California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) called out Fox News host Jesse Watters, blaming him personally for “aiding and abetting” the alleged violent attack against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi.
Newsom argued that Watters, among others, had “dehumanized” Speaker Pelosi — and he claimed that had helped to foster a climate where political violence seemed reasonable.
Gavin Newsom Attacks Fox’s Jesse Watters for His Negative Coverage of Paul Pelosi and Its Dehumanizing Effect pic.twitter.com/W11OnWdlFH
— Alexandra Datig | Front Page Index 🇺🇸 (@alexdatig) October 31, 2022
“I’ve seen the dehumanization of Nancy Pelosi. I don’t think anyone’s been dehumanized like she has consistently. I watched this one guy, Jesse Watters or something on Fox News, and what he’s been saying about Paul Pelosi the last five, six months, mocking him consistently. Don’t tell me that’s not aiding and abetting all of this. Of course it is,” Newsom argued.
“They’re sowing the seeds, they’re creating a culture and climate like this,” the California Governor continued. “I mean, look online. Look at the sewage that is online that they amplify on these networks and in social media to dehumanize people like Nancy Pelosi and other political leaders.”
Watters responded during his Monday evening broadcast of “Jesse Watters Primetime,” saying, “Gavin Newsom thinks if you mock a Democrat, it puts them on a target list. We’ve always said, Gavin’s biggest flaw? He’s not very smart.”
Newsom was far from the only person to blame Republicans in the aftermath of the attack. President Joe Biden argued that rhetoric from the far right was driving more people to political violence — and MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell claimed that the man who allegedly attacked Pelosi was driven by the same rhetoric that had led to the January 6th riot on Capitol Hill.
CBS anchor Margaret Brennan took things a bit further during Sunday morning’s broadcast of “Face the Nation,” asking Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN) whether Republican ads blaming Pelosi for years of bad policies might be pushing more people toward violence.
.@TomEmmer calls out the media for trying to blame Republican rhetoric for the Paul Pelosi attack.
Why didn’t they blame Dems when a Bernie Sanders supporter shot Steve Scalise? pic.twitter.com/Ko6iTLZ4UM
— Mike Berg (@MikeKBerg) October 30, 2022
“I never saw anyone, after Steve Scalise was shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter —” Emmer said, but Brennan interrupted.
“I’m talking about right now!” she said. “It just is happening now.”
” — equate Democrat rhetoric with those actions,” Emmer continued. “Please don’t do that.”
“No, no, okay,” Brennan pushed back. “Looking at your candidates, Republican candidates have spent more than $116 million on ads that mention Speaker Pelosi by name in this cycle. If this is about the issues, why shouldn’t you make it about the issues? Why not depersonalize it?”
Brennan continued to argue that Republicans should refrain from naming Pelosi in ads in order to keep people from potentially targeting her.