CBS Scares Voters: Midterms Could Be Marred by Far-Right ‘Violence’

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The Election Day edition of CBS Mornings did their best Tuesday to suppress the vote and scare viewers into believing that the 2022 midterms are different than previous elections and could be less than fair because of “the prospect of potential violence hanging out there” from “domestic violent extremists.” In other words, they suggested a vote for Republicans translates to backing violent conspiracy theorists. 

A few minutes after co-host and Democratic donor Gayle King and co-host Nate Burleson complained voters aren’t as concerned about the supposed end of our democracy as they’re supposed to be and “not even in the top ten,” Face the Nation anchor Margaret Brennan warned that vote counting may take a while, but insisted there was nothing to see and we should move along:

We are — and that’s why I think we, in our jobs, need to be so clear that it is not a flaw. It is designed in the system. This is going to take time. We’re not going to have absolutely clear views on some of these closely fought states. And in some places, we might have run of the mill stuff like recounts and re-examination of ballots. That is entirely different than completely sowing doubt in a way that makes people say, you know, it’s not even worth me voting.

There is a big difference between officials taking a long time to count ballots and a result that is unknown because it heads to a recount. You don’t need to be a conspiracy theorist to demand competency and efficiency from states in the vote counting process.

After Brennan noted “if you stay at home, you leave that space to be filled by the loudest, most extreme voices,” she added that “we have seen that highlighted, that direct line — and I know [chief national affairs and justice correspondent] Jeff [Pegues] knows this, between domestic violent extremists and those who are denying the results of the last election.”

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Pegues replied by warning:

You know, and it’s so odd to be saying that in this democracy. We’ve all covered enough elections, but this one is different. And it’s not a presidential election, but it’s a midterm election with the prospect of potential violence hanging out there. And you have law enforcement — they’re on pins and needles. They say they’re ready. They’re monitoring social media. They’re looking out for potential domestic violent extremists, the kind of people who sort of look for an excuse to — to lash out, to cause problems. And so, they’re paying attention to that. But just the fact that we’re talking about this on an Election Day in this democracy post-January 6th, you have to because of what happened that day.

Of course, violence at the polls would be a grave crime, but no network has done more to inflate the threat and scare voters than CBS.

King had even more fear-mongering to peddle, “Yeah and what do you say to voters that are nervous about going to the polls? We’ve seen pictures of people at polling places looking very menacing, some of them armed.”

Voter intimidation is never acceptable, but it would be nice if CBS was consistent on that.

Later, King turned to the international ramifications, “The world is watching, Margaret. What — how are we being perceived by our allies?”

Brennan absurdly responded by recalling that, “I was speaking to a western European diplomat who said to me, she grew up looking at the United States as a bastion of democracy, and she was sad that she doesn’t feel she can because these divisions are exploited by our adversaries, and really it hurts America’s ability to project power.”

America has been divided politically since the beginning of the Republic, that’s why we have elections, but only when Republicans are poised to win is it said that would affect our power projection.

This segment was sponsored by Comcast. Their contact information is linked.

Here is a transcript for the November 8 show:

CBS Mornings
11/08/22
8:30:25 a.m.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: America Decides Campaign ‘22; Voters Cast Their Ballots; Our Panel Looks at the State of Our Democracy & Security Threats]

GAYLE KING: As Americans cast their votes on this Election Day, we’re looking at two big issues: the state of our democracy and election security. Now, the White House said yesterday there were no credible threats to security, but U.S. law enforcement has warned about domestic violent extremists. There’s also some concern about candidates refusing to accept the results. [INTRODUCES PANEL] We welcome you all to the table. Earlier in the show we had CBS News battleground tracker. Bob, I’m starting with you. Top of the list, economy, inflation, crime, followed by election issues, guns, and immigration. The point is the state of the democracy is not in that list, not even in the top ten. What does that say to you about what voters are saying or thinking about the issue? Because Democrats have hit it very hard.

ROBERT COSTA: Well, polls show the economy and other issues are certainly at the top of mind for many voters. Gayle, I really believe, based on my travels and reporting in recent months, that voters do care about democracy, but not in the way Washington understands it. When I’m on Capitol Hill and people talk about democracy, that word usually is a shorthand reference to the Capitol attack on January 6th. But when I’ve been out in the south, in Pennsylvania, in Ohio, in the southwest, when I talk about democracy, it doesn’t just mean talking about January 6th. It means talking about redistricting —

NATE BURLESON: Mmm.

