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IN MY ORBIT: Legacy Media Continues to Dismiss the Recall of Gavin Newsom While Pretending to Cover It

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

Now that the media’s favorite boy, California Governor Gavin Newsom, is potentially on the chopping block, the outlets are reluctantly churning out copy about the California Recall that they tacitly ignored a few months ago.

Sort of. The headlines and the writing reveal two things: 1) they despise having to write about this, and do all they can to downplay, malign, and marginalize the Recall and its supporters; and, 2) they insert every opportunity to let you know that Newsom will beat this.

This recent CNBC headline is nakedly obvious:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing a recall — here’s what to know and why he’ll likely win

A not-so-subtle dig against the confidence of the opposition, wouldn’t you say?

Here’s another telling one from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Attack ads in Newsom recall race invoke dystopian California in decline

Uhhh, Newsflash SF Chronicle: When you have human feces and needles flooding the streets of San Francisco, wildfires raging out of control, and rampant homelessness, you don’t have to “invoke” anything. It’s the reality, laid bare for all to see. We are witnessing a dystopian California in decline.

As Venture Capitalist Joe Lonsdale, who uprooted from California to Texas (along with his wealth), wrote back in November:

The harsh truth is that California has fallen into disrepair. Bad policies discourage business and innovation, stifle opportunity and make life in major cities ugly and unpleasant.

But keep carry water for your boy.

Huffing and puffing, with water slogging all over their Topman Chinos and Sperry Top Siders, they work hard at it.

The corresponding copy tells all. From the SF Chronicle piece:

When voters turn on their TVs or scroll social media over the next nine weeks, they will be deluged with ads telling the story of two vastly different Californias: One is “roaring back” from the pandemic under Gov. Gavin Newsom; the other is a borderline dystopia where issues like homelessness and wildfires have never been worse.

Those starkly different tones are a reflection of the unique political calculus of a recall election where the incumbent is polling strong. Challengers hoping to oust Newsom must first convince voters that the governor is so awful that he should be removed before his first term in office ends in 2023.

Meanwhile, Newsom needs to project a sense of calm competence, convincing voters that life is improving as the crisis eases. He must persuade them to let him keep his job before even considering who could replace him.

While ads attacking the incumbent are standard in any campaign, the tone and frequency of negative spots is expected to hit fever pitch in the coming weeks, given that Newsom faces close to 90 opponents who have only until Sept. 14 to make their case to the state’s more than 22 million registered voters. Fewer than a half-dozen rivals have the funds to run serious media campaigns.

Political observers said that’s why Newsom’s most prominent challengers are seizing on stark imagery, showing burned forests, sidewalk tent encampments and drug paraphernalia, to portray a state on the brink of ruin.

Seizing! One of my consistent follows on Twitter is Street People of L.A. It is one among many sites that actually document the horror, chaos, and degradation that is occurring in the major metropolises of Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento, as well as smaller municipalities.

No one has to “seize” on anything; they just have to walk out of their front door.

Just in the past two months, this has been my own California reality:

  • Friends who lives near Yosemite have their car packed and are on alert to escape should the River Fire get closer to their town.
  • Friends who lived in once “safe” and “family” neighborhoods like La Crescenta and upper Sunland were stepping over homeless people on the sidewalk on a daily basis and gazing at encampments under the 210 Freeway. Both families sold their houses within days and have moved to the South.
  • My husband and I are faced with the financial hit of paying double the amount of rent we paid earlier this year, because the California Association of Realtors and greedy politicians greenlit companies like Blackstone to glut the housing market. These companies buy up affordable properties, charge exorbitant fees for rentals, and jack up rents overall. Newsom’s continuation of the eviction moratorium is causing even more of a shortage of affordable rentals, because, save for the people fleeing the State, the rest are not giving up a free residence. After all, why should they?

These are just my own anecdotal stories. Now, multiply them by the 2.1 million who signed the Recall petition to oust Gavin Newsom. They all have stories and reasons why they signed that petition, and will vote “YES” in the Recall election on September 14. You can go to RecallGavin2020.com and read many of them.

If I had the unlimited resources that many of these outlets have, I would be interviewing mothers and fathers of school children, small business owners (or former ones), homeowners being consistently attacked by the erosion of Prop 13 and the rampant  homelessness at their doorstep, the victims of AB5… there is no lacking of great copy that could bring context and contrast to this period of California history.

Instead, the media sycophants lean on the Public Policy Institute polls, and whatever their editors heard at the last Bay area cocktail party, to say with confidence that Hair Gel will beat this Recall. It has been almost 20 years since California last recalled a governor. The success of even getting a recall to the ballot is minimal. Yet, the legacy media treats this unprecedented and historic recall as cavalierly as they treat their morning latte order.

The Mercury News further informs us that the deadline for Recall candidates to file is this Friday, July 16, and rattles off some of the more newsy ones in a decidedly lackluster fashion:

The politicians, reality television stars and others hoping to replace Gavin Newsom as governor of California have only a few more days to make sure their names are on the ballot for the Sept. 14 recall election.

The politicians, reality television stars and others hoping to replace Gavin Newsom as governor of California have only a few more days to make sure their names are on the ballot for the Sept. 14 recall election.

That means the most important date between now and then is this Friday, July 16 – the official filing deadline, which will determine once and for all the field of Republican challengers and whether a legitimate Democratic contender will dare to enter the race.

And while polling suggests Newsom is likely to keep his seat, battle-scarred analysts say anything could happen and there’s plenty of room for smart political maneuvering even if it doesn’t result in a victory this year.

So far, more than two dozen Republicans, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, former Olympian and reality star Caitlyn Jenner and once-failed GOP challenger for governor John Cox, have filed statements of their intention to run. Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s office is expected to release an official list of recall candidates on July 22.

“I would guess that we’ve seen what we’re going to see,” said Darry Sragow, a longtime Democratic strategist. “But you just never know. … We’re in a very topsy-turvy time.”

Notice the insertion about, “polling” and how, “he’ll keep his seat”? It’s like they have no interest in the actual contest, which on its face, is quite fascinating. Instead, they’re phoning it in, because now they have to.

It’s a sad excuse for journalism, and a disservice to the people of California.


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