Network newscasts avoid Gov. Gavin Newsom dinner party controversy

Calif. Gov. Newsom prime example of ‘rampant’ COVID-19 hypocrisy: Chen

Lanhee Chen and Jessica Tarlov discuss lawmakers who violate their own coronavirus guidelines on ‘Outnumbered Overtime’

There appears to be little interest from the mainstream media in covering the controversy surrounding California Gov. Gavin Newsom for attending a fancy dinner party amid his state's tightening lockdown restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last Friday that Newsom attended a birthday celebration for political adviser Jason Kinney with at least a dozen attendees at the French Laundry, an upscale restaurant in Napa Valley.

The Democratic governor offered an apology to California residents for his actions, though he explained that the social gathering took place at an "outdoor restaurant." However, photos obtained by Fox 11 in Los Angeles showed Newsom and the other attendees dining indoors in close proximity and without their masks. 

Despite the growing controversy and the backlash he has received, ABC, CBS, and NBC gave the story zero coverage over the course of several days since the incident emerged during both their morning and evening broadcasts. 

Both CNN and MSNBC offered minimal coverage to Newsom's optics fiasco. CNN made brief mentions of it on Saturday and the only mentions that were made during the week were on Wednesday when CNN political analyst John Avlon quickly referred to it in his "Reality Check" segment and then later in the day when CNN anchor Jake Tapper and chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta spent roughly a minute knocking the governor for being a "poor example."

MSNBC spent even less time on the subject. After the liberal network spent four days completely avoiding Newsom's controversy, "ReidOut" host Joy Reid dedicated roughly 12 seconds acknowledging it in passing during a panel discussion. 


"All In" host Chris Hayes was the only primetime host on either MSNBC or CNN to not only mention Newsom's shortcomings but to condemn the governor as well. 

"What are we doing here, people?!? What are we doing?!?" Hayes exclaimed. "These people should all know better! California added 9,800 new cases today, over 60 deaths… This is not leading by example. And they live in a part of the country where it's still pretty warm outside. It's California – go outside! Go have socially-distanced cocktails at one of your donor's Malibu mansions!"

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