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Leftist show host apologizes for spreading misinformation about DeSantis

By Sarah May
|
April 13, 2023

Since the days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been a favorite target of mainstream media outlets and liberal lawmakers alike, but this week, a co-host on far-left news commentary program The Young Turks, did a surprising mea culpa regarding the Republican chief executive, as the Daily Wire reports.

Ana Kasparian took to the airwaves to admit that her prior coverage of the governor, particularly with regard to his state's pandemic response was often plagued by inaccuracies and personal bias.

“I screwed up”

Addressing her show's audience regarding DeSantis, Kasparian declared, “I want to correct all of those errors that we had previously reported.”

“And I want to be clear that out of everyone who works on the main show, the only person who should be held responsible for that is me,” Kasparian added.

She continued, “I'm the executive producer of the show, and I screwed up royally. And part of the reason why I screwed up is because I had all these biases, of course, against Ron DeSantis.”

While denying that she had any remorse about her preconceived notions about the governor, Kasparian acknowledged that “it becomes a problem when that bias blinds you to what the facts of various stories happen to be. And I should have done my due diligence. I failed to do so.”

“Misled” viewers

The catalyst for Kasparian's admission appeared to be the case of Rebekah Jones, a former State of Florida employee who gained notoriety by claiming that DeSantis fraudulently manipulated COVID-19 data during the height of the pandemic.

Jones recently filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the DeSantis administration in attempt to return to the position from which she was fired, despite the fact that an official probe of her prior allegations against the governor deemed her claims about data manipulation to be “unsubstantiated” or “unfounded.”

In her remarks to the Young Turks viewership, Kasparian stated, “I feel like I've misled the audience into thinking that Rebekah Jones is some sort of hero.”

Kasparian also said that by making sure she obtains accurate information in the future, “I avoid helping someone who might be a grifter, from fundraising off of our own audience members,” a reference to a GoFundMe page set up by Jones to which some of the show's fans apparently contributed.

Jones' crusade

Kasparian's about-face on Jones comes as the disgraced ex-Florida employee faces a host of new challenges that she continues to blame on DeSantis.

Last week, Jones admitted guilt and signed a plea deal for deferred prosecution on a felony charge that stemmed from her accessing a state computer system without authorization in relation to her activities in opposition to the governor's administration, and the agreement will require her to pay a substantial fine.

Jones has also faced renewed scrutiny in recent days after her son was arrested over claims that he threatened to commit a mass shooting at the middle school he attends, as the Pensacola News Journal noted.

In reaction, Jones declared her son's arrest to be an act of politically motivated retaliation from the governor for her whistleblower complaint, taking to Twitter to label DeSantis “a fascist who wishes to be king.”

“Accidental” misrepresentation

Attacks such as those leveled by Jones and biased reporting in the vein of Kasparian's are nothing new for DeSantis, who was the recipient of another begrudged apology earlier this year from a co-host on ABC's The View.

As Fox News noted at the time, Alyssa Farah Griffin was forced to admit error for having accused DeSantis of “erasing” Black history by taking a stance against certain aspects of the AP African American History curriculum released by the College Board.

Griffin took to social media and said, “Sooo I got tripped up on a point re: DeSantis/AP black history on air & accidentally misrepresented what the Governor is challenging. It's more narrow than how I framed it & while I still personally disagree, I own that I explained it wrong.”

“My mom always taught me that when you're wrong admit it, say sorry, and get it right next time,” Griffin added, offering a dose of candor not always readily forthcoming from members of the mainstream media establishment.