L.A. Mayor Garcetti Says He 'Held His Breath' During Maskless Photo With Magic Johnson

Three of the most powerful politicians in California were snapped not wearing a mask during the NFC Championship game on Sunday at SoFi Stadium, despite public health rules that require masking at all outdoor “mega-events.”

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and California Governor Gavin Newsom obliged a request from Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson to snap a photo outside of their luxury box during the game.

Garcetti should get high marks for the least imaginative excuse in political history. Hizzoner says he was wearing his mask throughout the game and when he removed it for the photo, he “held his breath.”


“I’ll take personal responsibility,” said Garcetti in answer to a reporter’s question about the photos, “and if it makes you and everyone else happy — or even the photographs with people where literally I’m holding my breath for two seconds — I won’t even do that.”

Garcetti defended L.A.’s mask mandate because, he pointed out, the region is still experiencing a high rate of transmission.

That’s all fine and dandy, your honor, but many other photos of you taken during the game curiously also show you not masked up, as your own public health order requires.

We suppose you didn’t exhale.

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Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom, who has already been put through the political ringer for going maskless at the French Laundry in the early days of the pandemic, showed that he had learned his lesson well. He didn’t deny going maskless and admitted he only took the mask off briefly to take the photo with Magic.

“You’re correct,” he said when asked about going maskless at SoFi. “I was very judicious yesterday. Very judicious. You’ll see the photo that I did take, Magic was kind enough, generous enough, to ask me for a photograph and in my left hand’s the mask and I took the photo. The rest of the time I wore it as we all should, um — not when I had a glass of water — and I encourage everybody else to do so. And, uh, that’s it.”

In the photo of the two which Johnson posted, however, there is no mask in Newsom’s left hand. The image could, of course, have been flipped before it was posted.

Asked if he should he have reconsidered taking off his mask, given his 2020 incident at the French Laundry, the governor responded, “Yes, of course. I was trying to be gracious. I made a mis — I was trying to be gracious. I took the mask off for a brief second but, no, I encourage people to continue to wear them.”

No worries, Gav. The media has your back.

As for Mayor Breed, she may order her subjects to mask up but she has openly defied the mask mandate on several occasions. She referred to people who are calling her out for her blatant hypocrisy as “the fun police.”


“Don’t feel as though you have to be micromanaged about mask wearing. Like, we don’t need the fun police to come in and try and micromanage and tell us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. We know what we need to do to protect ourselves,” Breed told reporters on Friday when asked about the episode at a news conference.

The Super Bowl will also be held at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13. Masks will be mandated for all spectators.

Except those with the political pull to thumb their nose at the mandate — and the people.

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