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Team DeSantis Takes On Liberal Media In Wake Of Trump

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Christina Pushaw is not afraid to get down in the dirt with reporters who go after her boss. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary has repeatedly called out the press for “bad-faith coverage” and “skewed” or biased reporting, such as when the Associated Press implied in August that DeSantis was promoting monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 cases out of his own financial interests.

“They’re afraid of the governor,” Pushaw said in an interview with The Daily Signal, pointing to national media focusing their attention on Florida news. “The left-wing elites, the establishment, and the corporate media are very much afraid of him. And it shows that he’s a good leader, and that he’s doing a good job.”

Pushaw’s vigor in defending the governor from the Associated Press ignited a social media firestorm, drawing national attention. Twitter temporarily suspended the press secretary after she told her followers to call out the author of the Associated Press article. (She later deleted her tweet, saying that she did not want it to be misinterpreted.)

Journalists criticized her actions, and the AP itself accused her of bullying

Both the White House and federal health officials have since expressed strong support for monoclonal antibody treatment, prompting many on the right to accuse the Associated Press of orchestrating a hit job on the Florida governor.  

That wasn’t the first time DeSantis has been on the receiving end of such treatment, and according to Pushaw, it won’t be the last. 

Last spring, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” suggested that DeSantis chose the grocery store chain Publix to distribute vaccines in Palm Beach County, Florida, because Publix donated $100,000 to his political action committee. 

The “60 Minutes” segment quickly unraveled as critics pointed out that, among other errors, CBS had aired edited clips of DeSantis explaining why Publix was distributing the vaccines. 

“I often say I wish I didn’t have to call people out on Twitter or be confrontational,” Pushaw told The Daily Signal. “I always try to speak directly with the reporter first and see if I can get all their questions answered and get the information to them that they’re looking for.” 

“But the thing is,” she added, “if I do that, and they publish something that’s not true, then I have no choice but to say something direct and publicly about it and to condemn this.”

Of all the “reprehensible” liberal media attacks on DeSantis, she finds the narrative that he is concealing COVID cases and deaths in Florida the most frustrating. 

“It is so ridiculous,” Pushaw said, “but the media promoted this conspiracy theory so relentlessly that countless Americans still believe it.” 

The mask and vaccine mandate, pro-lockdown establishment elevated that narrative “because they cannot accept Florida’s success,” she said. 

“Florida under Gov. DeSantis has proven that restrictions are unnecessary and do more harm than good,” she added. “That’s why so many people are moving here from all over the USA, particularly from Democrat-run areas.”

Fighting Back

Whether on the White House lawn, in the press briefing room, or on Twitter, former President Donald Trump aggressively engaged with hostile media at all hours of the day and night. He often singled out reporters like CNN’s Jim Acosta or The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman over Twitter until the platform permanently suspended him on Jan. 8.

The president coined the term “fake news media” and urged his supporters not to trust media representations (or misrepresentations) of his presidency, including the false claims that he ordered protesters to be tear-gassed for a photo-op, that he called white supremacists “fine people” and illegal immigrants “animals,” and more. 

Like Trump, Pushaw said, DeSantis is not bashful about defending himself. 

“Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure?” DeSantis fired back at President Joe Biden in August when the president criticized Florida’s pandemic response. “Until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.”

“He will fight back if he feels that he’s been treated unfairly, and it happens a lot that the media does treat him unfairly over different issues,” Pushaw said, referring to the Associated Press’ suggestion that DeSantis was promoting monoclonal antibodies for nefarious purposes. 

“The media doesn’t imply that anyone else is just doing this for money,” she said. “But why did they attack Gov. DeSantis for that?”

Unlike Trump, however, DeSantis does not personally attempt the direct social media attack strategies. 

“If you look at his Twitter account, for example, or any of his social accounts, he doesn’t really engage with others. He uses them to put out information, announcements, things like that,” Pushaw explained. “It’s very professional, what you’d expect of a politician.”

“Now, obviously, my account is more conversational,” she said. “Being faced with this kind of bad-faith coverage and willfully biased and skewed coverage from a lot of the mainstream media outlets, I think that really feeds into my style.” 

DeSantis doesn’t have the time to be on social media, the press secretary told The Daily Signal, and by being “a lot more active” and “less formal” than the governor, Pushaw can fight back when the governor is misrepresented. 

