JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Reporter blocked from filming CHOP activist pointing gun at crowd

Jun 28, 2020, 6:16 PM | Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 10:55 am

A local reporter was blocked by CHOP activists from filming a man pointing a cocked rifle at a crowd. It’s the latest example of a CHOP media strategy to keep footage of the area’s violence from being published. At this point, it’s futile.

Some media outlets, mostly national, claimed CHOP was a peaceful street fair that conservative media was falsely portraying as violent. This was done either intentionally or based on the ignorance of out-of-town reporters who didn’t leave their hotel rooms after 10 p.m.

It helped allow CHOP activists to push a phony media narrative that the CHOP experiment was going swimmingly. Meanwhile, people were hurt or killed.

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More CHOP violence

A local reporter, who asked to remain anonymous over concern the story would become about the media and not the violence, was on scene last Friday morning. Mayor Jenny Durkan sent city workers into CHOP to start clearing the concrete barricades, surprising some of the remaining CHOP activists. They weren’t happy.

Some CHOP activists stood or lay down in front of city equipment. Without further incident, nor arrests, Durkan caved and the project was called off.

When the reporter was on scene, they saw a man with a bloody eyebrow reach medics for help. It was unclear what happened, but moments later, a separate man came upon the area with a rifle, cocked the weapon, and started to point it at people. He was also armed with a hammer.

The reporter tried to film the incident, but CHOP activists blocked the shot, ominously warning them not to film. Video (warning: language) can be seen below.

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The media strategy

During CHOP’s existence, activists tried to block media members and visitors from filming any violence. If there’s no image of violence, it’s hard to prove the violence exists.

I experienced this tactic firsthand.

A man with his face covered repeatedly bumped into me and stood in the way of my phone. When my colleague, Julio Rosas of Townhall, got too close to the filming, the same activist tried to stop him from recording. It ended up being a futile effort, as both Rosas and I picked up plenty of footage.

The irony is that when you block a mild dispute, it makes it seem even worse. And when you try to stop a major fight, too many people in the crowd will record. That makes the blocking efforts even more futile.

If these CHOP activists spent more time on acknowledging and addressing the violence, rather than spending time pretending it didn’t exist, it’s possible less of it would have happened.

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Rantz: Reporter blocked from filming CHOP activist pointing gun at crowd