Topic: Media Research Center
Almost as if it was the remote office of Ron DeSantis' press operation, the Media Research Center has been aggressively defending the Florida governor and complaining he gets criticized for his largely hands-off approach to the COVID pandemic, which many blame for the surge in cases in the state. Charlotte Hazard groused that DeSantis got called out again for the path the state is going on Aug. 13:
On Thursday’s Late Show, leftist host Stephen Colbert once again took it upon himself to take shots at Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). The so-called comedian gleefully touted President Biden forgetting the Republican's name when a reporter asked Biden to respond to DeSantis saying “I am in the way to block too much interference from the federal government."
This resulted in Colbert making a joke that DeSantis didn’t care if his voters died: “Mr. President, show some respect. He should be addressed by his full title: Governor who...doesn't care if his voters live or die.” The liberal audience then broke into applause.
When Colbert played a clip of DeSantis saying he didn't "want to hear a blip about COVID" from President Biden, Hazard protested it was taken out of context:
Placed in the full context, DeSantis was calling out Biden for being a hypocrite when it comes to COVID, particularly when it came to outbreaks among illegal immigrants entering the U.S.. "Why don’t you do your job?" the Florida Republican said during a press conference on August 4. "Why don't you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you, thank you."
"This is a guy who ran for office saying he’s going to shut down the virus," DeSantis added. "And what has he done? He’s imported more virus from around the world by having a wide open southern border."
Why is DeSantis wasting his time taking shots at Biden over the "souther border" when he has more pressing concerns regarding COVID deaths in his own state? Hazard didn't answer that question.
After that, the defenses got more sporadic -- perhaps indicating even the MRC got tired of defending the guy.
On Auig. 26, Tim Graham huffed that "MSNBC's Joy Reid smeared Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as 'Dr. Death,' who is 'pro-COVID' and 'rolling out the red carpet for this ravenous virus.'" Kathleen Krumhansl grumbled on Aug. 27 that Spanish-language media was trying "to criminalize red-state governors that support parental choice instead of blanket mask mandates in schools, i.e. Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott."
Clay Waters ranted on Aug. 31 that New York Times columnist Charles Blow was "SICK" for criticizing DeSantis:
Besides being hateful, Blow’s column is incredibly thin on facts to support his case for DeSantis the killer. He can’t fault DeSantis on vaccinations, because Florida is at the national average on that score, and better than most states in the South. Instead, his sole attack line is mask mandates in schools, which could not have affected the number of Covid cases yet anyway.
Take out the nasty innuendo about DeSantis sacrificing his citizens for political gain, and Blow’s sole factual complaint remains the fact that DeSantis banned Florida school districts from establishing mask mandates for students.
Children in schools are not major Covid spreaders, and there are severe instructional disadvantages to children being masked up all day.
Scott Whitlock played whataboutism in a Sept. 6 roundup item:
For an entire month, the ghouls in the media repeatedly labeled the GOP a “death cult” led by Republican governors like Ron “DeathSantis” of Florida and “Dr. Evil” Greg Abbot of Texas.
MSNBCers Joy Reid and Joe Scarborough viciously attacked the leaders of those states who tried to balance the physical and fiscal health of their citizens. Reid cursed DeSantis for “rolling out the red carpet” for the virus and claimed GOP governors were “in favor of death.” Scarborough, along with his co-host Mika Brezinski, condemned the religious faithful and Republican voters as a “death cult.”
But when it came to disgraced former New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo, CBS correspondent Ed O’Keefe proclaimed “he did a masterful job of keeping the state safe” during the pandemic.
When CNN highlighted how President Biden called out DeSantis and Abbott for trying to penalize schools for mandating masks against their dictatorial orders, Alex Christy sounded like a bit like an anti-vaxxer as he rushed to the governors' defense in a Sept. 10 post:
When we talk about mask mandates and freedom, it is not at all clear that science mandates kids wear masks nor is it clear that the CDC relied on science when it said otherwise.
Just because the vaccines are safe and effective does not give the government the power to mandate them, but that didn't stop [hostd John] King from offering up a poor analogy to suggest that it does.
Curtis Houck freaked out on Sept. 15 that Reid criticized DeSantis and other Republicans again, effectively demanding she be censored for doing so: "With a rant like that, NewsBusters readers, take particular note of how Comcast has given its approval to this dangerous and inciting rhetoric as well as the advertisers listed at the bottom of this blog."
Weird how the MRC loves to cry "censorship" whenever a right-winger gets inconvenienced on social media for spreading lies and misinformation, yet it demands a critic who doesn't toe the right-wing ideological line be muzzled -- which is the only reason Houck wants readers to contact advertisers.