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Democrats Fake News Media Truth

The Media, Democrats And Social Media Teaming To Damage Ron DeSantis

By Rod Thomson

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has gained tremendous popularity among conservatives nationwide with his deft handling of the COVID pandemic, personal freedoms, open-for-business attitude and almost Trumpian willingness to fight against the establishment and elitist wisdom but with a Harvard-trained communications ability.

As such, he has been under relentless attack by the Democrat media, seen most obviously when comparing the attack dog media coverage of DeSantis to the lap dog media coverage of New York Gov. Andrew Coumo — a governor that has done a much worse job by every single measurement.

But as DeSantis ramps up for his 2022 re-election campaign, and perhaps eyeing a 2024 run for the White House, the media has become that special combination of hilarious, jaw-dropping and nauseating. The past few days have been a perfect example.

With Florida’s large elderly population, and the elderly by far the most vulnerable to the virus, DeSantis has targeted the 65 and older crowd, along with health care workers, as the top priority.

He’s done it in partnership with hundreds of Publix pharmacies and other pharmacies around the state, state-run distribution sites and unique three-day pop-up clinics to pinpoint smaller areas being missed. These pop-up clinics are aimed at elderly communities with high demand but lower saturation of vaccines. This is actually quite brilliant management, and has been held at mobile home parks, minority communities, The Villages, and so on. DeSantis goes to nearly every one, spreading the word. And it’s smart politics.

Well Tuesday, a pop-up clinic was held in Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County, just another of more than a dozen held without much media comment — until the media attack dogs found an angle to go after DeSantis, and the salivating howling began.

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The Bradenton Herald, knowing the demographic makeup of Lakewood Ranch, ran the first story under the headline: “More COVID vaccine coming to Manatee. Only residents of these two zip codes can get it” Well, yes. That’s because they are aimed at specific communities.

The second attack dog, the Orlando Sentinel, picked up the assault, running the specific racial demographics for the zip codes. The result?

Headline: “DeSantis defends his choice of wealthy senior community for pop-up vaccine site”

Lead: A testy Gov. Ron DeSantis blew off criticism Wednesday that the state’s latest pop-up COVID-19 vaccine site was limited to residents of wealthy neighborhoods in Manatee County, including a senior community with family ties to a major DeSantis donor.

Can’t imagine why he’s testy. Not to be outdone, Politico Florida, had their beer held and also ran the wealth data for the zip codes, and one upped the Herald and Sentinel Democrat operatives. The result?

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Headline: “DeSantis defends opening vaccine pop-up site in affluent, mostly white community”

Lead: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled Wednesday to an affluent, mostly white community in Manatee County to tout a pop-up vaccination site he said would make it easier for seniors there to get the shot.

(I’ve chosen not to link to the stories because I don’t want to drive traffic to these Democrat operative sites. However, if you want to read the screeds, just Google and headline and site and you will easily find the stories.)

Of course, there are more than 20 sites in Manatee County where people can get vaccines. And nationally, everyone is grappling with low vaccine rates among black Americans, which is in part because of the Tuskegee-driven distrust of vaccines, and a heightened sense of non-existent “systemic racism.”  

No matter, it was another opportunity to attack DeSantis. The story has been picked up and run by newspapers across the nation, as the media worked in tandem to drive the story.

Then social media kicked in, and the hashtag #DeathSantis is trending as this is written. Of course, no fact checks or blocking there, just the full tripod of Democrats, media and social media working together to damage a leading Republican.

The irony is that the Florida vaccine rollout is going very well and Florida’s declining numbers continue to outperform the national average and other large states. By a lot. Florida is thriving under DeSantis’ leadership like no blue state. Therefore, DeSantis is a racist. Same old playbook. And not divisive at all.

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Follow him on Parler and Instagram. Like Rod on Facebook.


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Democrats Fake News Media Postal Service Truth

Desperation Of Postal Hoax Is Hilarious

by Rod Thomson

It’s another week and so the Democratic Party and their Keystone Cops media allies have drummed up yet another reality-free, context-free, phony-baloney political crisis to scare the American public against re-electing President Trump. This one is a doozy, only missing green lizard people in tinfoil hatching from recently returned astronauts.

This faux crisis is the claim that President Trump — his dark eminence from which all evil emanates, also known as Beelzebub — is masterminding the slow strangulation of the United States Postal Service to steal yet another election. No word yet on the role that Putin is playing in the nefarious deed, but the intrepid defender of good, the New York Times, should be getting an anonymously sourced story out on that soon.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calling the House back for a special session this week to investigate the wicked doings. Barack Obama claimed Trump is trying to “actively kneecap” the USPS to suppress the vote. Joe Biden called it “bazarre!” And a couple members of Congress have written the FBI to seek a criminal investigation — as if those tin-foiled lizard people are subject to American laws. Sheesh!

