Leftist script-reader Ana Kasparian of "The Young Turks" apologized Wednesday for parroting multiple false claims made by a disgraced critic of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
For having been fooled and in turn fooling her audience for years, Kasparian said, "I should've done my due diligence. I failed to do so. By failing to do so, I feel like I misled the audience into thinking that Rebekah Jones is some sort of hero."
What did she get wrong?
Rebekah Jones, the woman who lost a congressional race in a landslide to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) last year and who has up until recently enjoyed Kasparian's support, is a former Florida Department of Health data analyst who was fired for insubordination, having intentionally crashed the state's COVID dashboard.
Around the time of her dismissal, Jones accused the DeSantis administration of fudging its coronavirus data — a claim later determined to have been false by Florida Inspector General Michael J. Bennett.
"Based upon an analysis of the available evidence, the alleged conduct, as described by the complainant, did not occur," concluded the inspector's report.
Police later executed a search warrant on Jones' Tallahassee house after a data breach involving the theft of 19,000 employees' personal information was linked to the disgraced former data analyst's home IP address.
The National Review noted that while DeSantis had nothing to do with the warrant or its execution, Jones accused the governor of targeting her with his "gestapo." Furthermore, she suggested that police pointed weapons at her children, which bodycam footage later proved to have also been false.
Despite indications that Jones had a loose relationship with the truth, liberal media outlets, including Kasparian's, continued to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Last week, Jones' 13-year-old son was arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot up his school.
Officials in Santa Rosa county indicated that Jones' son had made threats online in February that he would shoot up Holley Navarre Middle School and stab students who angered him, reported the Pensacola News Journal.
According to investigators, the teen wrote:
- "I want to shoot up the school";
- "Okay so it’s been like 3-4 weeks since I got on my new antidepressants and they aren’t working but they’re suppose to by now so I have no hope in getting better so why not kill the losers at school";
- "I’m getting a wrath and natural selection shirt so maybe but I don’t think many ppl know what the columbine shooters look like"; and
- "If I get a gun I’m gonna shoot up hnms lol.:
However, Jones later took to Twitter, claiming her son had been "taken on the gov's orders."
"There is no freedom here," wrote Jones. "Only retaliatory rule by a fascist who wishes to be king."
Jones insinuated that her son's arrest was politically motivated and that he was targeted because his mother was "a legally-protected whistleblower."
The Democratic activist and failed congressional candidate also accused police of kidnapping her son.
Here is footage allegedly showing Jones waiting with her son at the sheriff's office:
Kasparian admitted Wednesday that Jones' latest string of lies gave her pause, prompting her to re-evaluate the other claims she repeated on her show.
Not only did "The Young Turks" host call into doubt Jones' self-description as a whistleblower but the accusations she leveled in 2020 against DeSantis regarding COVID death numbers, the details pertaining to the alleged raid, and the arrest of her son as well.
"Part of the reason why I screwed up is because I had all these biases, of course, against Ron DeSantis," she added. "And I don’t really feel bad about that because I think Ron DeSantis has done some pretty terrible things in the state of Florida, but it becomes a problem when that bias blinds you to what the facts of various stories happen to be."
"We bought this. I bought this. We reported exactly what she said," said Kasparian. "And now I have some degree of regret for doing that."
While admitting some accountability, she suggested the "mainstream media" was especially deserving of blame.
"If they're not doing their due diligence, if they're allowing their personal biases to stand in the way of actual, factual reporting, well, that's unfortunately going to trickle into the way independent news sources cover these stories as well," said Kasparian.
In her apology, Kasparian said, "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. I’m the executive producer of the show and I screwed up royally."
Mediaite reported that Kasparian and "The Young Turks" weren't alone in celebrating Jones and amplifying her lies. MSNBC, CNN, the Washington Post, and the Miami Herald also peddled her narrative.
TYT Correction: Update on Rebekah Jones Storyyoutu.be
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