Shameful New York Times hit piece on Ron DeSantis reveals panic over his political appeal

The New York Times ran a lengthy hit piece, titled, “Inside Ron DeSantis’s Politicized Removal of an Elected Prosecutor,” that demonstrates how fearful Democrats are of his appeal in an era when crime is on the mind of so many voters. So potent is the crime issue that President Biden and a significant number Congressional Democrats are overriding a soft-on-crime law passed the by the DC City Council over the veto of the District’s Mayor Muriel Bowser. Only a deep fear of voters’ wrath over spiraling crime would motivate these Democrats to anger their SJW pro-crime base.

Thus, it fell to two Times reporters, Alexandra Berzon (a veteran of left wing nonprofit Pro Publica) and Ken Benisnger (whose beat is “covering right-wing media”) to find fault with Governor DeSantis’s firing of a district attorney in Hillsborough County (Tampa) who had openly announced he would refrain from prosecuting certain crimes, in this case, crimes by “those who seek, provide or support abortions.”

Governor DeSantis has taken the completely justified position that if a DA wants laws to be effectively repealed, then the DA should run for the state legislature and change the law. It is not the job of a DA to change the law that exists by categorically exempting certain crimes from prosecution.  But that is precisely what Andrew H. Warren of Hillsborough County did, and that is why DeSantis removed him from office last summer.

The fact that this article appeared many months after Warren’s firing, but shortly after crime became a defining issue of the 2024 election with the DC law override speaks volumes about eh the thinking of New York Times writers and editors.

As so often with the New York Times, the placement of facts being reported in the article tells you what is meant to be downplayed or ignored.  For example, 29 paragraphs into the story, readers finally learn:

Florida’s Constitution allows governors to suspend local office holders for reasons including “malfeasance” or “neglect of duty” until the Legislature votes on whether to permanently remove or reinstate them. Mr. DeSantis was the first Florida governor in many decades known to have suspended an elected prosecutor over a policy difference.

That basic fact is critical to understanding that DeSantis was discharging his duties, not taking some bizarre act with no precedent.  In accord with previously announced policy about DAs taking on the role of the legislature and repealing laws, DeSantis used powers explicitly granted to him by the state constitution. Yet, this critical information comes at a point in a long article where most readers have given up and moved on.

The Times article feigns indignation that DeSantis’s team took care to make sure that friendly media had the story.

If the investigation into Mr. Warren was cursory at best, the preparation to remove him while simultaneously publicizing that ouster involved greater planning. And those plans were executed with military precision. The governor’s aides gave special attention to news outlets they referred to as “friendly.” Immediately after the news conference, DeSantis aides exerted influence over communications at the state attorney’s office, an independent county agency, working to ensure that the takeover did not result in negative coverage.

The “military precision” language is pretty amusing, conjuring up images that Times subscribers would detest. What politician doesn’t take steps to play the media for political advantage? And what about making sure that friendly outlets get the story is “military” in nature?

In a small but telling reference late in the article,  the writers take pains to call George Soros, who has organized funding for left wing prosecutors across the country (with disastrous results in major cities where his candidates won), a “Jewish philanthropist.”

The tone of an early draft, written by Mr. Keefe in July, was highly partisan. The document named Mr. Soros six times, pointing to reports that Mr. Warren had received indirect support for his campaign from the billionaire Jewish philanthropist, a frequent target of conservatives and of antisemitic tropes.

There is no evidence that Soros participates in Jewish life, is a member of a synagogue, or donates to Jewish causes, unless they are anti-Israel Jewish groups. To call him “Jewish” refers solely to his DNA. Reportedly, his parents were non-observant, as is Soros himself. So, there is no actual significance to the label beyond genetic heritage, the sort of thing that Nazis cared most about.  But using the label “Jewish philanthropist” enables Soros critics to be called “anti-Semitic” based on no evidence, just because they point out the mayhem his activities generate.

Progressives generally tell us whom they fear by their choice of targets. Rightly or wrongly, I think that the House Organ of the Democrats, the New York Times, has concluded that the real electoral threat to Democrats in 2024 is Ron DeSantis.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

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