I’m approaching this topic with all of the sobriety and seriousness it warrants. I can’t see how any serious Democrats are not red-faced embarrassed at this.

A major driver of this nutso conspiracy theory are reports that the USPS is decommissioning hundreds of mail-sorting machines. Which it is. For good reason. Overall mail volume has fallen 33% since 2006. “They’ve been taking machines out of service for years now, and I’ve been encouraging them to do it more aggressively,” Hamilton Davison, president of the American Catalog Mailers Association, told the Wall Street Journal. “I think that’s a good thing for America, because we don’t want to pay for stuff that we don’t need.”

It’s not like the Postal Service is a bastion of efficiency and profits. With only two-thirds of the volume it had in 2006, it ought to be decommissioning machines, boxes and maybe trucks and postal carriers.

“This conspiracy theory is the most far-flung thing I think I’ve ever heard,” says Stephen Kearney, who worked at the USPS for 33 years, finishing as senior vice president and treasurer. “(Postmaster General Louis) DeJoy was not appointed by President Trump.” The USPS’s bipartisan board of governors unanimously appointed him.  But he’s being dragged before Congress for yet another three-ring circus.

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“You can find valid operational reasons for the actions taken by the Postal Service so far,” says Mike Plunkett, another longtime USPS executive who now leads the Association for Postal Commerce. “In no way do I detect any criminality behind them, and I’m at a loss as to how one would reach that conclusion.”

Plunkett can only be at a loss by not paying attention to what has happened to the American media, left and Democratic Party in recent years.

Another element of the tin-foil lizard people conspiracy is that the USPS is driving around scooping up blue collection bins from sidewalks. This bit of quackery began in the Twitter insane asylum, where a photo of a truck picking up mail collection bins was made a central part of the conspiracy and got hundreds of thousands of retweets. The problem was that the truck clearly had old bins and new ones. It was replacing them. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, tweeted a photo of a USPS truck on the back of a flatbed being driven away to further the plot — apparently unaware the mail delivery trucks can break down. Turns out though, better yet, it was photoshopped.

None of which stopped Joe Biden from poking his cob-webby head out of the basement to claim: “They’re going around literally with tractor trailers picking up mailboxes. I mean, it’s bizarre!” 

Well, you may say, even if volume is way down and it makes sense to remove little-used collection bins, the timing sure is suspicious, right before an election that will have record mail-in voting.

Nope! This is the Keystone Cops portion.

An explainer post on the USPS website from Sept. 19, 2016 entitled “Where Have All The Collection Boxes Gone?” said: “Nationally, the number of collection boxes declined by more than 12,000 in the past 5 years…Some collection boxes are barely used and are expensive to maintain.”

Quick check of the calendar and…yup, Barack Obama was president for all five of those years when 12,000 boxes were taken off America’s streets.

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The Washington Post recently published a story headlined “Trump’s assault on the U.S. Postal Service gives Democrats a new campaign message.” News story. With all that is now known. Still called it “Trump’s assault.” But there we have it, all in a nice package and tied with a bow. It’s at least somewhat heartening that the Political Operations that have been ongoing between the Democrat Party and the media are now in the wide open. I mean, the Post headline of today would have been an internal Democrat memo of 10 years ago. 

So Pelosi wants to pass a bill that “prohibits the Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service it had in place on January 1.” She also wants to shovel another $25 billion into the USPS, in addition to the $10 billion the USPS got from the Covid-19 funding.

Turns out, though, there may well be a conspiracy here! The letter-carriers union endorsed Joe Biden this past weekend at the same time that Democrats want to ensure in legislation there will be no cuts and $25 billion more cash. 

Rod Thomson is an author, former journalist, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Like Rod on Facebook.


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Fake News Journalism Media Truth

One Last Election Surprise: Pre-Planned Media Hit Piece On Rick Scott

Rod Thomson

With the U.S. Senate in the balance, Florida’s largest newspaper chain published a last-minute hit piece on Gov. Rick Scott, an apparent attempt to undermine his campaign to unseat 46-year Washington politician Sen. Bill Nelson — the man Forbes magazine once famously depicted on their cover with, literally, an empty suit.

The pre-planned package of stories was published by GateHouse Media, which owns 21 newspapers in the state, including dailies in Jacksonville, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Daytona Beach, Panama City, Gainesville, St. Augustine and many more.

The newspapers ran an astonishingly bad piece of journalism out of the Palm Beach newsroom entitled “Florida felon voting rights: Who got theirs back under Scott” with the subhead reading “The governor restored rights to the lowest percentage of blacks, highest percentage of Republicans in 50 years.”

