NBC Makes Ron DeSantis ‘The Face of Controversy’

In the annals of TV networks’ manufacturing scandals, one of the lamest examples was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis telling high school students at an event of his: “You do not have to wear those masks. I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything, and we’ve got to stop this COVID theater.”

“NBC Nightly News” tried to make this a story for not just one night, but two. It’s lame because it came after everyone took off their masks for the State of the Union address, after the “nonpartisan” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ruled against mask mandates just a few days before President Joe Biden’s big speech.

It’s also lame because days before, NBC’s own “Saturday Night Live” aired a skit satirizing urban liberals who worried that maybe they had been wrong about the spread of COVID-19. One woman claimed she had read an article and her husband tried to stop her talking about it.

“It was in Bloomberg, and I thought it was interesting … it was just saying how mask mandates had, I don’t know, little to no effect on COVID,” she said. They all made faces of horror and laughed.

This article is true. Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist and host of the podcast “Follow the Science.” She wrote: “Masks have been the most visible part of America’s pandemic response, but one of the least consequential.” And: “There’s no avoiding it: The benefits of universal masking have been difficult to quantify.”

Republicans like DeSantis, who opposed mask mandates for children in schools, were portrayed as evil. He’s “DeathSantis;” he’s “the DeSantis variant;” he leads a “death cult.”

But Flam wrote:

The states with mask mandates haven’t fared significantly better than the 35 states that didn’t impose them during the omicron wave. My home state of Rhode Island has had a mask mandate since mid December. However, our January surge was much higher than any other state. There’s little evidence that mask mandates are the primary reason the pandemic waves eventually fall—though much of the outrage over lifting mandates is based on that assumption.

On NBC, Lester Holt was the anchorman. He loved New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2020 for his COVID-19 response, said: “Outrage tonight from that scolding by Florida’s governor to a group of students because they wore masks, calling it political theater.” Holt skipped the point that they were supposed to stand behind him as he spoke, although you could sense that from the video.

Dawn Marshall, a parent with immunocompromised was furious at DeSantis. “I almost jumped out of my skin. I was shocked. He took my authority away. He put my child in danger. He put me at risk because my child comes home to me.”

As if DeSantis isn’t vaccinated? Notice how suddenly parents have rights over their children. Networks like NBC ignore or decry the benighted, dangerous parents who abuse school boards with complaints about COVID-19 masking, critical race theory, LGBT indoctrination.

Parent complaints are good—when they’re against Republicans. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer concluded by tagging DeSantis: “While he won’t wear a mask, tonight he is the face of controversy.”

TV news manufacturers play the “controversy” card in a very tilted way.


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