By AFP Staff
Can anyone really blame Americans for tuning out the mainstream media? After repeated fails and fumbles, the billion-dollar media’s credibility is in the toilet with multiple polls showing Americans feel the same way about Washington as they do about corporate journalism.
The latest blunder involves a one-time anti-Trump “resistance” hero in Florida, who claimed she was standing up to Florida’s Republican-led government and resisting her superiors’ attempts to hide Covid deaths and infections. It’s been a year now since Rebekah Jones made the rounds on CNN and other major media outlets with her tall tale, but the truth has come out, and it doesn’t look good for her or for the media.
In a bombshell report in the latest issue of National Review, Charles Cooke has all the receipts, including a series of emails from Florida officials—some of whom were Democrats—documenting that not only was Jones lying about her claim Florida was covering up Covid deaths she actually was using the exact same data as Florida on her own independent website that she was pitching to other Trump-haters and the media.
Jones’s grift started a year ago on May 20, 2020, when she was fired from her job as an admin with the Florida Department of Health’s (FDOH) Covid website. Documents released to Cooke show that managers with FDOH were at first lenient with Jones, even going so far as to keep her on the job while limiting her access to the agency’s official website. Eventually, however, Jones was let go but not before she reached out to the mainstream media, claiming that Ron DeSantis, the Republican governor of the state, and other Republicans were demanding she fudge numbers on the FDOH website to make it look like the state was doing better than what was really going on in terms of infections and deaths.
Over the past year, Jones has been able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars by insisting that her claim was legitimate despite the fact that multiple people, who actually supplied the data, have been saying she is full of it.
It was a story that, at the time, could have been easily fact-checked to see whether Jones even had the authority and the access to manipulate the data like she claims she was asked to do. In truth, Jones’s job only involved prettying up the data and making it easy for people to read. She never had the level of access that the state’s scientists did—the people at FDOH—who were delivering to her data to post to Florida’s website.
Jones’s story was too good to be true for the big media to bother fact-checking her, though. Multiple media outlets jumped at the opportunity to interview Jones, who repeatedly made outlandish tales that could have easily been debunked if the left-leaning, Trump-hating journalists checked with the Florida agency that she had worked for.
Cooke even cites Jared Moskowitz, the progressive Democrat who has led Florida’s fight against COVID, as a voice of reason who was trying to set the record straight about Jones.
To this day, Jones still has thousands of supporters on the Internet, who follow Jones on social media and unquestioningly accept Jones’s version of the tale. They read her website and accept it as gospel—even though Jones publishes the exact same data as FDOH but with a little more flair.
You can read Cooke’s lengthy report here, but it’s not necessary to pore over all the details to understand that Jones is a con artist, who’s selling snake oil to left-leaning media outlets and their thousands of viewers who aren’t really interested in the real story. They want to be lied to.