For about a year straight, Rebekah Jones smeared Governor Ron DeSantis and the state of Florida — and got away with it.
Journalists may have had suspicions about her, but they hadn’t crystallized. Scientists definitely knew the score, but they were too scared to go public. And a frenzied online mob backed up her every ridiculous claim and shouted down her critics.
This is all changed when Charlie Cooke wrote his careful, detailed demolition of Jones in NR a few issues ago.
The dam broke in the press and among scientists — Jones was exposed for the peddler of preposterous conspiracy theories that she is, and the debate over Florida’s COVID response will never be the same.
We have been running this little, weeklong webathon based on our coverage of the lab-leak theory and how we refused, from the beginning, to honor the conventional wisdom that said suspicions of the Wuhan lab were out of bounds.
But I wanted to write about Jones in my final missive because it is another example of essentially the same phenomenon.
The conventional wisdom about Jones was that she was a serious data scientist who called into question the Florida pandemic response and she paid the price in rank retaliation against her.
But we didn’t accept that conventional wisdom — indeed, we made it impossible for any fair-minded person to continue to buy into it.
Our Web drive has been a great success, thanks to your generosity. We started out with a goal to raise $50,000, and here at the very end have increased that goal to $100,000, which is ambitious but achievable with your help.
If you value not just what we have done on the lab-leak theory over the last year, but also what we have done on Rebekah Jones, with Charlie’s initial piece and follow-up coverage responding to her ever-shifting stories, please chip in whatever you can, whether it’s $5 or $5,000.
The reason the Jones article had such impact is that we took great care with it — Charlie worked on the piece for weeks, and we flyspecked it prior to publishing.
And everyone knew it was coming from a publication that, even if readers vehemently disagree with us, is credible and takes its journalistic obligations seriously.
I submit to you that this is invaluable. If you agree, I hope you can do a little something to support our work.
One day, for the first time in National Review’s long history, we will be a profitable enterprise. We are certainly working at it. But until then, we depend on the generosity of friends and are blessed with the best readers, and supporters, in journalism.
If you have already contributed, forgive this redundant pitch and thank you very much. If you haven’t, please consider becoming one of the 200 or so additional donors we need to hit $100,000, a goal we would have thought out of reach when we started this drive a week ago.
We are committed to continuing to do what we do — among other things, subjecting the so-called expert consensus to critical examination and deflating the heroes of the Left, as warranted.
Our last cover, by Michael Brendan Dougherty, was a long dissection of the cult of Anthony Fauci.
But we can only persist with your backing. Every $10 makes a difference and is sincerely appreciated.
Thank you for reading, and God bless.