The media predicted apocalypses in red states. It’s still at it. The apocalypse hasn’t arrived, but it’s still at it.
Good evening, and greetings from Florida, where we feel the need to inform you that it’s not a post-apocalyptic hellscape of coronavirus infection and cadavers stacked like cordwood. That is, Florida just doesn’t look nearly as bad as the national news media and sky-is-falling critics have been predicting for about two months now. But then, the national news media is mostly based in New York and loves to love its Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, about as much as it loves to hate on Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
That’s a perfectly good summary.
According to the latest Florida figures, fewer than 2,000 have died, and around 43,000 have been infected. That’s a fraction of the dire predictions made for Florida when spring breakers swarmed the beaches, and those numbers are dwarfed by similarly sized New York, which has seen 12 times more deaths and nearly eight times more infections. More people reportedly died in New York nursing homes than in all of Florida.
Considering what a high percentage of the death toll took place in nursing homes, that’s less meaningful. But the bottom line is that all the agony aunt stuff has never materialized. But that hasn’t stopped the media from telling the lies and then blaming the targets of its smear campaigns for the effects of those lies on the public and on our political system.
DeSantis is actually polling worse than Cuomo in their respective states, and the Florida press is wondering why.
Because the national media and the Florida press have pushed the same agenda. And members of the public fall for it.
Cuomo also has something else DeSantis doesn’t: a press that defers to him, one that preferred to cover “Florida Morons” at the beach (where it’s relatively hard to get infected) over New Yorkers riding cramped subway cars (where it’s easy to get infected). In fact, people can still ride the subways for most hours of the day in New York, but Miami Beach’s sands remain closed. Maybe things would be different if DeSantis had a brother who worked in cable news and interviewed him for a “sweet moment” in primetime.
But the media identifies with the New York subway riders not the Florida beachgoers.
That’s why blue state govs like Cuomo, Murphy, and Wolf will be praised for handling a crisis, instead of being held accountable for the mass deaths in nursing homes.