California gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder’s campaign hit back at the Los Angeles Times on Friday, accusing the publication of using a photo to suggest he was hitting a supporter.
A white woman in a gorilla mask threw an egg at Elder’s head Wednesday in an attack that he says would have been called a hate crime if he were a Democrat and not a Republican. The attack quickly circulated on social media and was widely reported.
The LA Times headlined its report on the incident “LAPD is investigating altercation involving Larry Elder at Venice homeless encampment” accompanied by a photo showing Elder with his hand apparently on the face of a woman.
The publication has since updated the story’s photo to a picture showing Elder, shielded by several people, walking away from the woman in the gorilla mask.
The original headline and photograph combination suggests Elder was an instigator in the altercation mentioned in the story’s headline, Elder’s campaign told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“This is completely absurd,” communications director Ying Ma told the DCNF. “Larry went to give a supporter a hug and the LAT used a photo taken at an angle that made it appear as if he was hitting her.”
“This is the same publication that called Larry Elder the black face of white supremacy and has consistently accused him of not being black enough,” Ma continued, referring to the August LA Times opinion piece: “Larry Elder’s fans prove he’s a face of white supremacy.”
“Perhaps you should ask them,” she responded, when asked why the LA Times would use the misleading photo.
The woman whose face Elder is touching in the LA Times photograph expressed outrage at the publication in a Friday tweet, calling the photo “deceiving.”
“Yesterday @larryelder was my guest,” she tweeted. “We were attacked by a group yelling racial slurs, a white woman in a gorilla mask threw eggs. Yet @latimes finds a deceiving pic of us about to hug to confuse the story- a HATE CRIME was committed against a black man running for Governor of CA.”