And Journalists Wonder Why Anarchists Don't Trust Us to Be Fair

A couple of hours ago, a King County Superior Court judge declined to press charges against a young man named Brendan McCormack who had been accused of vandalizing bank ATMs in the Capitol Hill area late last year.
There was not enough evidence, the judge said, to link McCormack to the crimes, despite the prosecutor's insistence that he was a "self-proclaimed anarchist" and the vandalized bank machines had been spray-painted with the old circle-A. An anarchist does not a vandal make. (If McCormack is even an anarchist to begin with—he is an activist and has been approached and photographed by police at political demonstrations, but "self-proclaimed anarchist" are the prosecutor's words, not his.)
Earlier in the week, Seattle police officers searched McCormack's apartment looking for a skateboard helmet, some goggles, a scarf, a backpack, and other items they say they recognized from grainy, surveillance-video footage of the ATM vandal.
According to the search warrant, officers seized a backpack, a helmet, and so on from his and his roommate's apartment, as well as a crowbar, a thumb drive (containing his resume), cell phones, and a few other items.
But being seen at demonstrations and owning commonplace items that appeared in surveillance footage was not, the judge concluded, sufficient to charge McCormack with the seven counts of malicious mischief the prosecutor was after, which could have led to years in prison, as well as becoming a felon.
So far, so insignificant. But check out the way KIRO 7 handled the story:

Not only do they fall for the whole "violence is vandalism" fallacy—smashing an ATM is not violence, unless you consider people the moral equivalent of property—they repeatedly proclaim his guilt before he's even been charged.
"Henry, you came face-to-face with this guy today," says the anchor (as if a guy accused of vandalism were a tiger with rabies). "I did," reporter Henry Rossof says, "that's after we took a look at this search warrant where you can see he was caught on camera." Um, that's not what the judge said today.
Then Rossof approaches McCormack at his door, shoves a mic in his face, and states: "We were just wondering why you smashed up those banks."
That's not even a question. That's an assertion. And, again, not what the judge said this afternoon. (I spoke with Rossof on the phone this afternoon, but he would not be able to comment unless his executive editor gave the go-ahead.)
Call me old-fashioned, but a reporter assuming someone is guilty of a crime—twice—because a) the police say so, and b) he's got some unusual political affiliations seems like a problem.
And my fellow reporters wonder why anarchists (and other radicals) don't seem to like us very much.

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Comments

Don't worry, journalist-who's-apparently-still-capable-of-shame-and-self-reflection, your profession is long since dead and your unfortunate case of sentimentality can be treated with strong drink! I especially love the sensible windbreaker and cute haircut on that yuppie dork from KIRO7, little yapping attack chihuahua leading the charge.

Long dead? Anyways, mainstream media outlets are hiring those wily rats all the time.

I meant actual journalism. Hunter S Thompson was flogging it's corpse for cheap laughs decades ago.
But you're right about the phrasing, DID mean "long dead". ;)

sign of the times.
rebellious=terrorist,
accused=guilty.

Wait if this is from seattle why didnt they just go to the unofficial anarchist spokesman with the mohawk who loves talking to the media every opportumity? sure he would give thme a soundbite

The passed up the mohawk spokesman and went straight the surprised and dim-witted hippy neighbor, which is still in keeping with Seattle.

Yeah, I liked how he was missing enough teeth to seem like he'd be living with the underclasses but not so many that I can't relate to him at all, you know?

Yes teeth are everything. Like Christie Blatchford's (one of Canada's celeb reporter) headline literally read

"'G17' defendants mostly white kids with good teeth"

This is why we don't rely on FAUX News and their co-conspirators. This is why there's Anarchist News, Infoshop, and Indymedia. This is why you watch anarchist videos on Liveleak or download them from Archive, not watch them on TV.

Come on guys... don't hate the media. Become the media.

HATE the media, and destroy it.

It's cool that there's a working journalist in the NW who isn't openly antogonistic towards anarchists, because it got news of the May Day Grand Jury out there in a somewhat sympathetic fashion, but the message gets dulled somewhat when we have this "You guys, they are just so unfair to you..." thing running through every story. The assumption that corporate news could be anything but hostile is, putting it kindly, naive.

Here are a couple recent chestnuts from Portland:

http://www.kgw.com/news/FBI-tracking-Portland-anarchist-groups-193163921...

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Moving-day-for-squatters-but-where-will-t...

Get out of the house! Better wages for teachers! Spay and neuter your pets!

let's stop pretending property destruction isn't violence, those ATMs probably deserved it, plus condemning violence closes too many doors, that, as anarchists would make sense to keep open

also representation is always gonna be terrible

'violence' is cultural/linguistic bullshit
so is, 'deserve'

In before that shitposting redditor.

Yeah, I'd rather argue about efficacy of tactics than semantics, any day. But sometimes you just want to smash something or glue a lock and not even make a thing out of it. You know? I take those little moments for myself, some me-time. Sure, I could put it in a socio-political context but really, it's just a piece of my personality. SMASHY SMASH!

would discuss tactics wouldnt discuss how their discussed #yolo

In every city anarchists should have a list of all known local journalists and their home addresses. Whenever one of them tries to whip up public hysteria (and thus government violence) against anarchists, that journalist should be paid a visit. Physically stopping these cheerleaders for state terror (preferably with a .38mm behind the ear) from fomenting their hate and violence is the only way they will ever get the message.

i deny this comment

That's a good start

Aw come on, be real. Nobody is going to shoot him but it'd be pretty easy to mess with him because he's a public figure.
Anyway, I certainly share your hostility towards bootlicking fair-weather fascist yuppie demagogues.

"(preferably with a .38mm behind the ear)"

Oh jeez, here's some serious internet tough guy shit. You're not going to do much damage with a ".38mm."

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