Rantz: Seattle media ignores pro-Israel rally, sanitizes pro-Hamas blockade

Nov 6, 2023, 7:40 PM

Seattle Israel rally...

Pro-Israel rally at UW Sunday night. (Photo: Jason Rantz)

(Photo: Jason Rantz)

Seattle media’s anti-Semitism problem just got worse. Every local television outlet and so-called newspaper of record completely ignored a pro-Israel rally and march that attracted roughly 500 people.

“We are here to let Seattle know that the pro-Hamas voice is not the only voice coming out of this region,” Pastor Russell Johnson of Pursuit NW said to the crowd at the University of Washington.

The Sunday afternoon rally was organized by the Pursuit NW to express evangelical solidarity with Jews. It attracted a large crowd from across the state, and even some drove up from California or down from British Columbia. After several speeches, the group marched across campus chanting support for Israel and a demand for Hamas to release hostages.

So, why didn’t local media outlets cover it?

Unbalanced coverage of pro-Hamas rallies

The pro-Israel rally and march was peaceful. It did not offer the fiery and hateful rhetoric heard at pro-Hamas rallies in Seattle. One could argue that’s precisely why the media was disinterested: they knew it wouldn’t be especially dramatic (as if standing up for the survival of the only Jewish state and its people isn’t dramatic enough). But it would be a foolish argument.

Seattle reporters attend pro-Hamas rallies and purposefully downplay the drama.

They refer to the rallies as “pro-Palestinian,” despite the fact that these crowds call for the destruction of Israel and justify terrorist attacks against Jews. But you wouldn’t get that from Seattle media coverage. They cut out chants of “From the river to the sea,” and “Long live the intifada,” and falsely claim the crowd is simply calling for aid to reach Gazans.

Joel Moreno of KOMO was caught fabricating coverage of one local pro-Hamas march. Cornelius Hocker of KING 5, meanwhile, platformed an anti-Semitic business owner blaming Jews for the terrorist attacks because “Hamas wouldn’t exist if they were not being occupied, being subjugated to the things that they’re dealing with.” Real Change News extremist Guy Oron blamed Israel, too, posting on October 7, “Today is a natural consequence of continued oppression — people will always fight back.”

More from Jason Rantz: KING 5, Seattle business owner blames Israel for Hamas terrorism

‘Pro-Palestinian’ blockade

The morning after ignoring the pro-Israel rally, every local media outlet flocked to the Port of Tacoma as pro-Hamas activists set up a blockade. The intent was to stop a cargo ship from receiving weaponry that would be sent to Israel. The activists, who have tried this kind of activism before, do not want Israel to defend itself.

In its morning coverage, KOMO amplified voices celebrating the activism without providing any counter. The Tacoma News Tribune ignored signs that read “From the river to the sea,” and instead focused on “Free Palestine!” (Kudos to MyNorthwest for providing context of the hateful messaging.)

I know why this story is worthy of coverage. But in the context of ignoring the previous night’s pro-Israel rally, it betrays a bias in coverage.

Here’s why Seattle media skipped pro-Israel rally coverage

Too many local reporters and editors kowtow to the extremist activists. They don’t want to trigger those who loathe Israel and Jews. Any positive coverage — or even balanced coverage — will anger them and these outlets need viewers to earn ratings, which, in turn, delivers ad revenue. There are, after all, many more progressive activists in Seattle than Jews.

There are also a few local reporters who agree with the audience. Staff at the Stranger, having never looked up the definition of genocide, accuse Israel of trying to wipe Palestinians off the map. Hocker at KING 5 is either incredibly ignorant of anything having to do with Israel and Gaza or he’s purposefully misinforming his audience by framing stories against Israel.

A pro-Israel rally calls out these lies, as much as it calls out Hamas as a terrorist organization, and celebrates the Jewish state. Those are messages Seattle media isn’t very interested in covering.

Listen to The Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3-7 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow him on X, formerly known as TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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