RECALL: ABC, CBS Stoke Fear of Larry Elder, NBC Holds Newsom to the Fire

News & Politics

The Monday night before California’s recall election, two of the broadcast networks were solidly backing embattled Governor Gavin Newsom as they downplayed his COVID hypocrisy and tried to stoke fear of Republican front runner and radio host, Larry Elder. But meanwhile, one network saw fit to hold Newsom’s feet to the fire by opposing his smears of recall effort and calling out how Democrats controlled the state as poverty exploded.

ABC correspondent Matt Gutman kicked off his World News Tonight report by pushing the Newsom campaign’s outrageous claim that people were going to die if Elder became governor:

GUTMAN: As he fights to keep his job, Governor Gavin Newsom welcoming President Biden to California tonight and warning voters the stakes could not be any higher.

NEWSOM: This election is a matter of life and death. Public health is on the ballot.

Gutman downplayed Newsom’s COVID hypocrisy by suggesting that him getting caught dining out during the lockdown was just something “opponents pounced” on and allowed them to get just “enough signatures to put a recall on the ballot.”

As for his take on Elder, Gutman warned: “He opposes the minimum wage, has called climate change a myth, and wants to roll back many of the state’s COVID restrictions.”

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Over on CBS Evening News, chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett aided the Newsom campaign by pushing their claim Elder was just like former President Trump:

GARRETT: Newsom has pulled ahead in recent weeks with help from the party’s top stars and by linking his top Republican challenger, radio host Larry Elder with former President Trump.

NEWSOM: Donald Trump was defeated last November but Trumpism hasn’t been defeated.

 “But in Trumpian fashion, Elder has also sown doubt about the integrity of the election claiming, quote, ‘shenanigans could be at play,’” he scoffed, with no mention of the people reporting that ballots were already cast in their name.

Elder told us he would roll back mask and testing requirements for state employees on day one. But he’s also drawn fire for comments about women and race,” Garrett added. And what was the supposedly controversial comment on race? “Racism has never been a less significant problem in America than today,” Elder told him.

They exerted all that energy to assail Elder and aid Newsom. Meanwhile, correspondent Jacob Soboroff was on NBC Nightly News reporting that Newsom presided over “the nation’s worst economic inequality, and a rise in violent crime;” Grilling him in an interview:

SOBOROFF: Do you really think this is about a Republican recall and only that, that there aren’t unhappy people in California, people unhappy with Governor Gavin Newsom?

NEWSOM: Of course. Everybody is upset with everybody in the last 18 months. No one is naive about that. But let’s talk about who’s behind this. It is a Republican recall. It’s backed by the RNC.

Soboroff also spoke with a young independent woman who became a Republican to vote out Newsom (Click “expand”):

SOBOROFF: Do you get the sense that the Governor understands how hard life is for you and people like you?

CAMILLA: No. I’m sorry. It’s upsetting. It’s really upsetting. I don’t mean to get emotional, but he has no idea.

SOBOROFF: The race itself could hinge on struggling voters like Camilla who share that sentiment. It sounds like you’re going to vote to recall the governor.

CAMILLA: I am. I am.

He also got Newsom to squirm by pointing out the fact, “inequality is worse in this state, your state than anywhere else in the United States of America” and “Democrats have been in power here for over 10 years.” Although, Anchor Lester Holt did make Soboroff note Elder was against COVID restrictions as they wrapped up.

This aid to Newsom campaign and attacks on Larry Elder were made possible because of lucrative sponsorship from Cadillac on ABC and Chase on CBS. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The relevant portions of the transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

ABC’s World News Tonight
September 13, 2021
6:44:01 p.m. Eastern

(…)

MATT GUTMAN: As he fights to keep his job, Governor Gavin Newsom welcoming President Biden to California tonight and warning voters the stakes could not be any higher.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): This election is a matter of life and death. Public health is on the ballot.

GUTMAN: This recall effort, widely seen as a response to the Governor’s handling of COVID. The Governor making California the first state to go into lockdown back in March 2020. Then in November, this image went viral.

NEWS ANCHOR: We’ve obtained this photo of Governor Gavin Newsom dining at the luxurious French Laundry restaurant.

GUTMAN: The Governor violating his own COVID restrictions to attend a birthday dinner at one of the country’s most expensive restaurants. He apologized, but his opponents pounced, gathering enough signatures to put a recall on the ballot.

