Gavin Newsom Once Again Tries, Fails to Troll a Red State, Spreads Misinformation About 'Banned Books'

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

California Governor Gavin Newsom is once again ignoring the ongoing decline of his own state and is instead attempting to tweak red states—places where many of his own constituents have moved. On Sunday, he took his act to Boise, Idaho, to rant about “banned books,” tweeting, “Book bans are at a record high — there have been over 1,200 challenges in the last year, nearly double the (then-record) total from 2021.”


His tweet continued:

Couldn’t leave Boise without dropping by this incredible bookstore. The owners of Rediscovered Books are doing everything they can to push back against these insane bans happening across the country.

This response echoed my own reaction perfectly and made me laugh out loud:

But this commenter pointed out an odd thing: the books in Newsom’s video aren’t actually banned:

The exquisitely coiffed governor has a history of falling on his face when trolling other states, as this respondent noted:

Opinion columnist Ingrid Jacques makes clear that the topic has become toxic:


What books should be on the shelves of school libraries has become the epicenter of the country’s culture wars. With that, rationality has gone out the window.

If you oppose graphic sexual content on classroom shelves, you’re not just a concerned parent: You’re a “fascist.” And if you advocate for any book addressing LGBTQ themes? You’re a “groomer.”

The left and the media are using their old “we’ll change the meaning of words” tactic by constantly crowing about “book bans.” They’re not bans at all—the laws being passed in some states are just trying to keep the material out of the hands of little kids. Any adult can read them whenever they please. Jacques:

I realize it’s a lot to ask, but it would be nice if accurate language were applied to these “book banning” disputes. Because let’s be clear: What’s happening at school libraries are not book bans. All the books up for debate are all very much available to anyone who wants them. No one is saying stop publishing them altogether.

It was a point made masterfully by Ron DeSantis, the Florida Governor who Newsom has an odd obsession with. As my colleague Bonchie wrote in March, “I’m not exaggerating when I say that Ron DeSantis executed one of the best trolls of the mainstream media I’ve ever seen on Wednesday.” What did the governor do? For months, many in the national media had been criticizing him for “banning books,” so he read aloud some of the material in question. It was so explicit that they had to cut their feeds. And yes, many like Newsom think that little kids should be poring over books whose contents are too hard-core for television.


Newsom continues to make himself look silly by trying and failing to school red states and their governors as his own state threatens to implode under the weight of its own war on business, in-your-face woke policies, homeless epidemic, crime, and drug crisis… the list is endless. The people of California would be better off if you’d stay in your lane, Governor.


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