Mugged by reality? Not when reality was sitting in front of them begging to be noticed. On June 11, The New York Times published a glowing account of life in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) — the autonomous zone that city authorities inexplicably turned over to Black Lives Matter and antifa protesters. A “homeland for racial justice” they called it.
Flash forward to yesterday after The Times sent a reporter to do a follow-up story. Instead of changing the world, CHOP turned out to be a haven for thugs, druggies, criminals.
The Times spoke with a local business owner who had heard the area had a “block party atmosphere,” which Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan famously said on CNN.
“But that was not what he saw through the windows of his Seattle coffee shop. He saw encampments overtaking the sidewalks. He saw roving bands of masked protesters smashing windows and looting,” the Times reported, noting the man saw “young white men wielding guns.”
It’s not like the truth was being hidden away. There was a conscious effort to portray CHOP in the most harmless and harmonious way. There was music and dancing and free food for everyone. No police and no crime. Dare we hope that this is the future of the entire country?
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And then the bodies started to drop. And women got raped. And looting and burning and smashing windows went on. Just about what you’d expect when there is no law and no police to keep order.
“Business crashed as the Seattle police refused to respond to calls to the area. Officers did not retake the region until July 1, after four shootings, including two fatal ones,” the Times reported, noting that local businesses owners are now suing the city.
“The lawsuit claims that ‘Seattle’s unprecedented decision to abandon and close off an entire city neighborhood, leaving it unchecked by the police, unserved by fire and emergency health services, and inaccessible to the public’ resulted in enormous property damage and lost revenue,” the Times reported.
Gee… ya think they have a case?
I can’t believe The New York Times wasn’t aware of the truth. The paper made an editorial decision to cover the CHOP story a certain way. Instead of letting the facts and circumstances dictate the “news,” they subbed out a predetermined narrative to “inform” their readers of what was going on in Seattle.
The New York Times is an opinion leader. Many lesser media lights take their cues on how to frame a story from them. So it’s not surprising that an entire liberal narrative was crafted and instant myths about CHOP created to help tell the story of the Black Lives Matter Utopia in Seattle.
I suppose that’s what is considered “journalism” in the early 21st century. But it’s no journalism I recognize. Indeed, it’s more similar to the old Soviet propaganda outlet TASS, which gave out the party line and every other newspaper, radio, and TV outlet simply repeated it.
The Times report now paints the area as a graffiti-filled mess complete with shattered glass, broken street lights and gun-toting private security guards. A Black Lives Matter community guard told the Times he “was appalled by the violent tactics and rhetoric he witnessed during the occupation.”
The problem is that the original narrative about CHOP has been established and changing it in the minds of the public becomes very difficult. In the end, if you believed the twaddle about CHOP being a peaceful group of protesters fighting for racial justice showing us all how to live, you’re not going to change your opinion.
And if you believed the reality, that’s cold comfort.