Fox News Used Digitally Altered Photos in Coverage of Seattle Protests and ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone’
Fox News has repeatedly released digitally altered photos as part of a series of stories of protests on Capitol Hill in Seattle that aired on June 12.
The misleading images were first discovered by the Seattle Times, which raised the problem with Fox News.
"There were no disclaimers on Fox's website indicating that the photos were tampered with. The network removed the pictures following requests from the Seattle Times," the Times reported on June 12.
The photos are said to have been taken in Seattle's Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, a six-block radius in downtown Seattle that is now outside police control. The area was founded on May 25 after Mayor Jenny Durkan ordered the Seattle police to leave her East Precinct station during protests against the May 25 murder of George Floyd. The residents of Seattle have called the recovered police station "Seattle People Station".
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One of the altered images used by Fox News shows a civilian standing in front of a destroyed shop window with a military assault rifle. The Seattle Times reports that the image is not a photo, but a "mashup" of multiple photos from different days and photographers - created by overlaying images of downtown Seattle riots on May 30th Getty Images photo of a man with a gun. Fox News also released an alternate version of this image, in which the armed man appeared to be standing in front of a sign that read, "You are now entering Free Cap Hill."
Fox removed the images and told The Times, "We have replaced our photo illustration with the well-defined images of an armed man and a broken shop front, both taken this week in the Seattle Autonomous Zone."
However, according to the Times, this statement and the new photos are also misleading. The shooter's photo was taken on June 10, but the storefront with which it was combined is a photo taken by Getty Images on May 30, the newspaper said.
Fox also used images of protests in other states to report the Seattle riots. As part of its package, the network released an image of burning streets in St. Paul, Minnesota in Seattle on May 30, along with the heading "CRAZY TOWN". Fox has since removed this image as well.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Seattle is negotiating with Black Lives Matter activists to find a way to clear the autonomous zone and restore the area to normal. Local activists say they won't leave the area until the city meets a list of demands, including redirecting half of the Seattle Police Department's budget to support the black community.
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Black Lives Matter spokeswoman Jessica Kilpatrick told the Wall Street Journal about the unrest: "It's temporary employment until we meet our demands."
A Fox News spokesman provided TheWrap with a copy of the publisher's note published by Fox News that resolved the issue. Editor's Note: A photo collage on the FoxNews.com home page that originally accompanied this story included several scenes from Seattle's Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone and debris after the recent riots. The collage did not clearly delineate these images and has been replaced since then. In addition, a recent slide show with scenes from Seattle incorrectly included a picture from St. Paul, Minnesota. Fox News regrets these mistakes. "
Read the original story Fox News used digitally altered photos to report on protests in Seattle and the Capitol Hill "autonomous zone" at TheWrap
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