Rebekah Jones, the fired Florida health official who became a media darling last year after she dubiously accused the DeSantis administration of pressuring her to fudge the state’s COVID data, is at the center of a new report that outlines disturbing behavior after being praised by news organizations as a credible “whistleblower.”

National Review reported on Friday that Jones had launched a “smear campaign” against Jon Taylor, a Ph.D. candidate at the Florida Atlantic University College of Business who had attempted to reach out to her last year as he was developing his own COVID tracker since he found that Florida Health Department’s setup was confusing for most people and showing inaccurate data he insisted was miscounting more cases and deaths than actually existed. 

“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 the facts are subordinated to the question of whom those facts might help and whom they might hurt,” National Review news editor Jack Crowe wrote. 

CRITICS LASH WASHINGTON POST FOR PORTRAYING REBEKAH JONES STORY AS A ‘FEUD’ WITH DESANTIS

Taylor introduced himself to Jones by email back in July 2020 hoping he could probe her methodology of the tracker she developed after she was fired as the Florida health department’s COVID dashboard manager. 

However, not only did he not hear back from Jones, she began attacking him on Twitter two days later, calling him a “quack” and a “fraud.” 

After the two of them had a combative public exchange, tensions simmered until October when Taylor’s COVID tracker was receiving local media attention. Jones, in response, took to Twitter and accused him and his academic adviser who helped developed the tracker of sexual harassment, tagging their university, its president and police. She deleted the tweets, according to National Review, but not before she emailed the dean of FAU College of Business.

“While most of the emails, which were obtained by National Review, included only vague accusations, one of them was extremely explicit,” Crowe wrote. “In it, Jones repeated an accusation that she first made on Twitter: that Taylor made ‘jokes that he would put his penis in my mouth to shut me up.’”

“That crossed the line to me. I would never say that to somebody,” Taylor told National Review. “I’m just a good person. I would never do that anyway. I don’t talk like that; it’s ridiculous.”

MIAMI HERALD RIPPED FOR EDITORIAL HAILING ‘WHISTLEBLOWER’ STATUS OF FIRED FLORIDA DOH EMPLOYEE REBEKAH JONES

But the allegation, regardless of Jones’ credibility, sparked a Title IX investigation at FAU, which Taylor learned about indirectly. And since the evidentiary standards are low when it comes to Title IX cases, Taylor was “terrified” that the student board would rule in Jones’s favor and would derail his academic career as she weaponized her high profile and social media presence to pressure the university to take action against him. 

Jones denied she ever attempted to smear Taylor or his academic adviser to National Review, though the report also cites two unnamed academics who told the conservative publication that they two were similarly targeted by Jones over various dustups.   

Rebekah Jones in her office at the Florida Department of Health. Jones has been granted whistleblower status in her ongoing battle over COVID-19 data in Florida. (Courtesy Rebekah Jones/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM - NO FILM, NO VIDEO, NO TV, NO DOCUMENTARY

Rebekah Jones in her office at the Florida Department of Health. Jones has been granted whistleblower status in her ongoing battle over COVID-19 data in Florida. (Courtesy Rebekah Jones/TNS/ABACAPRESS.COM – NO FILM, NO VIDEO, NO TV, NO DOCUMENTARY (Reuters)

Critics reacted to the National Review report by blasting the media for elevating her during the pandemic as some sort of anti-DeSantis warrior. 

“Great reporting by @jackrcrowe here about Rebekah Jones and her attempts to ruin @prof_jtayor’s career,’ Washington Examiner managing editor Jay Caruso reacted. “And shame on the @MiamiHerald and other outlets for continuing to prop up Jones as some icon of speaking truth to power. She isn’t just a liar or a kook. She’s a menace.”

“@ChrisCuomo should have his followers read this new article on his frequent guest,” Twitchy editor Greg Pollowitz swiped the CNN anchor. 

CNN HEAVILY PROMOTED REBEKAH JONES’ FAKE CONSPIRACY ACCUSING DESANTIS ADMIN OF ALTERING COVID DATA

“Rebekah Jones is a monster, and the media lionized her because she plays for the right team,” Spectator contributor Stephen Miller wrote. “Rebekah Jones entire power comes from the national and local media who props her up. That’s it. Without she’s just another social media sociopath. But they built her up and once again refuse to admit their mistake. And it’s all because of politics.”

Miller continued, “She has the same politics they do. All the way down. It’s that simple. She’s a psychopath, but she’s against DeSantis, so CNN puts her on the air.”

“Your frequent reminder that Rebekah Jones is a complete psychopath. Good job, everyone who made her a semi-public figure,” Washington Examiner commentator T. Becket Adams wrote. 

Jones continues to receive favorable media coverage even after National Review published a scathing report last month that dismantled her explosive allegations against Gov. DeSantis. 

National Review’s Charles Cooke concluded that she “single-handedly managed to convince millions of Americans” that DeSantis “has been fudging the state’s COVID-19 data” but discovered that she “did not have the ability to edit the raw data” in Florida’s COVID database. The report also accused her of highly dramatizing the police visit she had late last year as the result of a valid search warrant. 

CNN’S JAKE TAPPER RETWEETS CRITICISM OF REBEKAH JONES AFTER PROMOTING HER FAKE CONSPIRACIES ON-AIR 

Since then, news outlets like The Miami Herald, The Washington Post and NBC News ran sympathetic articles that didn’t refute National Review’s reporting. 

Even CNN anchor Chris Cuomo recently went to bat for her on Twitter. 

“For those invested in right wing fringe attacks on Rebekah Jones, here is a well-researched piece on what is and is not true,” Cuomo wrote while sharing the Herald’s report.

Jones made regular appearances on MSNBC and CNN throughout the pandemic in an attempt to portray DeSantis as a corrupt politician who poorly handled the COVID outbreak. 

From May 2020 to December 2020, Jones made at least nine separate CNN on-air appearances on programs like “New Day” and “Out Front with Erin Burnett” and received coverage on “The Lead with Jake Tapper.” 

But no CNN program booked Jones more than “Cuomo Prime Time.”

Chris Cuomo landed CNN’s first “exclusive” interview with Jones, who he spoke with on at least five separate occasions, most recently in December when the network pushed the narrative that she was the victim of a police “raid” in retaliation of the DeSantis administration when in reality she’s been accused of accessing and stealing government data. 

Cuomo, notably, is the brother of Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who the anchor invited onto his program nearly a dozen times for chummy interviews during the coronavirus pandemic. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

CNN spent much of last year hailing Cuomo’s leadership during the pandemic while attacking DeSantis. But the pro-Cuomo network has since been put in an awkward position as the New York governor has been plagued with growing scandals in recent months, which have gotten uneven coverage, all while continuing its effort to slam the Florida governor, whose national popularity has been rising among Republicans. 

Jones was arrested and charged with illegally hacking into Florida’s messaging system in January and the charges are pending. She was also recently permanently suspended by Twitter over allegedly using fake accounts to promote herself.  

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/media/rebekah-jones-national-review-report

400 Bad Request

Bad Request

Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
Size of a request header field exceeds server limit.

Comments

comments

Advertisement