Seattle TV reporter fired for tweeting white nationalist propaganda

Seattle TV reporter fired for tweeting white nationalist propaganda
Members of the Proud Boys demonstrating in Raleigh, North Carolina in 2020, Wikimedia Commons
The Right Wing

A Seattle TV reporter is out of a job after tweeting out a video lauding the far-right group the Proud Boys. Jonathan Choe's 90-second video featured multiple still photos of the group's rally in Olympia, Wash., and advertised a Q&A session the hate group planned to hold afterward as if he were talking about some kind of humanitarian organization, reports Rick Smith of The Stranger.

"THAT'S A WRAP: Proud Boys and other marchers say they will stay on the Capitol campus in Olympia for a few more hours to mingle and answer questions if anyone is interested in learning more about their cause and mission," Choe wrote, after posting a thread of Tweets presenting the group as prayerful patriots without mentioning the organization's role in planning the January 6 insurrection, nor its status as a terrorist entity in Canada.

Choe's montage tweet drew a number of complaints to the station's news desk, and he was asked to delete it for not conforming to KOMO's standards for "objectivity and professionalism." The video contains a troubling music track: a ballad called "We'll Have Our Home Again," which was written and recorded by a member of The Mannerbund, a group The Jewish News of Northern California described as “a white separatist, ethno-nationalist men’s club.” Smith notes that for the last couple years, some Proud Boys have played the song at their rallies as a kind of anthem.

In a statement, KOMO news director Phil Bruce confirmed that the station "decided to end our employment relationship with [Choe] effective today." Bruce said the outlet "did not direct or approve Jonathan Choe’s decision to cover this weekend’s rally, nor did his work meet our editorial standards."

KOMO is owned by the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns and operates 185 television stations in 86 markets.

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