SORE LOSERS: Nets Warn of Foreign Interference, Violence in Midterms

News & Politics

Perhaps realizing that their party is going to get crushed in Tuesday’s midterm elections, the big three (ABC, CBS, and NBC) evening newscasts sought to sow doubt in the outcome by warning of foreign interference and potential violence on election day.  

During ABC’s World News Tonight, anchor David Muir asked correspondent James Longman, who was reporting live from Ukraine, about the “Russian businessman with ties to Putin is now admitting to trying to meddle in U.S. elections both in the past and trying to interfere with the current midterms.” 

Longman responded that Vladimir Putin ally Yevgeny Progosin admitted “on the eve of these midterms, he has said we have interfered, we are interfering and we will interfere carefully, precisely, surgically as we know how to do.” Longman added that “it’s a worrying thing to hear.” 

For their part, and despite no specific plotCBS Evening News decided to hype a report from the FBI that claimed there’s a “potential for violence.” Chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Pegues warned of the “recent DHS alert warned domestic violent extremists across the ideological spectrum pose a heightened threat.” 

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This caused anchor Norah O’Donnell to jump in and ask “what about foreign interference?” 

Pegues responded that “U.S. cyber officials say China has been active spreading disinformation in a way it hasn’t seen before, seeking to sow chaos by manipulating social media but we’re also being told that U.S. cyber teams believe the threat from hackers is lower than it has been in the past.” 

NBC Nightly News correspondent Tom Costello joined in to panic about Elon Musk’s loosened content moderation rules and how that could allow foreign governments to influence voters with online disinformation,” and that “cybersecurity experts say changes at Twitter could invite more interference.”  

Ending NBC’s report, national security analyst Clint Watts worried that “if we see Twitter make these changes here in the coming days, I would expect that Russian influence actors would move very aggressively to establish accounts.” 

If Republicans do end up having a good night, expect the media to continue blaming “foreign interference” for Democrats losing control of Congress. 

This media panic was made possible by Nature’s Bounty on ABC, Liberty Mutual on CBS, and Salonpas on NBC. Their information is linked.

To read the relevant transcripts click “expand”:

ABC’s World News Tonight
11/7/2022
6:48:15 p.m. Eastern

DAVID MUIR: James, another headline-making news at this hour, Russian businessman with ties to Putin is now admitting to trying to meddle in U.S. elections both in the past and trying to interfere with the current midterms, as well?  

JAMES LONGMAN: Yeah, that’s right, David. Yevgeny Progosin has denied those allegations for years but now on the eve of these midterms, he has said we have interfered, we are interfering and we will interfere carefully, precisely, surgically as we know how to do. It’s a worrying thing to hear. 

CBS Evening News
11/7/2022
6:42:20 p.m. Eastern

NORAH O’DONNELL: President Biden has been briefed by law enforcement officials on potential threats to the midterm elections. CBS’s Jeff Pegues tells us that election workers have been a prime target. Good evening Jeff so what are federal authorities doing? 

JEFF PEGUES: Well tonight the FBI, Norah, is activating its command centers across the country with the potential for violence hanging over these midterm elections. A recent DHS alert warned domestic violent extremists across the ideological spectrum pose a heightened threat. Over the weekend the campaign headquarters of Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake was evacuated after the discovery of an envelope filled with white powder, and while no one was hurt, the scare came as details of threats to Arizona election workers were published and a judge ordered masked men in tactical gear to stay away from ballot boxes. Norah? 

O’DONNELL: So that’s potential domestic threats. What about foreign interference? 

PEGUES: There is concern about that as well. U.S. cyber officials say China has been active spreading disinformation in a way it hasn’t seen before, seeking to sow chaos by manipulating social media but we’re also being told that U.S. cyber teams believe the threat from hackers is lower than it has been in the past. Norah? 

NBC Nightly News
11/7/2022
7:22:45 p.m. Eastern 

TOM COSTELLO: Meanwhile, a month after the FBI warned foreign governments could try to influence voters with online disinformation, cybersecurity experts say changes at Twitter could invite more interference. 

CLINT WATTS (NBC NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST): If we see Twitter make these changes here in the coming days, I would expect that Russian influence actors would move very aggressively to establish accounts. 

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