22 June 2021

Rebekah Jones, Florida COVID-19 Reporting, and Meanness

All this guy wanted to do was make the COVID numbers more understandable, but she couldn't let anything stand in front of her "Florida is lying about COVID" narrative. Rebekah Jones Tried to Ruin Florida Academic's Career | National Review

Taylor, a 37-year-old Ph.D. candidate at the Florida Atlantic University College of Business, waded into the world of COVID data analysis last spring after being informed that he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. When he looked at the data for himself, what he found disturbed him: The way the Florida Department of Health was presenting the pandemic death toll was confusing members of the media who lacked a background in data analysis.

But what he didn't understand is that the media wasn't interested in the facts, and they especially didn't want any facts that might make Governor DeSantis look good. They were perfectly happy with the confusing presentation as long as they could attack Republicans.

By creating a tracker that showed the situation in Florida to be somewhat less dire than enemies of Governor DeSantis preferred to believe, he had left the staid world of academia and entered the world of politics, where facts are subordinated to the question of whom those facts might help and whom they might hurt.

And the media's champion in this attack on Republicans was Rebekah Jones.

Jones jumped into the viral twitter thread, not to argue about Taylor’s methodology, but to accuse him and his academic adviser of sexual harassment, thereby stifling the original tweet, which was putting his tracker on the map.

Not only did Jones smear Taylor and his adviser as sexual harassers to her hundreds of thousands of followers, she also tagged their university, the university president, and university police.

Jones deleted the tweets, but Taylor preserved them as screenshots on the advice of a prominent academic who had previously been subjected to a characteristic Jones smear campaign.

They are still under investigation, because even though she can offer no proof, proof is not needed in a university setting. There is so much more; click thru.

Hat tip to The Other McCain and Rebekah Jones Update, in which he notes that the word “psychopath” is being used to describe Jones.

Because I am a professional journalist, however, I would hesitate to use the clinical term “psychopath” because I have no credentials to make such a diagnosis and it might be construed as defamatory. Nevertheless, I have previously stated my opinion that Jones is “deranged, demented, daft, wacky, bonkers, non compos mentis, off her rocker, nuttier than a Snickers bar, a few fries short of a Happy Meal, and cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”

I can go along with that. There is more at The Other McCain as well.

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