Pushaw is well aware of a key component of the Trump presidency; specifically, the quick stardom of liberal reporters who antagonized the president. 

“My impression is that sometimes if a governor gets on the level of tweeting at a reporter … then that kind of elevates the reporter,” she said. “They might enjoy engaging in those kinds of fights with the governor, because obviously he’s an important person. And so they can make another news cycle out of their fight with the governor.” 

Pushaw suggested that her interactions with liberal media are much less of a story than DeSantis’ interactions would be, since she is a staffer and frequently engages with the reporters. 

“It’s just a different level,” she said. 

But the press secretary said she has learned to choose her battles wisely, to focus on fighting the narratives that are a high priority with the governor, and to argue with facts.  

“Before I will ever get into a fight, or try to push back and set the record straight publicly, I will always make sure that I have all the facts,” she said. “If I’m claiming that somebody wrote fake news, I’m going to find out exactly why it’s fake and exactly what’s factually incorrect about it.”

“I’m not an epidemiologist or a scientist,” Pushaw said. “So, in some cases, when it’s about COVID, I will have to go to the health department, for example, and get information from them. But I just want to make sure everything that I’m putting out there is absolutely true, because even if I make one small mistake, it’s going to reflect badly on the governor, and it’ll be used to discredit everything I say.”

‘They Miss Him’

Reporters like Acosta who made a household name for themselves during the Trump administration loved the attention they received from Trump’s criticisms, Pushaw said. 

“They miss him,” she said. 

But she shied away from comparing Trump and DeSantis too much, calling them “two different people with two different approaches.” 

“They do align on a lot of policy issues,” she said. “They have a good relationship.” 

“I’m a huge supporter of the media when the media plays its important role of getting back to people, getting facts to the public and holding all elected officials accountable, Republican or Democrat,” she added. “But when they’re not doing that, and they’re just trying to promote themselves or be activists, then I don’t think we have to elevate them.”

At the end of the day, Pushaw said, she is lucky to work for someone like DeSantis who knows exactly what he stands for. 

“He’s clear, he’s consistent, and he doesn’t just say stuff,” she said. “He thinks before he speaks, and he doesn’t put stuff out there that’s not true or that can’t be backed up with facts.”

That makes her job much easier than that of White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Pushaw said, who daily has to justify Biden’s comments.

The Florida press secretary described herself as a “huge fan” of Trump’s White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany.

“I think her approach is really great, and I want to learn from her,” Pushaw said. 

She also pointed to “strong conservative” female leaders in the Florida state government as some of her role models, including Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, state Attorney General Ashley Moody, and Florida’s first lady, Casey DeSantis. 

“She’s an amazing mom,” Pushaw said of Casey DeSantis. “Does so much for our state, and has courageously shared her story of being diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 41 to motivate other people to get screened for cancer.”

“Early detection saves lives,” Pushaw added, “and I have no doubt that she has saved lives by being so open about her journey.” 

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email [email protected] and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.

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Hailey Bieber Details Terrifying ‘Life-Altering’ Mini-Stroke She Suffered And Procedure To Close Hole In Her Heart

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Hailey Bieber has spoken out in her “own words” about the “life-altering,” “scariest moment” of her life she had after suffering what she called a mini-stroke, and later underwent a procedure to close a hole in her heart.

The 25-year-old supermodel and wife of superstar singer Justin Bieber took to her YouTube channel Wednesday and opened up about the terrifying experience of being hospitalized last month after she suffered a blood clot to her brain that traveled through a hole in her heart between 12 and 13 millimeters, reported People magazine.

“I had, like, a very scary incident on March 10, basically,” Bieber shared. “I was sitting at breakfast with my husband, having a normal day … and all of the sudden, I felt this really weird sensation that kind of like traveled down my arm from my shoulder all the way down to my fingertips. And it made my fingertips feel really numb and weird.”

“Justin [her husband] was like, ‘Are you okay?’” she added, as she explained that she tried to respond to him, but she “couldn’t speak.” “The right side of my face started drooping; I couldn’t get a sentence out.”

“Obviously, immediately, I thought I was having a stroke,” the supermodel continued. “He thought I was having a stroke. Right away, he asked for somebody to please call 911 and get a doctor.”

