You don’t say!)
At KOMO, I spent a lot of time the past two years covering Antifa violence and destruction in the city. According to the ADL, “Antifa’s professed purpose is to vigorously oppose fascism. While some extreme actors who claim to be affiliated with Antifa do engage in violence or vandalism at rallies and events.” But during my time at KOMO, we still covered them even though some of these bad actors espoused hate and followed through with violence and destruction, including flag burnings and Molotov cocktail attacks on the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct and union headquarters.
I have also been assaulted by alt-left activists who claimed to be part of Antifa. Many adherents openly talk about destabilizing America and bringing a socialist revolution. Some also proudly say they want to kill police. One young man who aligned himself with this ideology was just convicted of smashing an SPD officer in the head with a bat.
So I want to show what’s happening at a Proud Boys rally, which ended up being quiet and peaceful, but critics accuse me of not being more disapproving of this event and also legitimizing hate? I don’t know, but that sure sounds like a double standard to me.
“KOMO did not direct or approve Jonathan Choe’s decision to cover this weekend’s rally, nor did his work meet our editorial standards. We decided to end our employment relationship with him yesterday,” said the station in a statement.
Perhaps this incident isn’t the only reason that Choe was fired.
A KOMO source for TVSpy said that “staffers were complaining about Choe and that this was the ‘last straw.'”
Choe had recently been criticized for posting cellphone videos showing the deterioration of Seattle’s downtown as the city pursues a “compassionate” treatment of the homeless, defunding of police, and soft-on-crime policies. The video shows open drug use by the homeless, trash covering the street, and plywood still covering store windows a year and a half after the “Summer of Love” in the CHAZ/CHOP chaos zone.
As for what’s next, Choe says that he’s going to keep reporting and to follow him on Twitter @choeshow for updates.
This is what happens when reporters don’t push the “correct” agenda — they get tossed out. That’s why we need a robust alternative to the approved Regime Media.
Andrew Breitbart was right — this is war.
Psalms of War: Prayers That Literally Kick Ass is a collection, from the book of Psalms, regarding how David rolled in prayer. I bet you haven’t heard these read, prayed, or sung in church against our formidable enemies — and therein lies the Church’s problem. We’re not using the spiritual weapons God gave us to waylay the powers of darkness. It might be time to dust them off and offer ‘em up if you’re truly concerned about the state of Christ’s Church and of our nation.
Also included in this book, Psalms of War, are reproductions of the author’s original art from his Biblical Badass Series of oil paintings.
This is a great gift for the prayer warriors. Real. Raw. Relevant.