US Fact check: Portland radio station denies it reported that activists shot at firefighters
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The claim: KXL Radio reported BLM and antifa activists shot firefighters in Portland
Over the past few months, the biggest headlines from Portland, Oregon, have concerned, and . Now the internet is conflating the three to spread dangerous misinformation as the West Coast continues to fight .
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“This is the beginning of war,” Cynthia Armbrechton Facebook on Sept. 13. “KXL Radio in Portland reported that Firefighters are now being shot at by suspected Antifa and BLM Members.”
Another Facebook user, Mike McAllister,on Sept. 11, but the post was apparently removed after PolitiFact .
“Facebook stated my information regarding a post I made was misinformation. Not so. It was reported in KXL by Clyde Lewis on his show Ground Zero. But, I’ll let them believe what they wish,” McAllisteron Sep. 15.
However, there is no record of KXL reporting that on its website, and the station’s news director has outrightseveral times.
Neither Armbrecht nor McAllister has responded to USA TODAY’s request for comment.
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News director confirms KXL never reported activist shot firefighters
On Sept. 13, PolitFactthat KXL News Director Jim Ferretti confirmed none of the station's shows reported suspected Black Lives Matter or antifa activists shot firefighters in Portland.
"I was made aware of the Facebook post on Saturday," he said. "I immediately responded from my personal Facebook account that the post is 100% false. At no time has KXL News reported that firefighters battling Oregon's wildfires have been shot at by anyone."
The same day, KXLa statement on its website to address the viral misinformation and explain the station's response.
“On Friday, September 11, 2020, someone with no connection to FM News 101 KXL posted a statement on their personal Facebook page that KXL reported ‘Firefighters are now being shot by suspected Antifa and BLM members’ At no time did KXL report this,” wrote Ferretti.
“KXL has requested Facebook remove the post as false news,” he continued. “FM News 101 KXL’s policy is to always fact check every story.”
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Ferretti did not respond to USA TODAY’s questions about why this misinformation may have been attributed to KXL or if any of its content could have been misinterpreted to lead to this claim.
No evidence this shooting happened
Neither, , nor USA TODAY has found any credible evidence that presumed BLM and antifa activists shot firefighters or that KXL reported they did.
The Portland Police Bureau has not released a statement about any shootings involving protesters and firefighters.
"I am not aware of such a thing happening," Portland Lt. Greg Pashley told USA TODAY in an email.
Our rating: False
We rate the claim that Portland's KXL radio station reported suspected BLM and antifa activists shot firefighters FALSE because it is not supported by our research. The KXL news director has confirmed to multiple sources that the station never reported such a story. There is no evidence any firefighters were shot by BLM or antifa activists in Portland.
Our fact-check sources:
- USA TODAY, Sept. 5,
- Associated Press, Aug. 19,
- USA TODAY, Sept. 15,
- USA TODAY, Sept. 15,
- (archived version)
- PolitiFact, Sept. 13,
- KXL, Sept. 13,
- Check Your Fact, Sept. 14,
- Lead Stories, Sept. 14,
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY:
Police clash with Portland protesters and press; more than 20 arrested .
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