Hannah Dreier Falsely Accuses Ron DeSantis of Costing Lives

Joe Raedle, Getty When the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale falsely called the tragic accident at the city’s Pride Parade an act of terror, it...


Gov. DeSantis and Mayor Cava

Joe Raedle, Getty

When the Mayor of Fort Lauderdale falsely called the tragic accident at the city’s Pride Parade an act of terror, it was just a few short steps to dozens if not hundreds of accusations and fingers pointed at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as the reason for it.

Most of those people are not sorry. They don’t regret it, because it still makes sense to them. Essentially IF it had been a terror attack THEN DeSantis having signed the so-called “anti-riot” legislation would be to blame. It is obvious to them, and in fact they still see the phantom terror attack as proof of the badness of the bill.

In that debacle that followed a tragedy, a fair amount of energy was also spent defending journalists who initially spread the Mayor’s false and spontaneous utterance as a statement of fact. It is not their fault he said it, after all, and the fact that their repeating of his claim contributed substantially to totally false information is of no particular consequence to them. They are absolved of that, too.

It is a contradiction. The obvious badness of the law purportedly designed to protect civilians from rioters is demonstrated by the unintended consequence of inspiring terrorist gay-bashers to drive heedlessly into a parade expecting to get away with it. A thing, we note again, that did not actually happen. But the obvious goodness of reporters sharing the mayor’s spontaneous reaction from the scene is in no way undercut by the unintended consequence of inspiring hatred toward Republicans or the creation of widespread disinformation.

Such thinking is pervasive, though. This weekend saw another instance of disinformation spread by the media about DeSantis. That’s the third such instance at the national level in the last couple of months, if one is keeping track.

In this case, DC-based Washington Post national reporter Hannah Dreier stated, in a two-tweet thread, that DeSantis had been a harmful impediment to the rescue of potential survivors in the collapse of the horrific collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo building in Surfside, Florida.

Here are the two tweets, which are currently live and uncorrected.

This is, in a word, incorrect. There have been a variety of tweets offering corrections to her disinformation, almost exclusively from the right side of Twitter. Jay Caruso from the Washington Examiner called her tweet absurd. There have also been blog posts on conservative and MAGA sites criticizing the false report, and Fox News has an article as well. Personally I preferred Erick Erickson‘s commentary in his latest newsletter.

I found no such criticism from the left.

The governor’s press secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted in response to Dreier that what she was incorrect, emphasizing the reporter made no effort to confirm with anyone at the Governor’s office before sending the condemnations.

There were ample other examples of corrections. Again, as far as pundits go, it seemed to come only from the right.

That is despite the fact that people in positions to know likewise disputed spurious claims about lax assistance from the state.

Jared Moskowitz, the former head of the state’s Emergency Management and a Democrat, shared Dreier’s tweet with his correction, saying that “FEMA’s mantra is ‘locally executed, state managed, and federal supported.””

“As the former director in FL who voted for Biden this tweet below is 100% Malarkey,” he added.

On Sunday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told NBC News that the city is “very grateful, and that “the state of Florida has been here in force.”

“We’ve not lacked for any support,” the Mayor said to NBC’s Chuck Todd.

Nevertheless, Dreier’s tweet remained as it was, unaltered, and shared extensively, including many hundreds of times after the corrections from third parties.

As the hours wore on, some of the blue check activists and journalists who repeated the attack deleted those tweets. Others left their vicious attacks intact and uncorrected.

Dreier has tweeted since the Saturday accusation. Two times, both tweets of articles. Dreier has not offered any Twitter commentary otherwise, has not deleted the tweet (at the time of this article) nor has she offered any correction at the time of this posting.

This was not a minor accusation in its own right. The accusation of dragging feet or dropping the ball in the face of a disaster is a strong one that has to be backed up. Dreier’s tweet was meant to paint DeSantis as responsible for delay that would cost lives. That is what the saying “The first 24 hours are the only 24 hours” is about. It is not mysterious or unclear, it’s not nebulous or generalized. The phrase means you have that long to save lives. By taking longer, you cost them. By falsely claiming DeSantis didn’t respond quickly enough, Dreier was saying that he cost lives. That intent was picked up on and repeated many thousands of times, including by verified accounts.

This is a deliberate and damaging falsehood, with foreseeable, not unintended consequences, and taken with other false accusations against DeSantis, it is part of a larger, equally apparent and clear effort.

The one-sidedness among pundits is all the more noticeable when one sees, as was noted in the Green Room newsletter on Monday, broad agreement among local officials and those in positions to know the situation who were working together and across party lines. Several of them directly disputed spurious claims about lax assistance from the state, pointing out that the Miami-Dade search and rescue team is viewed as the “best of the best.

But none of those who jumped at the chance to attack DeSantis regret their impulse, and some have no regrets even about being wrong. They are the good guys, don’t you know.

When Donald Trump was in office, we heard many times that he was “uniquely bad” and that, as such, there was reason for the press to be uniquely activist. But that kind of permission to misbehave never gets revoked.

Just look at the story about the never-happened terror attack on a gay pride parade. Nobody is sorry. Their motives were pure, their intentions were good. The anti-riot bill is still evil, after all, so the story was “fake but accurate,” you might say.

And DeSantis? Well he’s just like Trump. Uniquely bad.

Also Ted Cruz is. Also Dan Crenshaw. Tom Cotton. Josh Hawley. All uniquely bad in the exact same way. Oh, and anyone who contested election results. Or who opposes the “For the People” act. Each of them is a unique threat, exactly like the others, requiring uniquely focused opposition from the press. That’s what’s fair, right? All of them uniquely bad. Any Republican really. It’s okay to be an activist. To advocate. Even to get it wrong.

They are the bad guys, don’t you know? Uniquely.
 


This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Hannah Dreier Falsely Accuses Ron DeSantis of Costing Lives
Hannah Dreier Falsely Accuses Ron DeSantis of Costing Lives
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