Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake implied she smelled a rat after the TV station she once worked for posted a graphic showing her losing to Democrat Katie Hobbs nearly two weeks before Election Day.
The graphic, which showed Lake down 53% to 47% with nearly 2.4 million votes in, appeared at the bottom of the screen for 30 seconds during a report on the high rents in key Arizona cities. Polls in fact have Lake up by anywhere from 3 to 11 points in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.
“WOAH.. right after my press conference going after the Media,” Lake tweeted after seeing the apparent glitch. “Retaliation?”
WOAH.. right after my press conference going after the Media. Retaliation? https://t.co/Khm5LI8b32
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) October 28, 2022
Earlier in the day, Lake had attacked the media for jumping to report on a Monday night burglary at Hobbs’ campaign offices that Hobbs and other Democrats implied Lake supporters or even operatives may have been behind.
“Make no mistake — this is a direct result of Kari Lake and fringe Republicans spreading lies and hate and inciting violence — and it is despicable,” the Arizona Democratic Party said in a statement on Twitter.
Lake likened the burglary to the infamous Jussie Smollett hoax and said she was considering a defamation lawsuit against anyone blaming her campaign for the burglary. At a Thursday news conference following the arrest of a homeless man in the burglary, Lake blasted the media for running with the burglary story and, in her opinion, amplifying Hobbs’ unfounded claims.
“My desperate opponent, who is sinking like lead weight in water, pulled a stunt, and you guys fell for it,” Lake told reporters. “She put out a defamatory statement, and you all ran with it. You didn’t do your journalistic duty. It was malpractice of journalism that I’ve never seen before.”
The suspect, a 36-year-old transient and Angolan immigrant named Daniel Mota Dos Reis, had no apparent connection to the Lake campaign and police declined to speculate on a motive.
KSAZ-TV, also known as Fox 10, where Lake was a popular anchorwoman from 1999-2021, released a statement saying the graphic aired by mistake.
“At 5:50 [p.m.] during the Fox 10 newscast today a small graphic appeared on the lower left side of the screen showing test results for the upcoming election,” the statement read. “These were generated by the Associated Press which distributes results to clients. This graphic was never meant to go on air — the numbers were only part of a test. The station has taken steps to make sure this cannot happen again.”