Californians are voting on two questions. The first, should Newsom be recalled and who should replace him? The list of candidates vying for his job is long; 46 in total, including TV personality Caitlyn Jenner and businessman John cox, who’s been campaigning with a live Kodiak bear.

Today, I caught up with the man who’s been leading that pack, conservative radio host Larry Elder. He opposes the minimum wage, has called climate change a myth, and wants to roll back many of the state’s COVID restrictions.

(…)

CBS Evening News
September 13, 2021
6:41:40 p.m. Eastern

(…)

MAJOR GARRETT: President Biden on a west coast swing tonight talking wildfires and recall politics hoping to give California Governor Gavin Newsom a boost before tomorrow’s vote.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Thank God you’ve got a governor who understands there is a COVID crisis.

GARRETT: Newsom has pulled ahead in recent weeks with help from the party’s top stars and by linking his top Republican challenger, radio host Larry Elder with former President Trump.

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM: Donald Trump was defeated last November but Trumpism hasn’t been defeated.

LARRY ELDER: Donald Trump is irrelevant to this election.

GARRETT: But in Trumpian fashion, Elder has also sown doubt about the integrity of the election claiming, quote, “shenanigans could be at play.”

ELDER: I want people to vote. I want people to believe in this election.

(…)

GARRETT: Recall organizers blame Newsom for over burdensome pandemic restrictions and hypocrisy. At the height of his COVID lockdown orders, the Governor dined at the posh French Laundry restaurant with lobbyists but without masks or social distancing.

NEWSOM: Without acceptation of hesitation, we’ve acknowledged mistakes.

GARRETT: Elder told us he would roll back mask and testing requirements for state employees on day one. But he’s also drawn fire for comments about women and race.

ELDER: Racism has never been a less significant problem in America than today.

(…)

NBC Nightly News
September 13, 2021
7:06:17 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Also tonight, California Governor Gavin Newsom on the eve of a rare recall election is turning to the President’s support in the final hours before election day, one that could prematurely remove him from office. NBC’s Jacob Soboroff has details.

[Cuts to video]

JACOB SOBOROFF: The President earlier today touring fire damage in northern California. One of the many crises Governor Newsom’s faced during his term, including COVID, the nation’s worst economic inequality, and a rise in violent crime.

Do you really think this is about a Republican recall and only that, that there aren’t unhappy people in California, people unhappy with Governor Gavin Newsom?

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): Of course. Everybody is upset with everybody in the last 18 months. No one is naive about that. But let’s talk about who’s behind this. It is a Republican recall. It’s backed by the RNC.

SOBOROFF: Every voter in California will get a mail-in ballot and two questions to vote on. Should Gavin Newsom be recalled as governor and who should replace him. Across the state, voters have been casting ballots for weeks, mostly by mail as we saw at L.A.’s processing center.

We’re talking about millions of ballots from this recall will be passing through this building, because each and every California voter is getting a mall-in ballot.

The leading GOP challenger, Larry Elder has raised concerns about the election’s integrity and today wouldn’t consult to accepting the results.

Whether you win or lose will, you accept the results of the election tomorrow?

LARRY ELDER: I think we all ought to be looking at election integrity, no matter whether you’re a Democrat, an independent, or a Republican.

SOBOROFF: Turnout will be key. 23-year-old Long Beach resident Camilla switched from independent to Republican for the vote.

Do you get the sense that the Governor understands how hard life is for you and people like you?

CAMILLA: No. I’m sorry. It’s upsetting. It’s really upsetting. I don’t mean to get emotional, but he has no idea.

SOBOROFF: The race itself could hinge on struggling voters like Camilla who share that sentiment. It sounds like you’re going to vote to recall the governor.

CAMILLA: I am. I am.

SOBOROFF: Newsom understands that campaigning against what he sees as an undemocratic Republican recall may not be enough.

Inequality is worse in this state, your state than anywhere else in the United States of America. Do you blame people for wanting a change of leadership?

NEWSOM: Well, I just got here two and a half years ago.

SOBOROFF: But Democrats have been in power here for over 10 years.

NEWSOM: Yeah. And for over two decades we’ve led the nation in terms of some of those challenges.

[Cuts back to live]

HOLT: So Jacob, the President is joining the governor this evening for a final push, what’s that going to look like?

SOBOROFF: That’s right, Lester. Campaign officials say tonight the closing message will center around protecting Californians from COVID, saying Larry Elder, who opposes those vaccine and mask mandates will put Californians in danger. Lester?

HOLT: All right, Jacob, thank you.

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