While protests regarding police brutality against Black people have continued in cities across the country, Seattle’s “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone” has gotten the brunt of the attention from much of the media in recent days, especially on Fox News. But it appears that Fox isn’t aware of the work of John Cleese and Co., and it accidentally let a clear reference to one of the Monty Python movies on air as fact when reporting about the area in Seattle where protesters have been free to assemble for the last few days.
Josh Billinson pointed out on Saturday that the Reddit post shown on the conservative network was actually a nearly word-for-word parody of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Fox News fell for a Monty Python joke on Reddit lmao pic.twitter.com/Yo34yuQvlD
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) June 13, 2020
Billinson later provided the video of the report, which took the poster and their apparent frustrations with the protests and its leadership very seriously.
But as Billinson pointed out, the lines are actually from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, specifically a scene where the king tries to get information about who lives in a castle and is thoroughly turned around by mere commoners.
The scene is classic Monty Python, creating a conflict out of a simple misunderstanding and turning it into a commentary on the entire political structure of medieval Europe. And the language in the Reddit post is identical to the scene, which almost certainly means it was a joke and not an actual social uprising within a social uprising. All that’s missing is King Arthur’s shouts for the commoners to be quiet.
It wasn’t the only moment for which Fox News has drawn scrutiny in its coverage of the Autonomous Zone, either. The New York Times reported that the network officially apologized for using digitally-altered images of Seattle in its broadcasts, including one that was of an entirely different city.
On Friday, Fox posted on its site a photo of a man armed with a rifle standing in front of the shattered glass of a storefront. The Seattle Times noted that it was a combination of several different photos from Getty Images taken over nearly two weeks.
Also on the website, Fox also posted a nighttime photo of a burning storefront and car, accompanied by the headline “Crazy Town” and a list of articles on the unrest in Seattle. But that image was taken in St. Paul, Minn.
Fox removed both images after inquiries from The Seattle Times.
It’s unclear if Fox News will cover further developments of the upheaval in centuries-old fictional Europe, but hopefully they’ll avoid rabbits as they get to the bottom of the matter.