Last week brought some particularly bad and unfair press for DeSantis. On Tuesday, the Associated Press published an article that painted the picture of an atmosphere of abject racism in the Sunshine State under DeSantis.
National Review’s Becket Adams pointed out that the AP “suggested Florida’s Republican governor bears responsibility for a racially motivated shooting in Jacksonville, in which a white shooter killed three black people.”
“Ron DeSantis scoffed when the NAACP issued a travel advisory this spring warning Black people to use ‘extreme care’ if traveling to Florida,” AP reporter Steven Peoples announced on social media as he promoted a report he co-authored with AP colleague Brendan Farrington.
Peoples added, “Just three months later, DeSantis is leading his state through the aftermath of a racist attack that left three African Americans dead. Black leaders in Florida — and across the nation — say they’re outraged by his actions and rhetoric ahead of the shooting.”
Who could blame DeSantis for scoffing? The NAACP is doing what leftist groups do: engage in political theater to make conservatives look bad. The travel advisory is a typically melodramatic — and stupid — leftist move that most everybody can see straight through.
But the AP made it worse in a subtle, sneaky way. Not to get too in the weeds here, but the AP manipulated the URL of the article — its unique address. The words in a URL are meant to bring the article up higher in a search when someone searches for those particular words.*
Last week, the URL of this article included the words “Jacksonville DeSantis Racist Republican Shooting Haley Scott.”
I tested it, and sure enough when I googled “Republican Racist,” that article was the fourth one that popped up, but when I googled “DeSantis Racist,” it was the first site that came up.
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Somewhere down the line, the AP simplified the URL, but it still contained the words “Jacksonville Racist Shooting DeSantis.”
It was bad enough for the AP to insinuate that DeSantis is racist for denying “systemic racism,” but the outlet featured a quote from NAACP president Derrick Johnson, who told the outlet, “What Gov. DeSantis has done is created an atmosphere for such tragedies to take place. This is exactly why we issued the travel advisory.”
The black history section of Florida’s new social studies curriculum received the brand of “racist” for suggesting that slaves learned skills that benefitted them after achieving freedom, even though its language is remarkably similar to the College Board’s own advanced placement course description. But it’s DeSantis who’s the racist — just like he took the heat for what the left falsely called Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. The mainstream media has also suggested that DeSantis put disgraced state attorney Monique Worrell on suspension simply because she’s black.
Is Ron DeSantis a racist? Of course not. Is the state of Florida racist? Absolutely not. Are outlets like the Associated Press doing everything they can to try to falsely paint DeSantis and his state as racist to the core? You’d better believe it. And they should be ashamed of themselves for it.