COSTA: — voting rights, the integrity of the broader American system. That’s what people are concerned about this year.

KING: Mmmm. And can’t you care about both?

BURELSON: Right. Right.

KING: You know, that’s the thing. You can —

BURLESON: Doesn’t have to be one or the other.

KING: — that’s what I’m thinking, Nate. It doesn’t have to be either or. Margaret, what about the effect of this — what will the impact have on this election if people don’t accept the results? That is a big concern.

MARGARET BRENNAN: It’s hugely corrosive. I mean, this system only works if we continue to have faith in our institutions, and the basic premise is that we settle our differences at the ballot box and not at the barrel of a gun. And you can’t —

KING: But some are already laying —

BRENNAN: — choose the outcome.

KING: — the groundwork, Margaret, if it doesn’t go their way.

BRENNAN: We are — and that’s why I think we, in our jobs, need to be so clear that it is not a flaw. It is designed in the system. This is going to take time.

BURLESON: Yeah.

BRENNAN: We’re not going to have absolutely clear views on some of these closely fought states. And in some places, we might have run of the mill stuff like recounts and re-examination of ballots. That is entirely different than completely sowing doubt in a way that makes people say, you know, it’s not even worth me voting.

KING: Yeah.

BURLESON: Of course.

BRENNAN: Because if you stay at home, you leave that space to be filled by the loudest, most extreme voices.

BURLESON: Mmmm.

BRENNAN: And we have seen that highlighted, that direct line — and I know Jeff knows this, between domestic violent extremists and those who are denying the results of the last election.

BURLESON: Yeah, that’s spot on.

BRENNAN: Intelligence is linking that.

BURLESON: Well said. And speaking of that system, Jeff, when it comes to officials, what are they most worried about when it comes to election security?

JEFF PEGUES: Violence. You know, and it’s so odd to be saying that in this democracy. We’ve all covered enough elections, but this one is different.

BURLESON: Yeah.

PEGUES: And it’s not a presidential election, but it’s a midterm election with the prospect of potential violence hanging out there. And you have law enforcement — they’re on pins and needles. They say they’re ready. They’re monitoring social media. They’re looking out for potential domestic violent extremists, the kind of people who sort of look for an excuse to — to lash out, to cause problems. And so, they’re paying attention to that. But just the fact that we’re talking about this on an Election Day in this democracy post-January 6th, you have to because of what happened that day.

BURLESON: Mmmm.

PEGUES: And law enforcement does not want to be caught flat-footed this time around.

BURLESON: For sure.

KING: Yeah and what do you say to voters that are nervous about going to the polls? We’ve seen pictures of people at polling places looking very menacing, some of them armed, and you can see —

BURLESON: Oooof.

KING: — the arm —

BURLESON: Scary stuff.

KING: — see the weaponry.

PEGUES: And they’ve been told to stay away.

KING: Yeah, but —

PEGUES: And law enforcement sometimes in plain clothes, they’re watching out for that. You have DOJ monitors being dispatched to election districts across the country. So as I said, they’re — they’re preparing for this because no one wants any type of violence which could happen because of some of these operations, these influence operations coming from China. We’ve seen them active in this space over the last couple of days. You have Russia, Evgeni — this Putin’s chef, okay, that’s what we call him because he has catering contracts with the Kremlin. That’s his day job. But in his spare time, he runs this Internet Research Agency that tries to stir up trouble online here in this country, sowing divisions around issues like abortion. So they’re watching out for that, as well.

(….)

8:36:19 a.m.
47 seconds

KING: The world is watching, Margaret. What — how are we being perceived by our allies?

BRENNAN: Well, and to this — this will also impact whether President Biden runs again in 2024.

BURLESON: Right.

BRENNAN: Our allies are watching that. They’re watching what’s happening right now. And I was speaking to a western European diplomat who said to me, she grew up looking at the United States as a bastion of democracy, and she was sad —

BURLESON: Right.

BRENNAN: — that she doesn’t feel she can because these divisions are exploited by our adversaries, and really it hurts America’s ability to project power.

BURLESON: Mmm.

BRENNAN: But I just want to underscore that homeland security officials, Jen Easterly was on Face the Nation recently, underscoring election infrastructure —

BURLESON: Right.

BRENNAN: — they have confidence in the integrity of it. So, I don’t want our conversation here to turn people away —

KING: Yes.

RENNAN: — from going and exercising their vote today.

BURLESON: No doubt about it. Margaret, Bob, Jeff, thank you. Appreciate you. 

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