As shown time and again, when it comes to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the media’s game apparently is to let the innuendo take you where they want to go.
Politico offers a recent example.
On Monday, the outlet published a story that allegedly tried to paint Florida’s Republican governor as a hypocrite for denouncing the left-wing racial-indoctrination platform known as Critical Race Theory and then overseeing a state government that has paid a consulting firm hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop for government agencies plans to address “racial inclusivity” and “social inequity.”
The story asserted that the state has paid MGT Consulting $700,000 since DeSantis became governor, including $130,000 in 2022, for such efforts. While DeSantis and other critics have referred to CRT as anti-white racism, Politico noted MGT claims it is “well-versed in critical race theory,” and uses that experience to craft plans for government agencies to promote social justice on racial grounds.
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But the road the story took has a few potholes.
For one thing, it claimed the Florida Department of Education paid most of the state funding that went to MGT, but then, according to Bryan Griffin, deputy press secretary for DeSantis, was published before the DOE gave an answer.
On Twitter, Griffin observed that Politico “had already drawn a conclusion for the article.”
Another problem is that it conflates MGT’s work elsewhere as the same work allegedly done in Florida.
Politico cites that MGT boasts of the “critical race theory experts on its staff,” and has made “dozens” of pitches “across the country” for work as a consultant, noting its “experience in ‘all aspects of equity evaluation, diversity and social justice research, and critical race theory.’” Politico gives Colorado and Virginia as examples of these efforts.
But Politco does not say specifically or in detail what MGT did in Florida.
The closest Politico came was noting: “The company has also done extensive work for Florida government entities, including using ‘race and gender’ data that was ‘used to shape policy designed to increase diversity in [state university] institutions.’”
Yet efforts to “increase diversity” are not the same as indoctrinating students and private-sector employees in the tenets of CRT – which holds that all of America’s institutions were founded in racism, continue to practice that “systemic racism” still today, and must atone for these supposed historic wrongs and practices by penalizing whites.
As Griffin noted in a reply to Politico, DeSantis’ office wasn’t “interested in speculating under the assumptions you presented based on work they have done in completely different states.”
Alex Lanfranconi, the DOE’s communications director, also made this point, telling Politico, “The Department does not police the work our contractors complete for other clients. “Providing sporadic examples of MGT work in other states for unrelated organizations and attempting to connect it with the Florida Department of Education is dishonest and disappointing.”
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In that reply, Lanfranconi added a comment that Politico did not publish, saying, “It’s completely irresponsible to imply we’re paying MGT for any work regarding Critical Race Theory. There is no evidence of this accusation and it is entirely false. We’ve never contracted with MGT for anything related to Critical Race Theory since Governor Ron DeSantis took office.”
One final point: As Griffin noted in a tweet, the state agencies that hired MGT handled these contracts, not the governor’s office directly. Imagine the story Politico would offer that painted DeSantis as a tyrant if he asserted that he would personally oversee and approve every state contract.
The case presented as a gotcha doesn’t seem to hold up. As one Twitter user noted in a reply DeSantis’ spokeswoman Christina Pushaw, “(W)ait – I’m confused, Leftists were chanting ‘CRT isn’t in schools’ but now they claim it is in schools and that’s a win for them????”