(Image: courtesy of FOX TV)
It’s okay. One man’s revenge porn is just the media’s whistleblowing.
You may remember yesterday when the media decided to turn Rebekah Jones, a dubious character, into a heroic whistleblowing data scientist.
Jones claimed that she was fired from her job, inputting coronavirus numbers into the state dashboard, because Florida was covering up the “real” coronavirus numbers.
And the media embraced her.
She was the new prog heroine.
Rachel Maddow featured her. CNN wrote her up. “Florida Ousts COVID-19 Data Scientist,” NPR shrieked, as if Jones were researching a cure, instead of typing numbers into a box.
Gov. Ron DeSantis didn’t know who Rebekah Jones was Tuesday afternoon when reporters asked him for comment on her firing.
But by Wednesday afternoon, the Governor offered an authoritative prosecution of the case for firing Jones, who had worked on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, with cause.
DeSantis disparaged her, saying she’s “not even a data scientist … not involved in collating data, she lacks the expertise to do that. She is not an epidemiologist. She is not the chief architect of our web portal, that’s another false statement.”
Surprise, surprise. It was all a bunch of fake news lies.
Jones was more like the drywall hanger of the dashboard rather than the “architect.” The dashboard was built on the same visual mapping tool that Johns Hopkins University made famous at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. In fact, Florida’s tool looks extremely similar. That’s because Johns Hopkins University is not the “architect” of the dashboard, either. The tool is actually built not on any of Florida’s many data servers, but using ready-made modules from a subscription service called ArcGIS. Jones’ job was to load data into those modules and decide how it appeared to visitors.
The great and inspiring “Data Scientist” appears to have some issues that might explain why she was fired.
On June 13, 26-year-old University staff member Rebekah Jones was booked on one count of battery on a police officer, one count of remaining after forbidden and two counts of resisting arrest, Scott said. Scott said officers arrived at the Sea Grant building when Jones refused to leave at the request of LSU Human Resources. Scott said Jones initiated physical contact against two LSUPD officers while resisting arrest and officers were forced to subdue her.
Jones also has an extensive criminal history in Leon County, where she’s been arrested and charged with three felonies, including one for robbery, and a handful of misdemeanor cases including “sexual cyberstalking,” a case where she created a website and used it to sexually harass her ex-boyfriend. The website has been taken down, but images from the case exist in Leon County court records.
Most of the charges filed against her came after she was hired by the Department of Health, so they would not have turned up in any background check.
Does this get worse? It’s the media trying to nail De Santis. Of course it gets worse.
A police report from Tallahassee Police shows a man claimed to be a victim of revenge porn by Jones in June of 2019. The man told police he had an injunction against Jones for a year until it recently expired. He said Jones posted a website which included naked pictures of him, and shared it with his place of employment and family members.
That’s the media’s idea of whistleblowing.
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