Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Fox News is desperately trying to make Seattle's Autonomous Zone look like The Purge

Illustration for article titled Fox News is desperately trying to make Seattles Autonomous Zone look like iThe Purge/i
Photo: Anadolu Agency (Getty Images)

Seattle’s Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (or CHAZ) is not a very threatening place, but that hasn’t stopped Fox News from doing its very best to try to make the protester-controlled area seem like a violent wasteland. Last Friday, the network was caught poorly Photoshopping an image to make CHAZ look more frightening than it is. Now, that having been called out, Fox has switched to a different tactic: Underscoring footage from inside Capitol Hill with super scary movie trailer music.

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A clip from Tucker Carlson Tonight, tweeted by John Whitehouse last night, shows the perpetually-befuddled host introducing the video by explaining how a Fox journalist “ventured into the nation formerly known as downtown Seattle,” taking his life into his own hands to grab documentary evidence of... some people standing and walking around, sometimes while in costume.

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The music, which sounds like a royalty-free Trent Reznor soundtrack, turns footage of people either just hanging out in the area or actively using the space for its intended purpose as an occupied Black Lives Matter protest zone into a trailer for the world’s least exciting Purge sequel. The very best moments come when the pounding drums and ominous electronic drones try to layer menace atop B-roll of a guy with a ponytail spinning a pipe around, a pair of people in onesie animal pajamas walking down the road, a shirtless dude shuffling around in an impromptu dance, or someone in a banana Halloween costume doing whippets.

“So there it is!” Carlson says at the end.

This is all transparently goofy shit, but what’s less funny is the monologue that preceded the enormously dumb clip, captured by Andrew Lawrence. In it, Carlson (using up-to-date Gilligan’s Island and Love Boat references) explains just how important Fox’s mission at this moment really is. Bear with him as he describes why it’s good to be scared of the Black Lives Matter protests, which he compares to the French Revolution, and how it’s tougher to be as openly racist right now as he would like.

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Carlson’s words don’t even need creepy music to seem threatening, but, hey giving his monologue the same dipshit treatment as the CHAZ footage wouldn’t hurt.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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