Ron Desantis’ Office Rejects MSNBC’s Insincere Apology

Press Conference with Florida Governer Ron DeSantis during the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bay Hill in Orlando Florida on Wednesday March 4, 2020. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

The office of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced its intention to boycott two major news networks, NBC News and MSNBC. This comes in response to a contentious interview with Vice President Kamala Harris last week, during which chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell suggested that the governor was attempting to remove the subject of ‘slavery’ from public schools.

Mitchell’s pointed query to Harris, “What does Governor Ron DeSantis not know about Black history and the Black experience when he says that slavery and the aftermath of slavery should not be taught to Florida schoolchildren?” has caused a stir, with DeSantis’ press secretary Bryan Griffin branding the comment as “shameful.”

On her program on Wednesday, Andrea Mitchell provided a “postscript” in which she seemed to express remorse for how she presented Governor Ron DeSantis’ educational strategy in Florida, acknowledging that her language was ‘imprecise.’ She was quoted saying,

“In my interview last Friday with Vice President Harris, I was imprecise in summarizing Gov. DeSantis’ position about teaching slavery in schools. Gov. DeSantis is not opposed to teaching the fact of slavery in schools. Instead, he has opposed the teaching of an African American studies curriculum as well as the use of some authors and source materials that historians and teachers say makes it all but impossible for students to understand the broader historic and political context behind slavery and its aftermath in the years since.”

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Bryan Griffin, the press secretary of DeSantis, posted on Twitter an extract of a press statement stating that they will not entertain any matter concerning NBC Universal or its subsidiaries unless and until Andrea Mitchell rectifies the false statement she made about the governor.

Griffin expressed his disappointment with Mitchell’s response. He commented that he was not satisfied after having seen Mitchell’s supposed ‘postscript,’ stating that it was a typical non-apology response that not only neglected to acknowledge her falsehood but also made it worse. He conveyed through a Twitter statement that DeSantis’ administration will be refraining from involvement until Mitchell rectifies the allegedly false information she spread about the governor. He hinted at the seriousness of the matter by using the phrase “a step back” to emphasize the gravity of the situation.

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DeSantis’ Deputy Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern wrote on Twitter,

“Saying one was ‘imprecise,’ when what they said was a blatant lie, is not an apology. MSNBC and NBC News should not be viewed as an objective media organization. Stop letting the corporate media be the gatekeepers of truth.”

Recent reports indicate that DeSantis may be positioning himself for a presidential run, having appeared at events in New York and Illinois. DeSantis’ efforts to limit the content taught in schools drew criticism from Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker this week. Pritzker tweeted,

“Ron DeSantis’s dangerous and hateful agenda has no place in Illinois. Banning books, playing politics with people’s lives, and censoring history is antithetical to who we are.”

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker delivered a stirring message of defiance against efforts to downplay historical truths in the education system, denouncing the censorship and denial of accurate reporting.

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With a clear-eyed focus on preserving the integrity of the educational process, Pritzker boldly declared that no one person should be given unchecked authority over the facts of U.S. history. He vehemently opposed any curriculum changes aimed at appeasing extremists such as Florida Governor DeSantis and his supporters, insisting that Illinois will not be a party to the revisionist agenda of those who seek to rewrite the past.

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Ash & Pri

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