Hailey said that where they were, there happened to be a medic who started asking her lots of questions and testing her arms, calling it definitely the “scariest moment” of her life. The model talked about how the “facial drooping lasted for probably like thirty seconds.” Her speech did came back, but her “anxiety” about what was happening just made “everything worse.”

“By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal – [I] could talk, [I] wasn’t having any issues with my face or my arm,” Bieber explained.

She said scans revealed she had, in fact, suffered a “small blood clot” to her brain which was labeled a “TIA” [Transient Ischemic Attack]. Hailey told her followers it was basically like having a “mini-stroke.”

Doctors still weren’t sure what caused it, but she said it was widely believed it was a combination of birth-control issues, recently having COVID-19, and having just traveled “to Paris and back in a very short amount of time,” calling it a “perfect storm.”

Further testing at the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed Bieber had a Grade 5 PFO [a small opening in the heart that usually closes after birth]. The outlet said the hold measured between 12 and 13 millimeters. She later underwent a procedure to close the hole, and said it went “very smoothly” and she’s recovering.

“The biggest thing I feel is I just feel really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” Hailey shared.

“If there’s anybody that watches this that has gone through the same thing or something similar, I definitely really empathize with you,” she concluded. “And I understand how life-altering and scary it is.”

Bieber, who’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin and Kennya Baldwin, married her husband Justin in 2018.

Related: Hailey Baldwin Credits Christian Faith For Marriage To Justin Bieber

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Wikipedia’s Left-Wing Bias

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I love Wikipedia. I donated thousands of dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Before Wikipedia, all we had were printed encyclopedias—out of date by the time we bought them.

Then libertarian Jimmy Wales came up with a web-based, crowd-sourced encyclopedia.

Crowd-sourced? A Britannica editor called Wikipedia “a public restroom.” But Wales won the battle. Britannica’s encyclopedias are no longer printed.

Congratulations to Wales.

But recently, I learned that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger now says Wikipedia’s political pages have turned into leftist “propaganda.”

That’s upsetting. Leftists took over the editing?

Sadly, yes. I checked it out.

All editing is done by volunteers. Wales hoped there would be enough diverse political persuasions that biases would be countered by others.

But that’s not what’s happening.

Leftists just like to write. Conservatives build things: companies, homes, farms.

You see the pattern comparing political donations from different professions: Surgeons, oil workers, truck drivers, loggers, and pilots lean right; artists, bartenders, librarians, reporters, and teachers lean left.

Conservatives don’t have as much time to tweet or argue on the web. Leftists do. And they love doing it. This helps them take over the media, universities, and now, Wikipedia.

Jonathan Weiss is what Wikipedia calls a “Top 100” Wikipedian because he’s made almost half a million edits. He says he’s noticed new bias: “Wikipedia does a great job on things like science and sports, but you see a lot of political bias come into play when you’re talking current events.”

Weiss is no conservative. In presidential races, he voted for Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and Barack Obama. Never for a Republican. “I’ve really never identified strongly with either political party,” he says.

Maybe that’s why he notices the new Wikipedia bias.

“People on the left far outweigh people on the center and the right … a lot [are] openly socialist and Marxist.” Some even post pictures of Che Guevara and Lenin on their own profiles.

These are the people who decide which news sources Wikipedia writers may cite. Wikipedia’s approved “Reliable sources” page rejects political reporting from Fox but calls CNN and MSNBC “reliable.”

Good conservative outlets like The Federalist, the Daily Caller, and The Daily Wire are all deemed “unreliable.” Same with the New York Post (That’s probably why Wikipedia called Hunter Biden’s emails a conspiracy theory even after other liberal media finally acknowledged that they were real).

While it excludes Fox, Wikipedia approves even hard left media like Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, and Jacobin, a socialist publication.

Until recently, Wikipedia’s “socialism” and “communism” pages made no mention of the millions of people killed by socialism and communism. Even now, deaths are “deep in the article,” says Weiss, “treated as an arcane academic debate. But we’re talking about mass murder!”

The communism page even adds that we cannot ignore the “lives saved by communist modernization”! This is nuts.

Look up “concentration and internment camps” and you’ll find, along with the Holocaust, “Mexico-United States border,” and under that, “Trump administration family separation policy.”

What? Former President Donald Trump’s border controls, no matter how harsh, are very different from the Nazi’s mass murder.

Wikipedia does say “anyone can edit.” So, I made a small addition for political balance, mentioning that President Barack Obama built those cages.

