Rebekah Jones, the woman who has spent months claiming that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been altering COVID-19 data, just decided to lash out at his press secretary, Christina Pushaw. She recently tried to claim that Pushaw was facing serious criminal charges, which has also turned out to be false. Democrats tend to believe their own lies – but this calls for a straight defamation suit.
Jones claimed that Pushaw had violated a restraining order against her and filed a second claim with the courts before the first restraining order had even been reviewed. She tried to push through the second claim that her restraining order had been violated. The courts dismissed the first case citing ‘lack of evidence’ but did not dismiss the second claim, which makes no sense because it is based on a now-dismissed order. Jones spent weeks claiming that she had an open criminal charge against Pushaw, which she didn’t. The most cringeworthy part of Jones’ story is the fact that Pushaw didn’t even know Jones had tried to take a restraining order against her.
Jones tried to stir the pot even more and alerted sources that Pushaw was going to be entering a deferred prosecution agreement. She alerted a man named Grant Stern a day before the hearing, adding that “this is something the state attorney’s representative told me.” But according to the State Attorney’s office, none of what Jones said was true. He said there have been no criminal charges filed against Pushaw and that she never agreed to any sort of “plea deal” or “deferred prosecution” agreement.
There was a time when people who tried to smear credible, elected officials faced prosecution or some kind of accountability. But Jones has continued to defend her lies and demonize the DeSantis administration. Must be because he’s doing something right. The war between the press and DeSantis is becoming similar to what former president Donald Trump faced in the press. News agencies have even accused Secretary Pushaw of “harassing behavior” and pushing an online mob against a reporter who did a story on the governor.
The Associated Press CEO Daisy Veerasingham accused Pushaw of harassing one of their reporters Brendan Farrington over his headline “DeSantis top donor invests in COVID drug governor promotes.”
Pushaw had ripped the story using terms like Drag Them” on Twitter and warned Farrington she’d put AP on blast over the false story. Veerasingham, however, described Pushaw as “dangerous” for tweet threatening Farrington and said it is “unacceptable” for public officials to encourage bullying of journalists. Meanwhile, most of the journalists and media networks are pushing whatever political narrative they want about elected officials. It’s a two-way street and reporters have not been so friendly with government officials either.
Pushaw argued that Farrington and Veerasingham were just trying to distract the public from the actual news piece, which had been widely criticized. The AP piece covered DeSantis’ push for Florida residents with coronavirus to take an antibody treatment developed by Regeron. DeSantis donor’s hedge fund, Citadel, has invested millions into the treatment. Even the Biden Administration has touted its success. While the AP notes that the drug is “highly effective,” they talk more about Citadel’s share and investment in Regeneron. It’s worth noting that the investment is still considered a “tiny fraction” compared to the overall $39 billion in investments.
But the story pushed the investment claims with weak liberal framing. Republicans, Pushaw, and some liberals disagreed with AP’s distasteful article. Even the Sun Sentinel’s, a newspaper critic of DeSantis, called the story weak.
“No one from our office ever threatened him. His story drew harsh criticism because it was false – and discouraged people from seeking life-saving treatment. Instead of owning up to that and retracting their hit piece, AP doubled down and tried to make the story about the backlash the reporter received,” Pushaw explained to Fox News.
Veerasingham even wrote a letter to DeSantis calling his attention to press secretary Pushaw and her “dangerous” call of action against The Associated Press. She stated that Pushaw’s behavior has no place in a democracy that values “robust and civil public discussion,” adding that it is more than just one story. Veerasingham emphasized how harassment from a public official is “unacceptable” in any circumstance and called on DeSantis to “eliminate this attack strategy from your press office.”
It’s clear that the AP, and the rest of the left-leaning media networks, are getting caught publishing misinformation and skewered perspectives. But they continue to call out the wrong people and sources, instead of the story itself. Only the AP is to blame for the response that they got.
Of course, Twitter jumped in and hit Pushaw’s account with a 12-hour suspension for “allegedly violating its policies,” although they never clarified what tweets got her suspended in the first place. Those who challenge the false narratives continue to get censored by Big Tech and corporate media. But hey at least the Taliban can still tweet, right?