Former Seattle Reporter Jonathan Choe Said Accusations Against Him Are ‘Comical at Best’

By Kevin Eck 

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Jonathan Choe, the Seattle reporter who was recently fired from ABC affiliate KOMO after tweeting about a Proud Boys rally, is now telling his side of the story.

Choe posted a promo on twitter for his story on Medium where he said he is “not a neo-Nazi, fascist, or white supremacist.” Choe took criticism for covering the rally which took place in Olympia, Washington on March 19 and called the accusations against him “comical at best.”

“As a proud Asian American journalist who’s faced years of discrimination for my race and ethnicity, this is comical at best,” said Choe. “I’ve also been accused of intentionally creating a propaganda video for the organizers of the rally—Capital City Proud Boys.”

Some said his use of the song We’ll Have Our Home Again in a montage of images from the rally made it look like a promotional video for the hate group. Choe said it was supposed to be a “conversation starter” and posted the raw video of the song being played during the march to Twitter. “I did not rip the song from a CD,” said Choe. “In tv, it’s called a “NAT Pkg.”

He added that the very reason he was at the event was because The Southern Poverty Law Center called the Proud Boys an “extremist hate group, known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric.”

“I wasn’t taking sides. I wasn’t saying anything was good or bad. In fact, none of the marchers would talk to me on the record because they ‘didn’t trust the mainstream media.'” said Choe. “So I just started following the march route. Aside from some middle fingers and heckling from those who opposed the rally, the day ended peacefully and without incident.”

Choe said that he plans to stay in the media—and has spent the time since his firing “listening and learning from my critics. And I appreciate them as well.”

“My problem arises when any group or side tries to silence me for simply trying to show what’s happening,” said Choe. “At the end of the day, all I can do is shine a light on issues that matter to the community. Fairly and accurately.”

“In the end, I may have missed the mark with my on-line coverage. But please know, it was never intended to amplify or legitimize any ideology or worldview.”

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