No Confidence? Nets Ignore Virginia Governor’s Race on Eve of Election Day


The gubernatorial race in Virginia was understood to be a preview of the 2022 midterms, and/or a referendum on the Biden administration and other liberal policies. But on Monday, the eve of Election Day, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News seemed to hint that they had little to no confidence in Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s ability to beat out Republican Glenn Youngkin since all three ignored the race entirely.

Instead of covering the most closely watched race of the cycle that could show a massive come-from-behind upset from Youngkin, ABC hyped Queen Elizabeth’s call to action on climate change, CBS spent almost 3 minutes (2:50) on Huma Abedine’s new book published by a CBSViacom company, and NBC gushed about a food truck in Austin, Texas for almost 2 minutes (1:57).

And since the NewsBusters is based out of Northern Virginia, the only mention of the commonwealth came in the form of the McAuliffe ads that played during the commercials.

In stark contrast to NBC anchor Lester Holt, who was on the ground in Austin, Fox News Channel Special Report anchor Bret Baier was on the ground in Leesburg, Virginia to highlight the important race.

“We are coming to you tonight from Leesburg, Virginia the hub of Loudoun County, the county that might tell us who the next governor will be here in the commonwealth,” he announced at the top of the newscast. “Later tonight, Republican Glenn Youngkin will wrap up what he hopes will be a successful come-from-behind campaign against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.”

Washington correspondent Alexandria Hoff was at Youngkin’s “Loudoun Parents Matter” rally and noted it came “on the heels of a 40-plus-stop bus tour in 38 counties. But it is here in Loudoun County where many have watched fiery parent vs. school board meetings play out.”

 

 

“This final rally, its location, its emphasis is really a full-circle moment for Glenn Youngkin, who found his footing on the issue of education,” she said. “Youngkin’s message of fighting what he sees as government overreaching in schools helped him gain momentum statewide that seemed unlikely early on.”

Hoff also highlighted a recent poll that showed how education had become the leading issue among likely Virginia voters: “And that is a sentiment we’ve been hearing over and over again. According to the latest Washington Post poll, education has become the number one issue for voters in Virginia. That is above the economy and COVID-19. Today, Youngkin said voter enthusiasm is on his side.”

And following a segment about what the final campaign day looked like for McAuliffe, Baier and State Department correspondent Rich Edson did a fact-check of a false claim the Democratic candidate had been spreading all across the commonwealth about children being hospitalized with Covid:

MCAULIFFE: In Virginia, 1,142 of our precious children have gone to ICU beds and hospital beds with Covid. We just had two 11-year-olds die of Covid. Just happened.

BAIER: Okay. So, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s website, throughout October 23rd, you’ve got 134,000 kids, cases, 976 hospitalizations. 10 deaths. That’s since the beginning of Covid.

“The campaign has no comment on that,” Edson recalled. He went on to note that The Washington Post had described McAuliffe’s claims as “wildly inflated figures.” He also noted how McAuliffe repeatedly brought up former President Trump while simultaneously claiming the race wasn’t about him.

This Election Day Eve omission of the race in Virginia came after they ignored the polls showing Youngkin possibly pulling ahead last week.

The omission of the biggest race this cycle was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Vicks on ABC, Liberty Mutual on CBS, and DIRECTV on NBC. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

Fox News Channel’s Special Report
November 1, 2021
6:0024 p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: Good evening. I’m Bret Baier. We are coming to you tonight from Leesburg, Virginia the hub of Loudoun County, the county that might tell us who the next governor will be here in the commonwealth. Later tonight, Republican Glenn Youngkin will wrap up what he hopes will be a successful come-from-behind campaign against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Also tonight, President Joe Biden is on the world stage trying to sell his climate change policy while back home one moderate senator, a Democrat, is pumping the brakes on the president’s tax and spend social agenda. We will bring you that.

But the race here in Virginia has centered in recent weeks on the issue of education and ties to current and former presidents. Those themes continued in this final day of campaigning. McAuliffe has been in Roanoke and Richmond, so far today. He finishes up later in Fairfax. Youngkin was also in Roanoke and Richmond, along with a stop in Virginia Beach. He’ll be here in Leesburg later this evening.

We’ll have analysis from our political panel on this race shortly. We have Fox team coverage tonight. Rich Edson is in Fairfax, Virginia with the McAuliffe campaign. But we begin with correspondent Alexandria Hoff with us here in Leesburg, Virginia. Good evening, Alexandria.

ALEXANDRIA HOFF: Good evening, Bret. This final rally, its location, its emphasis is really a full circle moment for Glenn Youngkin, who found his footing on the issue of education.

Tonight’s Loudoun Parents Matter here in Leesburg comes on the heels of a 40-plus-stop bus tour in 38 counties. But it is here in Loudoun County where many have watched fiery parent vs. school board meetings play out.

Youngkin’s message of fighting what he sees as government overreaching in schools helped him gain momentum statewide that seemed unlikely early on.

MIKE RUDD (Youngkin supporter): When you have the school systems in jeopardy like they are, if you don’t want to inject racism you should not have it – have it as a subject in the school or anywhere else, as far as that goes. If you don’t want hate, don’t teach it. [Transition] Everybody is upset around here because of the way the school system is.

HOFF: And that is a sentiment we’ve been hearing over and over again. According to the latest Washington Post poll, education has become the number one issue for voters in Virginia. That is above the economy and COVID-19. Today, Youngkin said voter enthusiasm is on his side.

GLENN YOUNGKIN: Tomorrow, Virginians will go to the polls and we will make a decision about our future and let me tell you what’s going to happen, we are going to sweep our statewide offices.

HOFF: So, if that were to happen, Youngkin would become the first Republican elected statewide in office in Virginia in 12 years, likely helping to write the GOP playbook for running midterm races across the country.

(…)

6:05:30 p.m. Eastern

BAIER: Hey, Rich, you know, there is a soundbite from McAuliffe that he’s been making on the campaign trail actually many times, that’s getting some pushback. Let’s take a listen.

TERRY MCAULIFFE: In Virginia, 1,142 of our precious children have gone to ICU beds and hospital beds with Covid. We just had two 11-year-olds die of Covid. Just happened.

BAIER: Okay. So, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s website, throughout October 23rd, you’ve got 134,000 kids, cases, 976 hospitalizations. 10 deaths. That’s since the beginning of Covid. What’s the campaign saying about this?

RICH EDSON: The campaign has no comment on that, Bret. And The Washington Post looked into this last week and got a response from the campaign that said that sometimes he tends to misspeak on the campaign trail when it comes to these Covid statistics. Though, The Washington Post found that it just happens way too often. That he tends to inflate them and as The Post characterizes it, “wildly inflated figures” for child hospitalizations, Bret.

(…)



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