During their Halloween (Wednesday) night broadcast, CBS’s costume surely wasn’t that of an unbiased news organization. During CBS Evening News, anchor Jeff Glor noted that “at least six candidates in this midterm election are campaigning under a legal or ethics cloud, including criminal indictments, an assault conviction, investigations, and a severe admonishment by Congressional Ethics Committees.” But when they flashed images of the candidates, only one of them was a Democrat.
As the Media Research Center had previously reported, there were at least six scandals involving Democrats the broadcast networks were flat-out ignoring. Absent from CBS’s notation were corruption scandals swirling around Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (D) (who received Hamilton tickets from FBI agents) and the domestic violence allegations against Minnesota Attorney General candidate and Congressman Keith Ellison (D).
This was clearly all part of the liberal media’s spin of the elections ahead of the midterms as the MRC also extensively documented.
The only Democrat CBS was willing to show viewers Wednesday was New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, who underwent a corruption trial which ended in a mistrial but he was still admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee. The other five candidates CBS noted were Republicans, but out of those the only one they dove into was the race for California 50.
That GOP candidate was Duncan Hunter, who was under indictment for “misusing a quarter million dollars in campaign funds to allegedly pay for a family trip to Italy, a plane ride for their pet rabbit, and shopping excursions, some written off as expenses for the Wounded Warriors,” according to CBS’s report.
For comparison, Menendez was accused of taking bribes in the form of money and gifts from a friend of his in exchange for special favors. CBS actually gave that scandal the most network coverage the first time around with a whopping 49 seconds.
As CBS correspondent Jamie Yuccas was getting to the charges against Hunter, she almost seemed to mock the Congressman:
YUCCAS: You're going to vote for Duncan Hunter?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: Until he's proven guilty.
YUCCAS: Oh, yes, there's that: a federal indictment charging Hunter and his wife…
CBS then played a soundbite from one of his opponent's attack ads, which declared: "Lies won't keep Duncan Hunter out of prison."
Yuccas huffed about Hunter calling attention to his opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar’s family ties to terrorism. Despite admitting that “Campa-Najjar’s grandfather was involved in the Munich Olympics massacre which killed 11 Israeli athletes,” she lamented that “the ad may have reached its target”.
She also noted that Campa-Najjar condemned his grandfather. But that doesn’t change the fact that if roles were reversed and it was a Republican who had a family tie to someone like David Duke, it would be toxic and the media would hammer away at it.
While wrapping up the segment, Yuccas seemed disturbed that Republicans in the district still supported Hunter and told her “that if Hunter's removed from office or jailed later, they'll just vote for another Republican.”
It’s easy to see why CBS chose this particular House race to focus on. The Democrats were in a battle to take the House and according to their own reporting, “[p]olls show Hunter still leading, but it's getting tight.”
In fact, of the six races CBS flashed on the screen, CA-50 was arguably the closest according to RealClear Politics’ polling data. Again, according to RCP, two of the Republican candidates (New York’s Chris Collins and Montana’s Greg Gianforte) occupied relatively safe seats, while others (like Iowa’s Rod Blum) appeared to be losing to their Democratic opponents.
The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:
CBS Evening News
October 31, 2018
6:36 p.m. Eastern
JEFF GLOR: At least six candidates in this midterm election are campaigning under a legal or ethics cloud, including criminal indictments, an assault conviction, investigations, and a severe admonishment by Congressional Ethics Committees. Tonight Jamie Yuccas is in California, reporting on Duncan hunter, fighting corruption charges and for his sixth term.
[Cuts to video]
AD NARRATOR 1: Served three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Narrator
JAMIE YUCCAS: In solid red San Diego county-- Have you always voted for Duncan Hunter?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: Yes. I voted for his dad, actually, too.
YUCCAS: A Duncan Hunter has been their congressman for nearly four decades. Dad first elected in 1980, his son, 10 years ago. You're going to vote for Duncan Hunter.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: Until he's proven guilty.
YUCCAS: Oh, yes, there's that: a federal indictment charging Hunter and his wife with misusing a quarter million dollars in campaign funds to allegedly pay for a family trip to Italy, a plane ride for their pet rabbit, and shopping excursions, some written off as expenses for the Wounded Warriors. That's left an opening for his opponent.
AD NARRATOR 2: Lies won't keep Duncan Hunter out of prison.
YUCCAS: Ammar Campa-Najjar is a Palestinian Mexican-American who worked in the Obama administration, but a fear-based attack ad calls he something else.
AD NARRATOR 3: Ammar Campa-Najjar is working to infiltrate congress. He has used three different names to hide his family’s ties to terrorism.
DUNCAN HUNTER: I'm Duncan Hunter and I approve this message.
YUCCAS: Campa-Najjar’s grandfather was involved in the Munich Olympics massacre which killed 11 Israeli athletes. He died 16 years before Campa-Najjar was born. The candidate has condemned his actions, but the ad may have reached its target.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN 1: I can't vote for him. I'm afraid of-- of terrorists, and I think that he has too much background, you know, from ancestors.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN 2: He's not going to have America's interest in-- at heart. He's going to have the world's interest, maybe even on the-- the Islamist side of things.
YUCCAS: Campa-Najjar was born in San Diego and is Christian. Polls show Hunter still leading, but it's getting tight.
AMMAR CAMPA-NAJJAR: If I had 10 years of a record to run on, I'd be running on that. Not scare tactics and fear Ammar Campa-Najjar describes who I am-- Latino, Arab, American, first and foremost.
YUCCAS: What remains to be seen is whether this Democratic candidate can carry a district that is red, white, but rarely votes blue.
[Cuts back to live]
Polls show the majority of voters believe that Congressman Hunter broke the law, but they're willing to overlook that to keep a Trump loyalist office. Jeff, voters we talked to say that if Hunter's removed from office or jailed later, they'll just vote for another Republican.