Larry Elder’s offer to recall Gavin Newsom relies on the support of Salem Media: NPR


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Republican conservative radio host Larry Elder argues with a TV reporter during an interview after visiting Philippe The Original Deli during the California Governor’s election campaign on Monday, September 13, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Ringo HW Chiu / AP


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Ringo HW Chiu / AP


Republican conservative radio host Larry Elder argues with a TV reporter during an interview after visiting Philippe The Original Deli during the California Governor’s election campaign on Monday, September 13, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Ringo HW Chiu / AP

Of all the candidates trying to oust California Governor Gavin Newsom in today’s revocation election, conservative talk show host Larry Elder has the best chance.

The senior works for right-wing television Salem Media Group, a garment that has quietly become one of the most powerful forces in the conservative media, with hosts debating discredited claims about COVID-19, last year’s election and more.

But Salem Media isn’t just an employer for Elder; it is for him a platform, a vehicle and a real support in this race. Polls show that the recall attempt will fail. Still, Elder stands out as the candidate likely to give the most votes if Newsom gives up. And every success it achieves stems in large part from the significant support of Salem Media.

Salem Media Group donated $ 35,000 to Elder only last week (under California law, corporations were allowed to give money directly to candidate campaigns). On Saturday, Elder was a prominent speaker at the annual conference an event sponsored by the conservative City Hall website and Radio KRLA-AM in Southern California, the home station for Elder’s national union radio show. Both stores are owned by Salem Media.

At Saturday night’s event, conservative talk show host and California Gov. Governor’s recall candidate Larry Elder was declared a hero. He was sponsored by Salem Media Group, a right-wing network that helped launch his candidacy.


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Another KRLA leader, Jennifer Horn, who helped moderate the evening’s events, noted that for legal reasons, Salem could not force him to hold a real campaign-style rally. But from time to time it was difficult to tell the difference: The elder sat comfortably, with a microphone in his hand, jokingly behaving with his colleagues in a manner adapted to encourage last-minute supporters to vote.

“Your question was what will I do when I become governor?” Elder asked, eliciting a round of applause as he lingered on the word “when.”

Older jokes about the “black face of white supremacy”

Horn introduced him to hundreds of fan fans at the Hyatt Regency in Orange County under his favorite nickname: The Sage of South Central. Elder grew up in south Los Angeles, went to Brown University and earned a law degree from the University of Michigan. Still, he would not leave a trace right.

If his incredible offer succeeds, Elder would be the first African-American governor in the most populous state. He will also bring a record of years of boldly expressed political beliefs, especially on the issue of race and gender, aimed at provoking anger among millions of liberals who would enlist among his new voters.

At Saturday’s event, Elder vowed to kill any of Newsom’s coronavirus-related mandates, joking with another radio host that he was “a black face of white supremacy, “and defended himself against earlier criticism that he claimed women were not as smart as men. The elder told those present that he did not oppose the COVID-19 vaccines and that he had been vaccinated himself, but questioned the need for government mandates.

In his radio show, he gave enough time to those who doubt the effectiveness of the vaccines themselves. He also reinforced false claims that the 2020 election was stolen by former President Donald Trump.

Such controversies can provoke criticism from some employers. Not so in Salem Media, which has included conspiracy theorists in its compositions. As a warm-up for Elder’s performance on Saturday, the hosts interviewed a fake gallery of Trump surrogates: former Trump White House adviser Sebastian Gorky, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk and Blaze and Fox News presenter Mark Levin. They are all employed at various Salem Media outlets.

Salem Media seeks to appeal to “the electoral base of fundamentalist Christians who are called to the polls, based on their conservative and sometimes socially regressive beliefs, the fight against abortion, the fight against the LGBT population, etc.,” says Columbia University Fellow Anne Nelson, author “Shadow Network”, a book on the political alliance of conservative media, religious and business groups.

The brothers-in-law founded Salem Media as a religious television station

The founders of Salem Media were two brothers-in-law, Stuart Epperson and Edward G. Atsinger III. Footwear was founded in 1986 as a religious broadcaster. Their mission has now expanded to include conservative fundamentalist Christianity and to promote the victories of like-minded Republicans.

Salem Media, which is publicly trades on the Nasdaq, now owns more than 100 stations, making it one of the largest radio groups in the country. He says he distributes his programs to 3,000 stations across the country. In addition, it owns a multitude of conservative opinion sites, including not only City Hall, but also Hot Air, PJ Media, RedState and Twitchy. Salem Media claims to have more than 200 million unique users per month, a figure that is hard to verify. But Nelson says through radio stations and websites, Salem Media can encourage Trump’s people to vote, especially in more conservative states in the Midwest and South.

Elder has twice been the nationally hosted host of ABC Radio in Los Angeles. When he was released for the second time in 2015, Salem hired him. Nelson says he has found ways to align with his even more conservative bosses.

“The elder somehow aspired to support these positions and engage in the electorate with this massive support of the radio network built under him,” Nelson told NPR.

The senior executive director of Salem Media in charge of media inquiries did not respond to the three messages that NPR left during the five days requesting an interview for this story. The campaign elder also did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2018, Salem Media fired writers at Red State who were considered not to support Trump enough, according to CNN reports and elsewhere.

Salem Media puts extreme content behind the canvas wall

Behind the canvas walls, some Salem Media commentators offer even more extreme moves. In July, PJ Media editor Paula Bolyard warned readers that the critical reaction to this site’s reporting on COVID-19, especially its scathing attitude toward public health officials, has taken its toll. And, Bolyard wrote, there was a reason why she asked readers to subscribe to bypass the canvas walls: she didn’t want to question her site’s most powerful posts.

“Regular readers of PJ Media know that much of our coverage of COVID-19 was behind a pay wall, accessible only to our VIP subscribers,” Bolyard wrote. “It’s just not worth our time to deal with fact-checkers, who worked overtime to discredit us and tarnish our reputation.”

Behind the canvas walls for various Salem Media websites, writers and podcasts roared over the use of masks and vaccines against COVID-19 and instead promoted discredited drugs. In addition, the hosts release harsh words against the media and celebrate in their ability to avoid not only fact-checking, but also social media moderators. On constant paid streaming videos, Scott Hounsell of RedState raises his middle finger on Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

To be clear, Salem, an explicitly conservative fundamentalist Christian media company, charges viewers, listeners, and readers money to access uncensored and profane content.

However, unfettered conspiracy theories can also be found in free content. In a free version of City Hall podcast “Triggered,” hosts Matt Vespa and Storm Paglia earlier this year called Congress a disgrace. They wondered why anyone should be surprised by the violent uprising on January 6 at the American Capitol. Moments later, however, they concluded that the event was not real, but had been rigged by the FBI.

In July, on the radio show Salem, Elder called on a voter who invited him to run and suggested that the vote could be sabotaged against him. The senior laughed at predicting a Trump-like election fraud and said he wouldn’t be surprised.

In recent days, Elder’s campaign has set up an official website that is said to be undergoing a recall in California, although the election has yet to end. This is a claim – substantiated by no significant evidence – that is warmly accepted in Salem Media.


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