Welcome back to “Forgotten Fact-Checks,” a weekly column produced by National Review’s News Desk. This week, we (again) dissect mistruths about Florida governor Ron DeSantis and recount media misses by mainstream journalists and comedienne Samantha Bee.
More Fake News about Florida
This week we have yet another round of the Mainstream Media v. Florida governor Ron DeSantis. The media have again placed the Republican governor on trial in the court of public opinion over his alleged throttling of FEMA’s response to the Champlain Towers condo collapse in Surfside, Fla.
The Washington Post’s Hannah Dreier’s tweet set off a blame game over the recovery efforts with all signs pointing back to DeSantis.
“There’s a saying in emergency management: The first 24 hours are the only 24 hours. FEMA was ready to deploy to the condo collapse almost immediately, and included the crisis in its daily briefing, but didn’t get permission from Gov. DeSantis to get on the ground for a full day,” she wrote.
However, Jared Moskowitz, Florida’s former emergency management director, called Dreier’s tweet “100 percent Malarkey.”
“FEMA’s mantra is “locally executed, state managed, and federal supported.” As the former director in FL who voted for Biden this tweet below is 100% Malarkey. FEMA would have deployed the federally funded USAR teams, which are located in @MiamiDadeCounty. They were already there.”
FEMA’s mantra is “locally executed, state managed, and federal supported.” As the former director in FL who voted for Biden this tweet below is 100% Malarkey. FEMA would have deployed the federally funded USAR teams, which are located in @MiamiDadeCounty. They were already there. https://t.co/Czj0GYY9yV
— Jared MASKowitz 😷 (@JaredEMoskowitz) June 28, 2021
Others noted that the chain of emergency declaration goes from local to state to federal government. The mayor did not sign an emergency order until 4:33 p.m., after which the governor signed one less than an hour later, at 5:32 p.m.
Time to kill another conspiracy theory:
How this works:
Emergency declaration from the local government -> state government -> federal government.
— Jeremy Redfern (@EODTEC89) June 27, 2021
Still, that did not keep the media from politicizing the tragedy that has left at least ten people dead and 151 people missing. Outlets including Insider and Newsweek carried headlines such as “WATCH: Miami mom pleads with Gov. DeSantis to speed up condo rescue” and “Ron DeSantis Accused By Surfside Building Victim’s Mother of Not Doing Enough as Death Toll Rises to 9,” respectively.
Headline Fail of the Week
This honor goes to the Washington Post for carrying on the public-opinion war against DeSantis with its article, “In push against ‘indoctrination,’ DeSantis mandates surveys of Florida students’ beliefs.” As NR’s Charles C. W. Cooke tweeted last week, “This simply isn’t true.”
This simply isn't true, as @jadler1969 has pointed out. It's a survey that asks only if people feel that they are free to express their views on campus. It doesn't ask what their views are, and it expressly reaffirms the First Amendment in its text. https://t.co/hyg6OocXze
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) June 24, 2021
–Full Frontal comedienne Samantha Bee went on a six-plus-minute, expletive-riddled rant about Governor DeSantis on her show last week before turning it into an unhinged tweet thread. “Governor Ron Desantis, please eat shit. You’re one of the worst governors in Florida history and they had Jeb Bush and Nosferatu” remarked Bee, with the latter reference being to Senator Rick Scott. Embedded in this not-so-clever attack: The truth that Republicans have held the governor’s mansion in the swing state since 1998.
–Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali says that when he “see[s] packed restaurants and people inside stores and malls and their kids aren’t wearing masks” he can’t help but feel like he’s a character “in a horror movie.” Considering the plummeting caseload and death rates in the United States, Ali might have his genres mixed up.
-PBS NewsHour’s Yamiche Alcindor, unaware of both her job description and Article I of the Constitution, which delegates the power to determine the “times, places, and manner” of congressional elections to state legislatures, was granted airtime on MSNBC last week. She used it to insist that the Founders would have supported Democrats’ For the People Act. The bill is opposed by not only the entirety of the Senate Republican caucus, but also at least in part by the progressive American Civil Liberties Union for its flagrant violations of the Constitution.