With only a day before the election, one incident that should have helped turn the tide back in recall supporters favor continues to haunt many: The Venice egg throwing attack against recall candidate Larry Elder last week.
Multiple outlets since then, including Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, have condemned many media outlets, such as CNN, the Washington Post, MSNBC, the New York Times, and dozens of others both nationally and within California that have been covering the election for not reporting on it.
The incident last Wednesday, where Eder was thrown racial insults, had eggs thrown at him by a woman in a gorilla mask, and left as a small fight erupted, had been covered by many outlets. However, while some left-leaning outlets did cover the events, many did not cover it, leading to right-leaning and non-partisan outlets to cover it. Among those covering it included the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, local CBS, ABC, and FOX stations, Fox News, Newsweek, and the California Globe.
Among those outlets, fewer still continued with follow-ups or asked Elder about the incident in question, with many writing it off as a minor incident. Among the few follow-ups were the LA Times following up with stories about what the LAPD were doing about the incident, Fox News and the National Review putting out new stories on the media’s ignorance of the incident, and the California Globe reporting on the hate crime charges filed with the LAPD by a Venice Councilwoman.
While there are current LAPD investigations now into the egg incident as a hate crime and misdemeanor battery, as well as another incident in which members of Elder’s security detail were shot with by pellet guns, Elder has decried the lack of attention on the attacks, saying that many were choosing to ignore the hate crime solely because he was a black Republican.
“Had I had a ‘D’ at the end of my name, this would have been a hate crime,” Elder noted last week. “They would have had a manhunt for her. They’d be talking about this in Bangladesh but because I have an ‘R’ at the end of my name, a lot of the mainstream media didn’t give a rip.”
And because the woman who threw the eggs wore a gorilla mask and other protesters shouting racial epithets, it has led many others to wonder why it hasn’t been covered as much. In fact, many experts have said that, if it was covered more, Elder would have received a boost in support, with the recall vote also likely to have been affected.
A likely closer election if reported
“If this was on CNN and had the BBC covering it, the gap would not be around 15%,” Arnold Hessen, a Washington-based researcher who looks into effects of political events, explained to the Globe Monday. “The recall would likely still not have enough support, but it would be much closer.”
“Andrew Gillum, who ran as a Democrat in the Florida gubernatorial in 2018, got boosts in his campaign from racist language incidents. DeSantis still won, but those incidents made it close and Democrats are on a much stronger footing there now because of it. A Texas woman going after a Congressional seat in Texas, Sery Kim, had support taken away from her by two Californian Congresswomen, Michelle Steele (R-CA) and Young Kim (R-CA) because of racist comments she made. And Jessie Jackson largely lost the 1984 Democratic nomination for calling New York City ‘Hymietown.’ Oh, and let’s not forget how Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) won in 2018 – an SNL comedian (Pete Davidson) mocked him for his eyepatch, had to apologize, gave him tons of free press and sympathy, and turned his election around. The last one was not racial, but it was a disability being trivialized. You get it.”
“The point is, whenever something this charged is done, whether it be by the crowd, someone famous, or by the candidate themselves, there is always a huge sway that happens afterwards,” Hessen continued. “It didn’t for Elder. CNN, for example, is covering the election pretty well, but they elected to ignore this. Based on previous incidents, the race should be much closer. Ballpark, I’d say that it should be within at least 10 points, maybe more since the Latino vote has been steadily heading to the right in California in recent years and they, like most people, are very sensitive about racial incidents.”
“The egg incident should have boosted Elder, as well as lead to a meaningful dialogue about race in politics. But it was denied. If the recall succeeds tomorrow, there are going to be a lot of accusations being thrown around. But I’d say this one has the facts backing it up to be of real impact. Many voters are now numb to voting fraud accusations. They are not to ignored racial incidents. Look at what happened with the George Floyd murder last summer. If it’s a loss, this is a big and uncomfortable exhibit A against it.”