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Larry Elder responds to media ignoring racial attack

Larry Elder
California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder discusses his campaign during an appearance on The First, Sept. 9, 2021. |

African American California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder has responded to the corporate media’s lack of interest in reporting that a white woman in a gorilla mask pelted an egg at him, raising allegations of a double standard.

Elder, a Republican, is one of several candidates seeking to unseat California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, in a recall election taking place next week. Elder had an egg thrown at him by a white woman wearing a gorilla mask as he made a campaign stop in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles Wednesday. The attack was captured on video. While the egg did not hit Elder, the attack sparked a confrontation between the woman and his security team.

The candidate reacted to the incident in an appearance on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Thursday. “I was at a homeless encampment in Venice,” he recalled. “It was a very ugly, angry scene.”

In the interview Elder asserted that the media has a double standard when it comes to attacks on black politicians: “If I were a Democrat, obviously, this would be called systemic racism, they’d be calling it a hate crime. I don’t like to play that game.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva suggested that a double standard exists when it comes to attacks on racial minorities, asking on Twitter Thursday, “How is this not a hate crime?” He answered his own question by declaring that “‘woke privilege’ means a white woman can wear a gorilla mask and attack a black man without fear of being called racist.”

According to NewsBusters, a conservative media watchdog, the flagship morning television programs on the three broadcast news networks expressed little interest in reporting on the assault. It received scant coverage on ABC and CBS while NBC did not mention it at all.

A report on ABC’s “Good Morning America” mentioned that during his tour of the homeless encampment, “several homeless people [chased] him away and someone [threw] an egg in his direction.” A report on “CBS This Morning” noted that Elder “was heckled by homeless advocates, one of whom threw an egg at the candidate during an L.A. campaign stop.”

Neither network pointed out that the woman who threw the egg had a gorilla mask on. In the past, comparisons of African Americans to primates have been considered racist. 

A Fox News analysis of media coverage following the egg attack revealed that “ABC’s ‘World News Tonight,’ ‘NBC Nightly News,’ and CBS’ ‘Evening News’ didn’t find time for the story on Wednesday” and “The Washington Post appeared to skip the attack on Elder too.”

The Fox News piece highlighted a similar lack of interest in the story from left-leaning cable news networks: “MSNBC didn’t mention the egg incident through 8 a.m. ET Thursday morning, but found time to claim Elder pushes white supremacy. The attack on elder received brief mentions on CNN, but largely ignored the network through Thursday morning.”

Elder also drew attention to the media’s lack of coverage of the historic nature of his candidacy. If elected, Elder would become the first African American governor in the history of California.

He noted that a “negative” New York Times article about his candidacy “never once mentioned that I’m black, never once mentioned that I would be the first black governor of California.”

“I’ve never made a big deal about that. I don’t want people to vote for me or against me because I’m black. But on the very same page of The New York Times, there was a big article about the ‘first female governor of New York,’” he added. Elder concluded that “they cared about the first when it was a female Democrat but couldn’t give a rip about the first when it was a black Republican.”

The RealClear Politics average of polls taken in the past three weeks shows that Californians favor keeping Newsom in office by a double-digit margin of 15.7%. The polling data reflects the fact that despite the bipartisan unhappiness with Newsom’s performance in office that led to the recall election in the first place, California remains an overwhelmingly Democratic state. Newsom was elected by 24% in 2018 and President Joe Biden won the state by 29% in the 2020 presidential election.

In the recall election, voters will answer two questions: whether they want to remove Newsom from office and which of the declared candidates they want to replace him. If a majority of Californians vote to remove Newsom from office, the replacement candidate with the most votes will become governor and remain in office at least until Newsom’s term expires in 2023.

If the recall effort succeeds, Newsom will become the second California governor in the past two decades to be ousted from office in a recall. In 2003, Democratic Gov. Gray Davis was removed from office and replaced with actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who ran as a Republican and remained in office until 2011.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

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