Editor’s Note: Say What? is the segment of Liberty Nation Radio where we unveil some of the most wacky, astonishing, and damnable things uttered by politicians and the chattering class.
Tim Donner: The growing relationship between woke politics and sports was on full display this past week. One day, the president of the United States used his bully pulpit to call for Major League Baseball to move its premier and lucrative mid-season event, the All-Star Game, and amateur draft out of Atlanta because of the new voting law passed by the Georgia legislature and signed by the governor, limiting the virtual airdrop of unsolicited ballots which marked the 2020 election.
The next day, Major League Commissioner Rob Manfred, demonstrating the courage of a lion, caved in and moved the game to Denver, causing an uproar in Georgia and among baseball fans and non-woke folks across the land. When asked by Peter Doocy of Fox News, the only reporter who poses tough questions of the White House, about Joe Biden pressuring MLB with his pronouncement, Press Secretary Jen Psaki channeled her president in stumbling, bumbling, hedging.
Peter Doocy: Is the White House concerned that Major League Baseball’s moving their All-Star Game to Colorado, where voting regulations are very similar to Georgia?
Jen Psaki: Well, let me just refute the first point you made. First, let me say on Colorado, Colorado allows you to register on Election Day. Colorado has voting by mail, where they send to a 100% of people in the state who are eligible applications to vote by mail. Ninety-four percent of people in Colorado voted by mail in the 2020 election. They also allow for a range of materials to provide, even if they vote on Election Day, for the limited number of people who vote on Election Day.
Tim: Oh, okay. But in that expected spin about why Colorado is just so much more friendly to voters, you’ll find a very revealing and troubling reality. Note how she referred to “The limited number of people who vote,” present tense, “on Election Day.” Not past tense, voted last year, but present tense, the limited number of people who vote on Election Day. See, the left now wants to make voting by mail, what we saw in 2020, the norm, and to do so by making it as easy as possible and actually discouraging people from voting the old-fashioned way.
But Major League Baseball is hardly alone in surrendering to the demands of the progressive left. Major corporations are jumping aboard the woke train and issuing transparently insincere statements of support for the cancel culture, lest they be descended upon by a mob. Another state targeted by the voting rights activists is Texas, where Republican Governor Greg Abbott attacked the craven corporations.
Greg Abbott: We have American Airlines, we have AT&T, we have Dell Computers, and we have others who have taken a position against the election law reforms we made in the state of Texas, where the CEOs of these companies and the leaders of these companies admitted they had no idea what the Texas law said or what the Texas proposed laws say before taking a position against it. They need to stay out of politics, especially when they have no clue what they’re talking about.
Tim: Apparently, the governor doesn’t understand that facts are not only unnecessary but also detrimental to the woke culture. A big part of that culture is attempting to cancel all remnants of conservatism, which they can’t do, but they can try to cancel its most forceful advocates, especially when it’s one of the most high-profile allies of Donald Trump. That would be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, victim of a full-on hit piece on 60 Minutes on CBS, in which it focused almost entirely on people of color receiving the vaccine at a lower rate than white people, culminating with a small town named Belle Glade. Then, immediately after that, all but directly accused DeSantis of a pay-for-play vaccine scandal.
60 Minutes Narrator: You have to catch two buses to get to the nearest Publix from the Glades. It’s 34 stops, more than two hours roundtrip, a daunting task in the middle of a pandemic, especially if you’re elderly.
Why did the governor choose Publix? Campaign finance reports obtained by 60 Minutes show that weeks before the governor’s announcement, Publix donated $100,000 to his political action committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis. Julie Jenkins Fancelli, heiress to the Publix fortune, has given $55,000 to the governor’s PAC in the past. In November Fancelli’s brother-in-law, Hoyt R. Barnett, a retired Publix executive, donated $25,000. Publix did not respond to our request for comment about the donations. Governor DeSantis is up for re-election next year.
Tim: Well, DeSantis, much like his close ally Donald Trump, was hardly going to sit still for that.
Ron DeSantis: They knew what they were doing was a lie. I knew what they were doing was a lie. Everybody here knows what they were doing is a lie. They know that we know they’re lying, and yet they continue to lie. They lied and they lied and they lied. We offered them the information and they declined to interview the key people because they didn’t want to let go of the narrative. Well, guess what? There’s going to be consequences for that.
Tim: That sounds like a threat, or promise. But, of course, the White House via spokeswoman Psaki had to jump into the fray, implying that DeSantis is likely … racist?
Psaki: One of the concerns we’ve had as we’ve watched the data is that 17% of Florida’s population is African-American, but less than 7% of vaccinations have gone to African-Americans in the state. That’s one of the reasons that we opened four FEMA sites in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and Orlando. These sites disproportionately serve communities of color. We’ve been closely watching this data on these statistics as we would in any state across the country.
Tim: Right, as in any state in the country. Has nothing to do with the governor being a major ally of Trump, nothing at all. But DeSantis later went on Fox News and presented this whole thing as a textbook example of the media’s bias, not of commission but omission.
DeSantis: Palm Beach calculated 90% of their seniors live within a mile and a half of a Publix. So when we put it in there, their numbers started going through the roof. It succeeded there. But what they didn’t tell you also, Tucker, is when there was a need in a more rural part of the County, like near Lake Okeechobee, we set up a separate site in a small town called Pahokee. They didn’t tell you that. They didn’t tell you that we were doing African-American church vaccination drives before Publix ever gave a single shot. They didn’t tell you that. They didn’t tell you that hospitals were giving shots starting in the third week of December because it didn’t fit the narrative. They don’t believe in facts. It was a political narrative. It was done with malicious intent and a reckless disregard for the truth.
Tim: But on the matter of why the chain Publix was selected for vaccinations, the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County — how a county has a mayor, I have no idea — but anyway, Dave Kerner confirmed that 60 Minutes had no interest in anything he had to say about why Publix was picked, because — big surprise — it didn’t fit its preordained narrative.
Dave Kerner: I was never contacted or included to give the straight facts about how these decisions were made and when these decisions were made. How what was reported was inaccurate. They’ve (Publix) been a heck of a partner and I’m so thankful that we were the first large county, after I asked to come and use that strategy in a very large, very diverse county like Palm Beach County.
Tim: There it is, the cultural currency of 2021 — basic facts ignored in deference to a predetermined narrative. Advocacy journalism, dressed up as legitimate investigative journalism, courtesy of the nation’s original big-time and once widely respected investigative TV news program.
Read more from Tim Donner.