Posted by on October 12, 2021 11:01 am
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Categories: News NewsBusters

Since late last week, several CNN shows have taken the time to hype the campaign of a former Republican-turned-Democrat who is running for governor in Oklahoma against incumbent Republican Kevin Stitt, each one interviewing her.

But these same shows did not bother to inform viewers when the party switching went in the opposite direction as Jim Justice — who already was governor of West Virginia — switched from Democrat to Republican just over four years ago.

And, in 2019, there was a similar double standard after Michigan Congressman Justin Amash left the GOP and, months later, when New Jersey’s Jeff Van Drew left the Democratic party.

On Monday morning, New Day co-host Brianna Keilar recounted:

 

 

She was a lifelong Republican until now. Oklahoma’s top education official, Joy Hofmeister, is switching parties and challenging Republican Governor Kevin Stitt in next year’s gubernatorial election. A big reason for her decision, Governor Stitt’s handling of the pandemic. Like several other GOP governors nationwide, Stitt has targeted local school boards for their mask mandates. Hofmeister has accused him of failing to listen to public health experts…

The CNN host then gave candidate Joy Hofmeister an unchallenged forum to make her complaints about Governor Stitt. Keilar  brought up the issue of mask mandates as she followed up:

KEILAR: What about — I know masks were a big issue for you. As the top education official, you know, you’ve been advocating that there shouldn’t be rules against mask mandates. How big of a factor was his COVID response?

HOFMEISTER: Well, I would not have signed a law that hamstrung the local school board’s ability to mitigate COVID outbreaks in their community as we start a school year — now our third school year where children are facing disruption due to the pandemic. And it could have been avoided — 10,000 Oklahoma lives have been lost due to the pandemic and the management by the governor and his toothless health policy.

It is noteworthy that Hofmeister did not push this angle and mainly complained about Governor Stitt not wearing a mask publicly when she appeared on Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN last Thursday night:

ERIN BURNETT: And you say one of the main reasons you’re running is because of how Governor Stitt has tackled the COVID pandemic. So he opposes mask mandates. He opposes mandates for the COVID vaccine. He calls them complete disregard for individual freedom and states’ rights. You also oppose those mandates, but — but you say that you may not have needed a mask mandate, but that Governor Stitt could have worn a mask?

HOFMEISTER: We needed a leader. We needed a leader who could have prepared Oklahomans for the pandemic. We have experienced unnecessary disruption and loss of life. It is also one where I believe Governor Stitt does not represent the values of Oklahomans, which is hard work, common sense, and courage.

Weekend anchor Pamela Brown also interviewed Hofmeister on Sunday night without challenge.

By contrast, in August of 2017, after West Virginia’s Governor Justice announced that he was becoming a Republican, New Day was too busy covering the anti-Donald Trump Russia investigation to inform its audience. CNN viewers had to either watch Jake Tapper’s afternoon show or catch Early Start at 4:39 a.m. Eastern to learn about the development.

Similarly, New Day made sure to inform viewers with “breaking news” when Congressman Amash abandoned the Republican party on July 4, 2019, but ignored Van Drew when he joined Republicans in December of the same year.

 

 

This episode of CNN’s New Day was sponsored in part by Zales. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow:

CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront

October 8, 2021

7:37 p.m. Eastern

ERIN BURNETT: New tonight, a lifelong Republican official in Oklahoma saying goodbye to the GOP. Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma’s top public education official, announcing she is joining the Democratic party, and she will then run against the Republican governor, Kevin Stitt. She claims Stitt is, quote, “running Oklahoma into the ground.” Here is part of her first campaign ad.

(Clips of Hofmeister campaign ad)

And state superintendent of public instruction Hofmeister is out front. So, superintendent, lifelong Republican and I know a proud one throughout your life. And now, making a decision not just to leave your party but join the Democratic one. Why?

JOY HOFMEISTER, OKLAHOMA CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, thank you, Erin, for having me. And, you know, this has not been a swift decision, but one where I’ve had a lot of personal reflection, watching the leadership here in our governor’s office, where, really, Governor Stitt has hijacked the Republican party here in Oklahoma. And the extremism and divisive partisanship has really left a lot of Oklahomans behind, and I think there’s too much to fight for to simply let that go.

(…)

BURNETT: So, you know, because when you talk about extremism, obviously, and the polarization, certainly, in the past — now, almost two years, right? — that has been centered, much of it, in COVID. And you say one of the main reasons you’re running is because of how Governor Stitt has tackled the COVID pandemic. So he opposes mask mandates. He opposes mandates for the COVID vaccine. He calls them complete disregard for individual freedom and states’ rights. You also oppose those mandates, but — but you say that you may not have needed a mask mandate, but that Governor Stitt could have worn a mask?

HOFMEISTER: We needed a leader. We needed a leader who could have prepared Oklahomans for the pandemic. We have experienced unnecessary disruption and loss of life. It is also one where I believe Governor Stitt does not represent the values of Oklahomans, which is hard work, common sense, and courage. 

(…)

CNN Newsroom

October 10, 2021

8:17 p.m. Eastern

PAMELA BROWN: A lifelong Republican in Oklahoma is saying good-bye to the GOP. Joy Hofmeister, Oklahoma’s top education official announced that she’s joining the Democratic party and challenging incumbent Republican Governor Kevin Stitt next year. She claims Stitt is, quote, “running Oklahoma into the ground.” Here’s part of her first campaign ad.

(Clip of Hofmeister ad)

Joy Hofmeister joins me now. Nice to see you. So you say your decision to switch parties came with, quote, “a lot of personal reflection.” Why did you decide to do it?

(…)

But I guess, you know, you’re switching now to run as a Democratic governor. We are so many months into this pandemic. Why now? 

JOY HOFMEISTER, OKLAHOMA CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: Well, this has come at the result of seeing a pattern by Kevin Stitt where there is a disregard for experts that have public health wisdom and those experts even in class rooms, those in locally elected positions. All of us should have been working together, and, instead, Governor Stitt has divided communities to the point of neighbor against neighbor, and family against family. And, really, Oklahomans have had enough of that.

(…)

CNN’s New Day

October 11, 2021

6:48 a.m. Eastern

BRIANNA KEILAR: She was a lifelong Republican until now. Oklahoma’s top education official, Joy Hofmeister, is switching parties and challenging Republican Governor Kevin Stitt in next year’s gubernatorial election. A big reason for her decision, Governor Stitt’s handling of the pandemic.

Like several other GOP governors nationwide, Stitt has targeted local school boards for their mask mandates. Hofmeister has accused him of failing to listen to public health experts, and Hofmeister is joining us right now. She is Oklahoma’s state superintendent of public instruction… I do want to ask you: Why did you switch parties? What was the final straw?

JOY HOFMEISTER, OKLAHOMA CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: Well, ultimately, Governor Stitt has hijacked the Republican party, and there’s just been incredible amounts of extremism, divisive partisanship, and, ultimately, ineffective leadership.

KEILAR: What about — I know masks were a big issue for you. As the top education official, you know, you’ve been advocating that there shouldn’t be rules against mask mandates. How big of a factor was his COVID response?

HOFMEISTER: Well, I would not have signed a law that hamstrung the local school board’s ability to mitigate COVID outbreaks in their community as we start a school year — now our third school year where children are facing disruption due to the pandemic. And it could have been avoided — 10,000 Oklahoma lives have been lost due to the pandemic and the management by the governor and his toothless health policy.

Originally appeared on NewsBusters Read More

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