This came just days before Tuesday’s huge election, early enough to influence voting underway and election day, but not enough time to mount much of a pushback by the Scott campaign. It also tied in with Amendment 4, which would amend the Florida Constitution to automatically restore the voting rights of felons once they completed all of the conditions of their convictions.

It’s pretty clear from the “reporting” where the media stands on Gov. Scott and Amendment 4. The days of even pretending to hide partisanship are fading into a distant memory.

The long piece, essentially an agenda-driven package, is truly painful to read through if you are not an ardent Democrat. The reporting team draws conclusions of motivational fact on the part of Scott from nothing more than a correlation or one set of numbers significantly lacking context and the rest of the data.

For instance, one conclusion the piece draws is: “Scott’s system of restoring voting rights has for years discriminated against black felons, boosting his own political prospects and those of other Republicans throughout the state, a Palm Beach Post analysis has found.” [emphasis added]

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Don’t be fooled by the word “analysis,” as though it means some green eye-shade look at the numbers. It’s not an analysis in any honest sense.

Reporters playing with statistics frequently mistake correlation with causation, sometimes out of ignorance, but often because even minor correlation can be enough for them to build their predetermined storyline.

In this case, the logic is as follows: A higher percentage of blacks than whites are arrested, so cops are racist. A higher percentage of blacks than whites are incarcerated, so the courts are racist. A higher percentage of blacks than whites are denied the restoration of voting rights, so specifically Gov. Scott is racist.

But the numbers do not show “discrimination,” which would be causal, they just show resulting numbers. Never truly asked or delved into in any of those numbers-conclusions scenarios is the bottom line question: Are a higher percentage of blacks committing crimes? That is the golden data point to be mined that the media has very little stomach for even looking at. Further in the data underlying this sentence, how many blacks requested restoration of voting rights?

The story is just riddled with truisms from Will Rogers’ observation, “There are three types of lies; lies, damned lies and statistics.” This story is chockaful of just such “statistics.”

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Let’s bullet point some of their bullet points:

Story: “During his nearly eight years as governor, Scott restored the voting rights of twice as many whites as blacks and three times as many white men as black men.”

Leaving aside what the felond did in the years after release — jobs, marriage, family, church, community involvement, that would suggest lifestyle stability — this bullet point sounds terrible until you read way down into the story and comb through one of the charts. Because the context for this is just during his term, and just between blacks and whites. But it turns out Scott had a higher ratio of blacks to whites than the last Democratic governor of Florida, Lawton Chiles, in the 1990s.

But that does not fit the agenda, so there was no real truthfulness of conclusions.

Story: Scott restored rights to a higher percentage of Republicans and a lower percentage of Democrats than any of his predecessors since 1971.”

By a little. And, by the way, he still restored a much higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans. Again, you have to find the data box to discover this. It’s not in the narrative “analysis.”

Story: Blacks accounted for 27 percent of those who had their voting rights restored despite the fact that 43 percent of those released from state prisons over the past two decades were black.”

This tells us nothing of causation. Again, as in the first bullet point above, what is causal is not the percentages but what each felon did in the years after their prison release — jobs, marriage, family, church, community, etc., that would suggest the sort of stability that a clemency board would be looking for in order to return full rights.

There is simply a lot of bad journalism in this story.

Of course, it was probably never intended to be groundbreaking investigative journalism digging into the truth. The consistently slanted “statistics” suggest the real intent was to sway votes in the midterm elections toward Sen. Bill Nelson. Between Gillum’s nomination and this story blasted across the state, it seems like that succeeded.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.

 

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Fake News Journalism Media Truth

EXPOSED: Astonishing Fake News Against Rick Scott in Senate Race

Rod Thomson

I don’t really like the term “fake news” because it has come to mean any story with which the person using the phrase disagrees. That’s not particularly helpful.

But there really is fake news out there, and it is being heavily promulgated by the dinosaur media that is still pretending to be mainstream. It’s not just the big dogs of CNN or the AP or the New York Times. What is going on in Florida media markets is so bad right now as to require equal time if it weren’t newspapers. It’s straightforward Democratic attack ads cast as “news” stories.

The latest came in Sunday newspapers around the state owned by rapidly expanding media conglomerate Gatehouse Media, which publishes 21 newspapers in Florida and has 570 media outlets nationwide. (Gatehouse recently acquired the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper.)

On Sunday, Gatehouse newspapers generally ran the exact same story with the exact same headline as it came out of their capitol bureau in Tallahassee: Rick Scott turns to those he appointed for campaign cash

They used different dropheads below the headline, depending on their layouts and styles: Well-heeled Floridians appointed to state boards are ponying up funding for governor’s bid to unseat Nelson and ‘It smacks of pay-to-play.’

