Another day, more hit pieces on Gov. Ron DeSantis from the mainstream media. It just never ends, and will only get worse between now and the 2022 and 2024 election cycles.
The latest round comes courtesy of (surprise) the Washington Post and The Hill, both of which published articles that not only had headlines that were flat out false but also contained information within them that was misleading at best and a lie at worst.
Let’s take a look at them.
First up, here was the Washington Post’s headline, declaring that the popular Florida Governor had “mandate[d] surveys of Florida students’ beliefs”:
In push against “indoctrination,” DeSantis mandates surveys of Florida students’ beliefs https://t.co/KzFaoeVP9r
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 24, 2021
The Hill’s was even worse. They proclaimed that he signed a law that “require[ed] students, faculty be asked to declare their political beliefs”:
— The Hill (@thehill) June 24, 2021
The body of the Washington Post’s story didn’t back up what their headline suggested – which means people who only read headlines are going to be misinformed (which was probably the point), but the piece worked off of the premise that the new law was “dangerous” and set a bad precedent, and that’s how they framed their entire write-up, of course.
In The Hill’s “report“, they claimed that “the legislation will require public universities to survey students and staff annually about their beliefs to assess ‘viewpoint diversity’ on campuses.”
Not surprisingly, DeSantis’ critics jumped on the fake news and ran with it. MSNBC fruit loop Joy Reid was just one of many:
.@GovRonDeSantis unleashes the MAGA Thought Police on Florida. He has signed a Republican bill requiring public universities, colleges to survey students’ and faculty beliefs and fine schools that are insufficiently right wing. https://t.co/zBRzYyzuSd via @msnbc
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) June 24, 2021
The problem with all the bad media reports and predictable hot takes from the Usual Suspects is that DeSantis didn’t even come close to “requiring” anyone declare their political beliefs in a survey. The text from the 12-page bill makes that clear (bolded emphasis added):
(b) The State Board of Education shall require each Florida College System institution to conduct an annual assessment of the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at that institution. The State Board of Education shall select or create an objective, nonpartisan, and statistically valid survey to be used by each institution which considers the extent to which competing ideas and perspectives are presented and members of the college community, including students, faculty, and staff, feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom. The State Board of Education shall annually compile and publish the assessments by September 1 of each year, beginning on September 1, 2022. The State Board of Education may adopt rules to implement this paragraph.
(c) The State Board of Education may not shield students, faculty, or staff at Florida College System institutions from free speech protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Art. I of the State Constitution, or s. 1004.097.
That’s not “mandating” that students and teachers “declare” their beliefs in a survey. That’s mandating that they be surveyed as to whether or not they feel comfortable stating their political beliefs on campus, and if they believe a diversity of viewpoints are being represented. Big difference.
I feel like saying “read the bill” here, but considering the bad track record of the MSM when it comes to DeSantis, even reading the bill wouldn’t help them. It’s all about (false) narratives, and to hell with the facts.
Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?