Topic: Media Research Center
There's nothing Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis does that the Media Research Center won't defend. When DeSantis formed a special police unit to enforce "election integrity," the MRC unsuprisingly rushed to defend him. Kyle Drennen complained in a Feb. 7 post:
On Monday, CBS Mornings adopted the left-wing premise that a new election fraud investigative unit in the State of Florida was a threat to democracy and proceeded to line up Democrats to denounce the specialized law enforcement team as a racist “goon squad.” The segment ultimately concluded that Republican Governor Ron DeSantis – unlike his Democratic opponents – was entirely motivated by “politics.”
Wrapping up the segment, Dokoupil asked this loaded question: “So, Ed, as you point out, there are vanishingly few cases of actual election fraud and zero evidence of any kind of systematic fraud....So what’s behind this new effort in Florida, and by all these Republicans in different states?” O’Keefe promptly dismissed the measures: “Politics. It’s about appealing to the Trump base.”
Funny how the Democrats O’Keefe featured – including those not properly identified as such – were not depicted as having any ulterior political motivation at all.
Drennen offered no evidence that there was no partisan motivation behind DeSantis' election squad.
Kevin Tober served up more complaints about criticism in an April 25 post:
On Monday night’s episode of The ReidOut, the vile and race-obsessed MSNBC host Joy Reid opened her show by throwing a tantrum over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing into law the creation of a new state election integrity unit that will be tasked with helping the state enforce election laws and crackdown on voter fraud or other election irregularities.
Reid started off by referring to DeSantis as “Baby MAGA” and wailed that he “signed a bill that allows him to create his own private police force that is tasked with pursuing alleged election law violations.”
Doubling down on the myth that conservatives who want to uphold the integrity of our elections are promoting “the big lie”, Reid quipped “just lovely, the big lie will now have its own battalion of goons. I wonder who they’ll go after first. I think you can guess.”
It’s telling that Joy Reid hears the news of DeSantis wanting to crack down on voter fraud and immediately thinks of black people. Is she telling us that only black people commit voter fraud? Who’s the real racist? It seems like Reid is the only racist in this equation, not DeSantis.
An April 26 post by Alex Christy complaining about a CNN report on the DeSantis' election cops tried to turn the tables by insisting that the eletion cops won't intimidate voters but, instead, it's speculation about them that will actually suppress voter turnout: "CNN has set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. It doesn’t matter that Florida isn’t intimidating voters, but if it falsely reports that it is, people will believe it, which will lead to a lower turnout, which they will then claim validates their false reporting."
When DeSantis announced that his election cops had arrested 20 people for allegedly voting when not eligible, it was Curtis Houck's turn to deflect from criticism in an Aug. 23 post:
In an editorial for Tuesday’s print edition, The Washington Post screeched over an announcement last week from Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) that, as per a release from his office, 20 people were arrested for having despite having been banned from voting for having been convicted of either murder or sex crimes.
The Post’s argument? Such a measure to protect our elections systems “will have a chilling effect” on our democracy. To put this another way, The Post is so deranged and hates conservatives so much that, in order to oppose them, they’ll go to the mat for murderers and sex offenders.
The piece began by lamenting the event announcing the charges “felt like a rally for an unannounced 2024 presidential campaign” and that the charges themselves were “a clear effort to deter legitimate voting.”
But again, it was against the law for these convicted felons to vote.
Another grievance? The fact that “most were from the heavily Democratic counties of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade” so as to make it seem like it’s only a problem for one side of the aisle.
Actually, that focus on people of color in Democratic counties would seem to more than justify the fears the MRC had previously dismissed. As the Post noted, four people from Florida's right-wing senior enclave The Villages have also been arrested for alleged voting fraud, but DeSantis "did not hold a press conference to celebrate that triumph of law enforcement."
Houck also complained that "The Post explained that their gripe derived in part from the fact that 'the tiny number of cases brought so far underscores the paucity of voter fraud' and excused away the actions of the defendants due to what they speculated was some confusion." Given that, as the Post also reported, those 20 alleged violations occured in an election in which more than 11 million people voted.
There's also a legitimate concern regarding the confusion angle. Advocates for those arrested have said those accused had no deliberate intent -- which is required under state law -- and some said government officials had actually sent them voter registration materials, leading them to believe they were eligible to vote.
But the MRC's readers don't about these developments because it has not addressed the story again. DeSantis can't be questioned, after all.