News & Politics

Fox Attacks the Washington Post—in the Best Way Possible

Okay, we mean an actual fox. And an actual copy of the Post.

Photograph by Heidi Brock.

It can be hard to have easy, reliable access to the news necessary to keep you informed. Especially if you don’t have a computer, a smartphone, or a subscription to a paper. Or a set address to send said news to, or even opposable thumbs, because you are a fox.

Yes, here it is, the actual biggest Washington Post–centric story of the past 24 hours: An apparently news-starved fox has taken matters into its own paws and has been spotted stealing copies of the Post from the porches of unsuspecting Arlington residents.

Heidi Brock, who has lived in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood for 16 years, was walking her dog the morning of July 13 when she spotted said fox. She and other neighbors have seen these critters in the area over the years, so she did what she typically does: pull her dog away and make sure to give the animal plenty of room. It trotted away, and Brock thought that was the end of the whole fox encounter. Until it sprang out between two houses with a copy of the Post in its mouth.

Photograph by Heidi Brock.

“I was just astonished,” says Brock. “I couldn’t believe it.” Naturally, she took out her phone and  started taking pictures, which she posted to Nextdoor and Facebook. Brock’s posts immediately got plenty of comments, which are delightfully just along the lines you might expect: “Fox News?” reads one. Another said: “Well, the fox on my street reads The Times. Just saying.”

Jeff Bezos’s paper apparently has a dedicated wildlife readership: The next morning, June 14, Brock again spotted a fox trotting by with a copy of the Post tucked tidily between its teeth. When asked, Brock couldn’t be sure if it was the same animal she had seen the previous day or if the original one had decided to sleep in and sent a sibling to check out the day’s headlines.

Since these two run-ins, has Brock seen the fox broaden its material, picking up, say, a Wall Street Journal? “So far, my experience of the two days in a row is it just seems to be exclusive to the Post,” she says. (Fingers crossed it makes the leap to magazine journalism and it’s soon spotted scampering around with a New Yorker tote bag.)

As far as Brock knows, the Post isn’t aware of its unusual fan base and has made no attempt to get the fox or its family a subscription, or even matching “Democracy Dies in Darkness” T-shirts.

“We can only hope that those papers are getting recycled,” says Brock of the stolen goods. “At least they’re getting reused.”

The fox did not return requests for comment.

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.