The reason this epitomizes fake news is not that the same story that ran in all these newspapers is a lie. The thrust of it is accurate enough. It’s fake news because it is not newsworthy. There is no news in this breathless, page 1 Sunday story plastered around the state during a highly competitive U.S. Senate campaign between Scott (worth noting, an early supporter of President Trump) and 40-year D.C. incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson — a race that may determine who controls the Senate.

Here’s the gist. The governor of Florida appoints hundreds and hundreds of people to boards, advisory councils and commissions around the state — university boards, water boards, airport authorities, environmental boards, medical boards, building boards and so on. Naturally enough, he appoints people who agree with him on issues, particularly on issues that relate to those boards. In what is perhaps less shocking than the sun rising in the east, many of those people who agree with the governor also support the governor politically. Some even donate to his election campaign. Oh the scandal of it all!

And yet, there it is. That’s the entire story. Some of the hundreds of appointees who all agree with Gov. Scott politically have donated to his Senate political campaign; exactly as has been the case with every single governor ever.

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There’s even less to the story than that. Reporter writes: “Scott has collected close to $1.4 million from 127 appointees, their spouses and children, who have given either to his Senate campaign or the New Republican PAC supporting his bid…”

So the 127 number covers three categories, not just appointees. Spouses can reasonably be included. Children means adult children, which may be making their own decision on supporting Scott. But they’re still lumped in to inflate the number. How many are just appointees? 50? 80? The story doesn’t say, and one can reasonably infer that is because that number is pretty small compared to what may be a thousand appointees. But to get the real percentage using the reported 127 number as the numerator, we need the total number of appointees, spouses and children as the denominator. That means this is probably a very tiny percentage. Well under 10 percent. That makes it hard to hide the fakeness of the fake story.

This is a picture-perfect definition of non-news. This is the equivalent of reporting on a plane that landed smoothly, taxied to the terminal and all the passengers deboarded safely — and  making that sound shifty and suspicious if it could be reflected badly on a Republican. It’s just that bad.

And maybe a little worse. I wear three hats in relation to this particular fake news story. One, I am one of those appointees by Gov. Scott — to the Board of Trustees of State College of Florida. Neither Scott nor his team has ever asked me for money or brought up political support of any kind in the interviews prior to appointing me to the position. Twice. And, I’ve not donated to Scott’s campaign.

The second hat I wear is as a former long-time journalist in the mainstream media, spending many years covering politics. And the third hat, I now work with select political candidates running for office. So I have seen up close and personal both sides of equation between reporter and political machine. Based on these experiences, I am about 99 percent sure that this story — and the many like it — are actually opposition research by the Nelson campaign, which is then fed to friendly, gullible, allied reporters within Gatehouse Media, in this case, in their Tallahassee bureau.

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There is plenty to criticize in the fake story on basic journalistic grounds. But this sentence that the reporter included to show balance reveals just how badly the reporter misunderstands basic reality, to put it in the most kind light.

“Those contributors deny that there’s any link between their appointments and the checks they cut for Scott’s Senate bid. But the campaign data shows a remarkable correlation.”

“Denies” is one of those implied guilty words the media loves to use. And then using the conjunction “but” to start the following sentence implies the denials are suspicious. The real problem is the last word. The correlation actually is long before this reporter “discovered” it (again, being generous) in the campaign finances. The correlation is between the type of principled person Scott appointed and the type of principled person who supports Scott’s campaign for the Senate — which is a blindingly obvious correlation with zero nefarious implications.

This is the latest in an ongoing stream of anti-Scott stories emanating from Gatehouse Media’s Tallahassee bureau. Some others include:

Rick Scott’s donors still mostly a mystery, but what’s revealed belies outsider image (July 6, 2018)

Scott’s use of blind trust challenged as illegal (July 17, 2018) (Even blind trusts aren’t good enough if you’re a Republican.)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s investments draw scrutiny (July 21, 2018)

Gov. Rick Scott profits from Hep C drug tied to state prisons, opioid crisis (July 22, 2018)

Low pay casts shadow over Florida’s improving jobs picture (Aug. 4, 2018, as Florida nears an all-time low in unemployment — still negative about Scott.)

These were found quickly in the first couple of pages with a Google search of “Gov. Scott and Gatehouse Media.” A Google search of “Sen. Nelson and Gatehouse Media” does not locate one negative story in the first two pages. But several pieces of puffery.

The point is, this is a glaring pattern with Gatehouse Media; and of course, it is true in the rest of the Florida media, too.

This is why Republicans need to raise so much more money than Democrats to have a level playing field: Gatehouse Media stories such as these, quite possibly planted by the Nelson team, are the equivalent of millions of dollars in free advertising to Nelson. Why spend money on attack ads when you have the media to do it for you?

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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