PHOENIX, Arizona – Longtime Fox News Emmy Award-winning anchor Kari Lake discussed faith, media bias, and her plans for governorship in an interview with The Arizona Sun Times. The governor hopeful offered insight honed from nearly 30 years of reporting in the state – how it was the people’s stories and needs that inspired her to take the leap from reporting to running for office.
“I have no special interests except for the people of Arizona,” said Lake.
Faith in God
Lake can pinpoint the exact moment in her life when she reconnected to God. It was summer 2019. Lake’s private remarks lambasting a local paper were caught on a hot mic clip that went viral. Lake faced public condemnation and calls for her firing. Looking back now, Lake says she’s grateful for the attacks on her because it brought her closer to her faith.
“Two years ago, I got canceled – as they say – now I laugh at it. It was painful at the time and really frightening. At the time, it was horrible,” said Lake. “Something had been recorded at work, and somehow [was] put out in the world and became a really big story and I immediately was attacked for it and was canceled for it. It really brought me to my knees. I was praying to God to just get me through this.”
As she reflected on that reconnection, Lake marveled at the thought that some individuals didn’t have faith to lean on during last year’s pandemic. She shared that she began reading the Bible again while working from home, and found it helped balance the darkness of COVID-related news.
“I don’t know how people didn’t return to their faith during COVID,” remarked Lake. “I started reading the Bible. I hadn’t been reading the Bible for decades – since I was a kid!”
The Bible stirred Lake’s desire to attend church regularly again – and she told her husband so. They planned on attending once the churches reopened. The couple had been attending another church, but the COVID shutdown prevented them from attending for a while. Then, they were offered limited attendance by appointment only. Lake wanted to attend more frequently. The opportunity came when several friends invited Lake to another, open church.
“I had the most beautiful church epiphany, and found a church that just stirred my soul. I’ve never missed a week, except when I’m out of town,” shared Lake. “It just brought me so much closer to where I have an intimate, good relationship with Jesus. I feel as if I have a connection with Jesus.”
Lake’s renewed commitment to God caused changes in her life other than how she spent her Sundays and breaks between work. It caused her to reexamine the content of her reporting.
“Morally, I couldn’t align with what was happening,” said Lake. “Once I decided that, what I was doing not only felt unethical – it felt immoral.”
Lake realized she had to part ways with reporting – something that she’d always loved. She told The Times that those stories about everyday people were always her favorite ones.
“I loved journalism when I started. Something’s happening, and you’re there. You’re seeing it and then you’re getting that information to your neighbors and community,” explained Lake. “There were so many nights I left the station and thought: ‘Wow. I really helped make a positive impact in my community.'”
However, Lake noticed that the media shifted its focus on coverage over the years. Lake pointed out the media’s current tendency is to stoke fear and anger in order to attract and maintain viewers.
“When you’re angry, you’re a great news consumer. You sit there and take more and more of it,” observed Lake.
Lake first noticed during the 2016 election. Specifically, when previous President Donald Trump became a serious contender.
“I started to see a really noticeable difference in how the media was covering things with Donald Trump,” said Lake. “It was like night and day – it went from critical reporting of him to trying to destroy the guy, and I just watched in shock. And it went on for years. Even with the Russian collusion hoax, and misleading the viewers on what he was up to and doing – never the positive, but [reporters were] always making things up and over-exaggerating things they deemed to be unpopular.”
By 2020, Lake told The Sun Times that she was disgusted and embarrassed with the caliber of reporting out there. It led her to look beyond reporting to where else she could make a positive impact.
Why She’s Running
Twenty seven years of reporting gifted Lake with a deeper understanding of this state. She explained that this insight, paired with the absence of big funders in her campaign, makes her a candidate that is truly by the people, for the people.
“I’ve been covering this state for so long. I know the state inside and out,” explained Lake. “I think the kind of change Arizona wants is not an institutional politician. [Arizona wants] someone who understands the state but isn’t a part of the political system.”
With that in mind, Lake says that she would steer Arizona’s focus from general growth to “smart growth.” She explained that the surge in new residents has put pressure on vital aspects of the state, such as the schools, water, and even culture. Lake promised to protect schools from “woke” curriculum while establishing resources to support real-world education, and to develop a long-term plan for water sustainability.
One of Lake’s first initiatives in office would be to establish a program to resurrect the businesses that were killed by forced government shutdowns.
One major opponent for Lake could be Arizona’s Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs. The two couldn’t be more different.
Lake warned that Hobbs’ agenda would likely be further left than some of the Democratic Party’s left-most members, like California Governor Gavin Newsom. Lake asserted that Hobbs’ election would lead to Critical Race Theory in every K-12 school and college campus, shutdowns accompanying any spike in viral illnesses, more criminals receiving release or facing little consequences, and more police defunding.
“I think she will make Gavin Newsom look conservative, and it scares the hell out of me,” said Lake. “I don’t want to be a family that’s running and looking for the next state to live in.”
This relates to a particular slogan that Lake cites, “Don’t California Our Arizona.” She lists several of California’s progressive and Democratic policies that caused their residents to lose out, such as the “Vision Zero” and “Housing Equity” initiatives.
On her campaign site, Lake offered several proposals to current issues plaguing Arizona. For election integrity, Lake promised to support voter ID, exchanging software for analog optical scanners, and implementing automatic audits. She also promised to deploy the Arizona National Guard to assist Border Patrol, and equipping the Department of Public Safety to thwart border-related sex and human trafficking and drug smuggling.
Lake also promised to help pass a law preventing governments from shutting down or regulating religious liberties such as worship or observances.
On perennial issues, Lake expressed that she is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, intent on fully funding and supporting the police, protective of rural communities, and in favor of small, local businesses over big box stores and online retailers.
Overall, the governor hopeful shared that the ultimate goal of hers is to have government step back and allow people full control over their own lives.
“I’m just a real big believer in taking personal responsibility, and I think Arizonians are capable of taking care of themselves,” said Lake.
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