Fox News publishes digitally altered and erroneous images of demonstrations in Seattle

The Fox News coverage of the demonstrations largely reflects an attempt by the right-wing media to portray it as threatening. Protesters declared a small part of Seattle an “autonomous zone” after clashes with authorities led police to evacuate the district. Although there have been sightings of armed individuals, the area is mostly peaceful with people gathering for food, speeches and film screenings.
The story that took place in right-wing circles this week was one in which gunmen from Antifa occupied part of Seattle. City officials said they had not communicated with members of Antifa, a network of poorly connected organizations that have historically violently clashed with right-wing organizations.

“It’s not an armed takeover,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said on CNN Thursday night. “It’s not a military junta.”

President Trump, however, seemingly turned to reports in the right-wing media, calling the protesters “domestic terrorists” and threatening to use federal force to clear them of the area.

Despite the president’s description of conflicting with the reality on the ground, Fox News continues to present the situation as dangerous. His publication of altered and misleading images on a very busy website was the latest – and probably the most aggressive – example of this.

Among the photos Fox News posted on its homepage was one showing a protester passing by a burning vehicle and building with the caption “CRAZY TOWN” spreading across the website. The image, which is accompanied by a story about the situation in Seattle, was actually taken from the unrest last month in Minnesota.

In other photos showing the scene in Seattle, Fox News digitally added a picture of a man armed with an assault rifle.

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A Fox News spokesman pointed to CNN on Saturday morning at the editor’s note, which was added to the stories the network posted from misleading images.

“The photo collage on the FoxNews.com home page that originally accompanied this story included several scenes from Seattle’s‘ Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone ’and wrecks following the recent riots,” the note reads. “The collage did not clearly demarcate these images and has since been replaced. In addition, a recent slide show showing scenes from Seattle mistakenly included an image from St. Paul. Fox News regrets these errors.”

The network also commented on Friday in the Seattle Times.

“We replaced our photo illustration with clearly delineated images of an armed police officer and a broken-down store. Both were taken in the Seattle Autonomous Zone this week,” he told a Fox News spokesman.

The Seattle Times, however, reported that the statement was incorrect. The newspaper pointed out that “the photo from the gunsmith was taken on June 10, while the photos from the store where it was modified were marked on May 30 by Getty Images.”

Ethical photography experts told the Seattle Times that Fox News behaved inappropriately when publishing digitally modified images.

“I think it’s shameful propaganda and a horrible misrepresentation of documentary journalism in times like this, when telling the truth and responsibility is so important,” Kenny Irby, a photojournalism ethics expert, told the newspaper. “There is no attribution. There is no montage confirmation and it is terribly wrong.”

Achilles Ramsess, executive director of the National Association of Photographers for Press, told The Seattle Times that it was “completely awful to manipulate the way they did it.”

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