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Monday, July 31, 2023
MRC's DeSantis Defense Brigade Watch, NAACP Travel Advisory Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

When it wasn't aggressively pretending that his presidential campaign launch on Twitter wasn't utterly botched, the Media Research Center kept its DeSantis Defense Brigade deployed for its usual functions during the month of May. When the NAACP issued a travel advisory for Florida in part because of DeSantis "aggressive attempts to erase Black history and to restrict diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Florida schools," the Defense Brigade assembled yet again. Nicholas Fondacaro ranted in a May 22 post:

Ahead of the Memorial Day weekend on Saturday, the far-left race-baiting fear-mongers at the NAACP issued a so-called “travel advisory” for the State of Florida and falsely claimed the state was “openly hostile toward African Americans.” Seemingly afraid of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s capabilities in the GOP presidential primaries, the flagship newscasts of ABC and NBC took the fake and politically driven “travel advisory” and broadcasted it into American homes Sunday night and Monday morning.

During Sunday’s World News Tonight, ABC fill-in anchor Lindsey Davis direly announced: “The NAACP is issuing a formal travel advisory for Florida, saying the state has become hostile to black Americans under Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.”

“Other civil rights groups have issued similar warnings in recent weeks,” she added, to add credence to the factitious advisory. She said this with the on-screen headline reading "NAACP Issue Flroida Travel WARNING" (pictured above)

Without any mention of the NAACP’s political affiliations and historic use of fear tactics to drum up support, correspondent Jay O’Brien boosted their accusations that Florida was not a safe place to visit or live if you’re a minority:

The same day, Kevin Tober declared without evidence that the travel warning was "fake" and "politically motivated," whining that a CBS correspondent "labeled DeSantis’s policies to protect children from being taught inappropriate topics in school a 'conservative crackdown,' and proclaimed that 'DeSantis has stirred both content and contempt, blocking a high school AP course in African American studies, also in schools, bans on teaching gender identity, sexual identity, and Critical Race Theory, and a ban on abortion after six weeks.'" He concluded by huffing that CBS was trying to "keep the left’s racism narrative alive" by reporting on "a racial smear campaign against the state of Florida."

Fondacaro returned to whine about the advisory again in a May 23 post:

Following the overwrought coverage from CBS Evening News the previous night, CBS Mornings co-anchor Gayle King clutched her pearls on Tuesday over the NAACP’s ridiculous and false travel advisory for black Americans, which told them to steer clear of Florida because the state was “openly hostile” to minorities. King feared for her two sisters who lived in the state and was beside herself with concern for the black folks who called the state home.

“The NAACP has issued a travel advisory for Florida,” King announced as if the far-left race baiters didn’t have a political motive. “It says the state is, quote, ‘openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals’ due to a series of measures recently signed by [Republican] Governor Ron DeSantis” (The same DeSantis who was reportedly getting ready to launch a presidential bid later this week).

Trying to lend credence to the warning, she added that the NAACP was “not the first civil rights group that issues this kind of warning, which comes as DeSantis prepares for a presidential run. Equality Florida and the League of United Latin American Citizens have also issued warnings.”

Actually, wouldn't the fact that other groups have issued similar warnings mean that the NAACP is likely not acting  with a political motive? Meanwhile, of course, Fondacaro is very much acting with a political motive in his defense of DeSantis.

When White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about it at a press briefing, Curtis Houck whined that reporter April Ryan, who asked about the "faux" travel advisory, "is always carrying water for the far-left Black organizations." He concluded by whining further that Jean-Pierre "finally wrapped with a helpful reminder for DeSantis and Florida Republicans, promising the White House would remain 'outspoken' against DeSantis and Florida Republicans because '[t]hat's what we believe it is our duty to do here.'" As if the White House has never criticized anyone from the opposite party before.

Meanwhile, any perceived criticism was attacked as usual:

The MRC is also trying to build a narrative that because ABC is owned by Disney, any negative coverage it does regarding DeSantis had to have been ordered by Disney management -- never mind that it has never provided any evidence that this is true. Thus, we have Curtis Houck huffing in a May 16 post:

Disney returned Tuesday to use its broadcast network ABC and Good Morning America to throw another childish tantrum over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R) conservative agenda driving a stake through the heart of wokeism. This time, the Disney-owned outfit bemoaned DeSantis signing into law a bill to defund Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs from public colleges and universities.

Houck also declared that "When Disney needs ABC to do them a solid, they do it" -- again, without providing actual proof of this other than its previous complaints that ABC's coverage of DeSantis is too negative.

Alex Christy defended DeSantis from another Disney-related controversy in a May 19 post:

Friday’s editions of CBS Mornings and NBC’s Today hyped Disney’s Thursday announcement that they are cancelling a billion-dollar office complex project in Florida as the sort of thing that naturally happens when Gov. Ron DeSantis decides to pick a fight with them. Neither network gave much thought to the possibility that DeSantis had little or nothing to do with the decision.


As for Disney-affiliated ABC and Good Morning America, they lumped the news into a larger preview of DeSantis as he prepares to launch his presidential campaign with brief summations of D’Amaro and DeSantis’s press team's responses.

Christy really had to struggle to force a Disney reference in here since he couldn't find a way to portray ABC's reporting as negative.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EDT

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