Column: Unprofessional Media Tie DeSantis to a Mass Shooting

August 30th, 2023 5:54 AM

One of the most infuriating and tiresome tactics our hyperpartisan media employ is trying to tie a mass shooting to conservative policy or rhetoric. Speaking out against critical race theory in our schools shouldn’t be thrown on a greasy slope with inspiring violent death.

The same Democrat media outlets that keep proclaiming they know of “no evidence” that Hunter Biden and Joe Biden enriched themselves in a frenzy of influence-peddling are implying there’s an obvious and appalling connection between the rhetoric of Gov. Ron DeSantis and a white crackpot in Jacksonville killing three black people.

In 2020, NPR’s top news executive said the Hunter Biden laptop was a “pure distraction,” but now there’s NPR White House correspondent Franco Ordonez attempting to link DeSantis to a mass shooting. He asked Biden adviser Stephen Benjamin if there was “any connection” between “the changes that the Florida governor has made in teaching about African American history to the kind of violence that we saw in Jacksonville?”

NPR sounds like MSNBC, where Joy Reid also blamed DeSantis. Ordonez sounds like Joy Reid with a press pass. He’s not holding Team Biden accountable. He looks like he’s trying to help crush DeSantis, so Biden can win again.

Benjamin wanted to reward this attack, but he would not go whole-hog on the conspiracy kookery. “I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that — that trying to rewrite American history is not only wrong,” he replied, “but it also encourages our children and those among us not to lean in to the — to the beautiful and also painful past of what our history looks like and encouraging people to move forward together.”

Moving forward together? Is that what we’re doing with this line of questioning?

Later on NPR, host Juana Summers brought on Tallahassee NAACP leader Muqatee Akbar, who promptly tied DeSantis to the killings: “When it comes to teaching Black history, when it comes to the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, all of those things -- to fight against them kind of lessens our worth and also causes people to have the type of hate that can go into a Dollar General and shoot people just because of the color of their skin.” Akbar also went on to associate DeSantis with Nazis.

NPR -- where civility goes to die.

Associated Press snidely began a story by noting DeSantis dismissed the NAACP concocting a “travel advisory” that changing history lessons somehow endangered black lives. “Just three months later, DeSantis is leading his state through the aftermath of a racist attack that left three African Americans dead.”

This also happened on CNN, under the loaded graphic “HATE IN AMERICA.” Fill-in host Rahel Solomon asked local NAACP leader Isaiah Rumlin about neo-Nazis apparently thriving in Jacksonville, and Rumlin linked “hate groups” to “Confederate signs” and “Trump signs.” So Trump can also be smeared.

Now imagine a newly arrived illegal immigrant shooting three black people in Florida, and consider whether any jerks from taxpayer-funded radio would ask if there was “any connection” to Biden’s complete failure to stem the tide of illegal immigration. It’s inconceivable.

The Society of Professional Journalists have a Code of Ethics that is routinely ignored, as in this case. For example, “support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.” Views that journalists find repugnant are punished by being associated with “hate crimes” and “hate groups.”

The tactic here is about winning through intimidation. As Akbar suggested, to “fight against” the NAACP’s race-hustling “lessens their worth” and inspires murderers. Our way, or the Murder-Smear Highway. Go woke, or get smoked.