U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Talk radio host harassed and attacked at a Seattle demonstration protesting Palestinian evictions

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 16, 2021
Seattle, Washington


Was the journalist targeted?
May 16, 2021

Jason Rantz, host of the talk radio show the Jason Rantz Show show on Seattle’s KTTH 770 AM, said he was harassed and attacked by members of a crowd at a May 16, 2021, demonstration in Seattle, Washington, that was called to protest evictions of Palestinians in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

According to Falastiniyat, a Seattle-based group and organizers of the demonstration, the event at Westlake Park also commemorated the 73rd anniversary of Nakba, the Palestinian term for the displacement of Palestinians from their villages and homeland in 1948.

Rantz, whose Twitter account describes him as a conversative and that he writes for the station’s partner website MyNorthwest.com, told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that he was covering the rally in the early afternoon when a member of the crowd recognized him and "alerted people in the crowd to harass me — which they did."

A Youtube video he posted online shows Rantz's camera blocked by a cardboard sign, beginning at 1:24 into the clip. Rantz continues to record audio as the video on his camera remains blocked by cardboard. At 3:44, Rantz can be heard repeatedly yelling, "Don't touch me," while someone else says, "Fuck off" and "Get the fuck out." He told the Tracker that a woman hit the back of his head with a Palestinian flag and then repeatedly hit him, forcing him to leave the rally. He later tweeted that he was fine.

Rantz also told the Tracker that he filed a report with police. The Seattle Police Department did not respond to a Tracker request for comment.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].