My edit was taken down.

I wrote Wikipedia founder Wales to say that if his creation now uses only progressive sources, I would no longer donate.

He replied, “I totally respect the decision not to give us more money. I’m such a fan and have great respect for you and your work.” But then he said it is “just 100% false … that ‘only globalist, progressive mainstream sources’ are permitted.”

He gave examples of left-wing media that Wikipedia rejects, like Raw Story and Occupy Democrats.

I’m glad he rejects them. Those sites are childishly far left.

I then wrote again to ask why “there’s not a single right-leaning media outlet Wiki labels ‘reliable’ about politics, [but] Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, CNN, MSNBC” get approval.

Wales then stopped responding to my emails.

Unless Wikipedia’s bias is fixed, I’ll be skeptical reading anything on the site.

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Public Health England to blame for sending patients to care homes without Covid tests

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, Whitehall officials alleged that Prof Duncan Selbie, the former PHE chief executive, was ultimately responsible for informing Mr Hancock of the risks.

Prof Selbie is working as a senior adviser to the DHSC. Neither he nor the department responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Mr Hancock, who was replaced by Sajid Javid last year, claimed the High Court ruling had exonerated him and the had been cleared “of any wrongdoing” because PHE “failed to tell ministers what they knew about asymptomatic transmission”.

The High Court judges concluded that care home policies in March and April 2020 were “irrational” because they failed to advise that those discharged from hospitals “should, so far as practicable, be kept apart from other residents for up to 14 days”.

“Since there is no evidence that this question was considered by the secretary of state, or that he was asked to consider it, it is not an example of a political judgment on a finely balanced issue,” they said. “Nor is it a point on which any of the expert committees had advised that no guidance was required.”

After the ruling, Boris Johnson said he wanted to “renew my apologies and sympathies” to relatives who lost loved ones, adding: “The thing we didn’t know in particular was that Covid could be transmitted asymptomatically in the way that it was.”

However, the risks of asymptomatic transmission had been highlighted by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser for England, who said it was “quite likely” as early as March 13 2020. Varying levels of risk had been outlined in papers from late January, the ruling said.

The judicial review was brought by Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris, whose fathers, Michael Gibson and Donald Harris, died after testing positive for Covid.

‘Opens the floodgates for potential claims’

Paul Conrathe, a solicitor at Sinclairslaw who was instructed by both women, said: “It’s possible that care home providers and relatives who lost loved ones in the first wave could bring compensation claims. The Government was found to have acted ‘irrationally’ – that’s a very high legal hurdle.”

Nadra Ahmed, who chairs the National Care Association, said the ruling “opens the floodgates for potential claims to be brought against government policy”.

“This will be especially pertinent where the individual was not given a choice,” she said. “There will be a lot of people assimilating to the information as they consider if the loss of their loved one was premature, and holding the Government to account is the only way forward for them.”

Helen Wildbore, the director of the Relatives and Residents Association, said that the ruling proved “the protective ring around care homes was non-existent” and that older people were “abandoned at the outset of the pandemic”.

A government spokesman said it had been a “very difficult decision” to discharge hospital patients into care homes, taken when evidence on asymptomatic transmission was “extremely uncertain”.

The spokesman added: “We acknowledge the judge’s comments on assessing the risks of asymptomatic transmission and our guidance on isolation, and will respond in more detail in due course.”


‘He was in a home and should have been safe’

They stood outside the Royal Courts of Justice, two women unknown to each other before the Covid pandemic but brought together by tragedy, writes Tom Ough.

Cathy Gardner spoke first, delivering a steely reading of a statement. Matt Hancock’s boast of a “protective ring” encircling care homes, Dr Gardner said, was “a despicable lie of which he ought to be ashamed and for which he ought to apologise”.

Fay Harris, more downcast in demeanour but no less forthright, told journalists: “I have lost precious years with my wonderful Dad.”

Both women lost their fathers in early 2020, arguing that they might still be alive were it not for hospital patients having been discharged into care homes without having been tested for Covid.

Michael Gibson, born in 1931, had been a superintendent registrar of births and deaths. “He was in a home and should have been safe,” Dr Gardner told The Independent after his death.

Mr Gibson, who had advanced dementia, had fallen ill a couple of weeks before the first lockdown. Staff at his care home were unable to procure tests for Covid, but the virus is believed to have struck him down.

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