Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Florida: A cradle of liberty!

Gannett Co.’s editors besmirched Florida and its 22.6 million people as ‘a cradle’ of hate, delusion and extremism — ignoring the hate, death and destruction wrought by the ‘peaceful’ protesters.

  • Sarasota
  • Opinion
  • Share

It’s a long-standing approach in modern newspapering to delve into the lives and sordid details of criminals and miscreants. Just the kind of story the sanctimonious editors at Gannett Co. relish:

Who are the 472 people (so far) who have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol? What do they have in common, and what conclusions can be made about them?

Lo and behold, as reported in Gannett’s Florida papers over the weekend, 47 of the people arrested, 10% of the total, are considered Floridians, tying Florida with Texas for having the highest number of people arrested in the Jan. 6 riot.

This, the Gannett editors conclude, makes Florida an epicenter of extremism and hate, the “cradle of hate and delusion.”

What a ridiculous claim.

Forty-seven people from all over the state, out of 22.6 million Floridians — 0.0002% of the population, two-10,000ths of a percent — make Florida a bad, ugly state teeming with hate-filled extremists.

How can this be? What about Florida makes the state such a magnet for this ilk?

In a sense, the “delusional” label that Gannett’s editors paste on our state is laughable.

For one, where is the proof — the documentation, evidence and interviews — that confirm all 47 of the Floridians are hate-filled, delusional extremists?

Yes, 12 of the 47, according to Gannett, have ties to Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and QAnon, acknowledged right-wing organizations. But even then, those 12 make up only five-100,000ths of a percent of Florida’s population. How do they make Florida “a cradle of hate and delusion”?

What’s more, if you just think of the probabilities, it should not be a surprise that more Floridians and Texans were involved in the riot than from other states.

Texas and Florida are the second and third most populous states. Voters in those states cast more votes for Donald Trump than in any other states — 5.89 million Texans and 5.66 Floridians. Why should it be alarming  that more Texans and Floridians attended the Jan. 6 Trump rally than from other states and participated in the Capitol riot?

The Gannett editors made a point of noting that twice as many Floridians were arrested than were Californians, even though California has 17 million more people than Florida.

But everyone also knows California is one of the most progressive states in the country. Out of a population of 39.6 million, 6.6 million Californians voted for Trump, 34% of the total vote. So why would anyone expect more Californians to be on the other side of the country on Jan. 6 storming the Capitol?

If there is a surprise in the number of alleged extremists among the 472 arrested, it should be that New York had the fourth highest number of those arrested. One of the bluest of the blue states had 30 people arrested. Where are the Gannett editors’ concerns and outrage?

It’s pretty gumptious for these self-appointed judges to label Florida as they did with such a weak, flimsy, concocted, tilted storyline. “That’s a blot on the Sunshine State’s psyche that will take a long time to fade,” huffed the Gannett-owned Daytona News-Journal editorialist.

The News-Journal went on to demand “that the state’s chosen leaders take action to root out the hate and condemn the violent bigotry these groups espouse.”

No one should espouse violence. But“root out the hate” — what does that mean? Jail and shoot people for how they think, the way it’s done in the communist, socialist and authoritarian regimes?

Of course, nowhere in this “investigation” are there mentions of the violence, hate, death and destruction that the antifa and BLM members perpetrated across America in their peaceful protests. It is unadulterated “hate and delusion” when they destroy and loot property, police stations and federal offices.

Perhaps Gannett’s progressive editors and reporters should look in the mirror. From 2016 to now, these so-called tellers of truth made no pretenses about showing their own unabashed contempt for Donald Trump and those who supported him.

Florida is not the cradle of hate. We resent the label. Florida, thank goodness, is a cradle of liberty!    



Matt Walsh

Matt Walsh is the CEO and founder of Observer Media Group.

Latest News