NBC News accused Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis of “looking for a fight” with Vice President Kamala Harris after she was the one who lobbed attacks towards his state’s education curriculum.
Last week, Harris made a special trip to Jacksonville, Fla., to lambast the new Black history curriculum, telling a crowd it replaces “history with lies” and that students in the Sunshine State would be “told that enslaved people benefited from slavery.”
In reality, the thorough curriculum details harsh conditions slaves endured and also explains that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” both while enslaved and when they became free.
However, NBC News framed the clash as one being instigated by the governor, running the headline “Looking for a fight, Ron DeSantis tangles with Kamala Harris.”
“The Florida governor needs to breathe life into his campaign. He’s starting by breathing fire at the vice president,” NBC News wrote on Friday, later telling readers, “This week, he and his wife, Casey DeSantis, accused Harris of lying about new Florida standards for classroom lessons on slavery. When hitting Harris, as he did while talking with reporters in Iowa on Thursday, DeSantis mispronounces her name — kuh-MALL-uh — putting emphasis on the second syllable rather than the first.”
The reporter continued, “It all amounts to an unorthodox strategy of battling the No. 2 Democrat in the midst of a Republican presidential primary, a tack that is fraught with the obvious risk that he could seem more focused on the 2028 election than the 2024 election. But, at a time when support for his campaign has been drying up, DeSantis needs a foe — and fast — to show donors and voters that he can win a fight.”
Critics plied on the Peacock network for its distorted framing of the DeSantis-Harris dustup.
“Kamala Harris lies, DeSantis responds. Journalists: He’s picking a fight,” Versus Media Podcast host Stephen L. Miller tweeted.
“Kamala went looking for the fight and DeSantis is accused of picking it because he simply responded?” conservative radio host Dana Loesch asked.
“Looking for a fight, Ukraine tangles with Russia,” Mediaite staff writer Isaac Schorr mocked the headline.
“Kamala Harris: Spends a week lying about Florida, even flying to Jacksonville to lie in person. Media: Why is Ron DeSantis attacking her?” RedState writer Bonchie tweeted
The DeSantis campaign also fired back at NBC’s report.
“All the media does is launder talking points for the left. This wasn’t a fight picked by @GovRonDeSantis. It was picked by Kamala Harris when she lied about Florida’s new African American History standards. The governor is defending Florida from @VP’s lies. He’s fighting back,” DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern tweeted.
Dr. William Allen, a descendent of slavery who helped author the curriculum in question, has said Harris’ “lie” was quickly parroted by an agenda-driven media.
“I wish I could answer for the motives of the media or for the vice president. I’m not able to do that. But I can tell you this contextually — it is obviously part of a larger effort driven by an agenda,” Allen told Fox News Digital.
“The reason I call the vice president’s statements categorically false is because it is obvious to anyone of basic literacy that the mere grammar of the sentence in the curriculum standards to which she referred refutes her charge,” Allen said.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.