If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Many people don’t seem to take this rule seriously and jump on every “breaking story” published by websites with questionable credibility. It’s worth doubling-checking if a report coincides with your own biases.
Business Insider did not do this when they published a smear on Ron DeSantis, Florida, and on Tuesday morning. This is what the headline was before it got deleted.
The signal was clear. What year is 2021? This was the peak of the COVID-19 epidemic. Business Insider would have to show that Florida had lost more people than New York or California during that period. This would imply that Florida mishandled COVID while the two liberal states got it right.
Does that sound reasonable to anyone? Does Florida losing 674.740 people in 2021, given what we know about the emigration rate over the past few years, make sense? The Business Insider editors and author should have asked this question. When something doesn’t smell right, it’s time to take a step back and reconsider. It’s something every writer has done, restraining the urge to release something that seems so perfect. Business Insider did not do this, however, and the news outlet is now in a bad situation.
What’s the truth? You have to first understand that Business Insider doesn’t work like our news platform, where contributors choose topics and receive editorial oversight at the very end. In most major newsrooms an editor has to approve a story before it is written. The standard protocol would also be to verify the source before moving forward. In this case, either it wasn’t done, or everyone involved made the exact same mistake. It doesn’t matter to me, given how embarrassing this is.
Being a Business publication that makes such a fundamental data mistake as inverting the numbers that prove your own story completely false, should be embarrassing as hell, and calls the veracity of all of your other articles into question as well. https://t.co/09hvqn8DmZ pic.twitter.com/cNNnfRRsBv
— Na’linda (@MzBlckSheep) July 11, 2023
The author of Business Insider misread the chart and mistook “different state residence 1 year ago” as the number of people that had left Florida. This is actually the number of people who moved to Florida in 2020. This one error meant that the entire piece of writing was invalid.
After several hours of intense online pressure and a complete rewrite of this story, Business Insider has finally corrected the article.
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) July 11, 2023
It’s amazing that the situation has progressed to this point, but it is not surprising when the media is so determined to trash one political party. The fact that no one noticed how absurd the original story was is a big red flag. These news outlets have gone a little too far.