Joe Henderson: Correcting disinformation isn’t the same as stifling dissent
Ron DeSantis is a lawyer's dream.

It's not censorship to correct disinformation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the Disinformation Governance Board to die a quick and painful death.

That’s the board President Joe Biden announced last month to counter inaccurate information passed off as truth. You know, things like insisting rigged voting machines credited Biden with ballots cast for what’s-his-name from Mar-a-Lago.

Or that COVID-19 vaccines contained microchips that could track a person’s every move. That’s so residents of the deep state could know where you are at all times.

“What they are doing to try to stifle dissent to try to elevate a chosen political narrative that’s endorsed by the regime and to try to marginalize dissenters is not what a free society is all about,” DeSantis said. “What they will use that for, I believe, is to feed the social media platforms with what they want to be censored and not want to be censored.”

Well, if anyone would know about elevating a chosen political narrative endorsed by the regime, it would be the Governor.

The recent Legislative Session was more about slaying straw men than accomplishing things that actually benefit citizens.

But I digress.

It’s inconsistent for DeSantis to complain about the free flow of information after he has spent so much time pushing his narrative on many things. That, of course, is his right just as it is the Board’s right to offer, oh, what did they call it?

Alternative facts.

No one is trying to stifle dissent, especially when we see the consequences of state-controlled media every day in Russia. Dissent is a way of life in America, and it should be. I agree with the Governor that robust debate about multiple points of view is healthy and necessary.

What we’ve seen, however, is not debate. Too often, it’s dangerous, and people die because of that.

The country just passed the dreadful milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19. Who knows how many thousands of people would be alive today if they didn’t believe the quackery they saw online about vaccines as gospel?

To the Governor’s point, people should immediately expose misinformation, whether from the left or right. That’s what medical experts — you know, folks who actually studied medicine — did when DeSantis berated school students in Tampa for wearing facemasks.

That didn’t stifle dissent. It was a wide-ranging rebuke from people who know more about medicine than the Governor does. Correction is not the same as stifling.

DeSantis supports the Elon Musk takeover of Twitter because, he said, the billionaire will “open it up.”

Twitter, lest we forget, was Donald Trump’s megaphone to amplify his baseless claim that mysterious forces stole the 2020 election. His lying tweets contributed directly to the Jan. 6 insurrection, where people died.

That’s why Twitter banned him.

Honestly, though, I am suspicious about the value of the Disinformation Governance Board. People are unlikely to believe anything that conflicts with their narrative.

If anything, that Board will give DeSantis an even bigger platform. He can rail against Government Speak while participating in Government Speak.

It’s genius.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • ScienceBLVR

    May 9, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Another insightful and on point column, Joe. And lest we forgot, DeSantis is also not a fan of the free flow of information if it comes from public school teachers, school boards, university professors, doctors, Democrars, or women, especially if it’s talk about the right to have autonomy over their own bodies…oops, I forgot Disney..they need to just shut up and dribble, too, right?

    • Impeach Biden

      May 9, 2022 at 8:39 pm

      Would the minister of disinformation, Mary Poppins, called out 60 minutes and their smear and creative editing against Governor DeSantis last year? I think you and I know the answer to that.

      • That’s what

        May 10, 2022 at 12:17 am

        I think you know what you want to know and don’t know what you don’t.

  • Walter Cronkite

    May 9, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    You leftists are going to get so owned in the midterms dispite Joe’s mindless rant on disinformation in a “news” format.

  • Tom

    May 9, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Mary poppins is a joke.
    Are you serious, is this the most qualified person to run a govt agency. Joe, you have jumped the shark with your hate, one sided hostility. Are you serious? You mourn 1 million Covid deaths. We’ve had 63 million abortions Joe. 63 million later since wrong vs right ( Roe vs Wade) it’s a joke Joe.

    You have lost your mind lately. Really hit bottom.

    • One and Done

      May 10, 2022 at 12:22 am

      Covid: 63 million? Ok I’ll match that your on. lol

      • Tom

        May 10, 2022 at 6:57 am

        63 million abortions, 50 yrs later you idiot. One and done, you are a fool.
        Picture face, you are Dem dem, scum bag.
        DeSantis America’s Gov, kahones like elephant. Busts Dems balls all day long! Enjoy, Nov./22 big win!

        • Walpurgis

          May 10, 2022 at 6:39 pm

          Adults only on this forum, please!

  • Picture face

    May 10, 2022 at 1:44 am

    Hope that’s the face desantis makes when some CIA spook gets rid of him 😄

  • Picture face

    May 10, 2022 at 1:45 am

    Hope that’s the face dramatist makes when some CIA spook gets rid of him 😂

  • Not so Joe

    May 10, 2022 at 3:23 am

    “Alternative facts.”
    Unh-unh. Not so bland and velvet a thing as a mere alternative to a narrative, nothing so simple as another point of view.
    “Government-approved facts” — of the kind the people of Russia are getting right now from their government approved media, and the kind the American government-approved media–no, no, “mainstream” not government-approved–generate everyday. (Joe, every time all the well-scrubbed young geniuses who possess White House press credentials gather in the press room, all they become is a cabal of well-vetted, government-approved mouthpieces.)The problem, Joe, that you and the rest of the folks in the Bureau of Yakkery never seem quite to grasp, is not that there is more than one version of the truth. Having more than one version of the truth is not a problem. I’ll decide for myself which one to believe. The problem arises when there is only ONE version of the truth, or else. When that happens, those of us who can’t quite bring ourselves to swallow it become–uncitizens?

  • Tom

    May 10, 2022 at 1:52 pm

    Joe, some people suggest that you engage in dis information. Just saying Joe.
    Feel free to say it ain’t do Joe.

  • Walpurgis

    May 10, 2022 at 6:34 pm

    We appreciate that you took time away from yelling “stop the steal” at the ceiling to participate in this forum.

    • Walpurgis

      May 10, 2022 at 6:42 pm

      Above is reply to Tom.

      • Tom

        May 10, 2022 at 9:44 pm

        The favorite horses ass, most insignificant fake moniker!

        You are getting your political ass kicked! Did you see your incompetent Potus drool on self today. He will pee next time. Not even giggles is around him anymore.

        You can go F yourself, another Dem, Dum scum bag.

        DeSantis America’s Gov, whizzes upon you and your Manchurian Dem nation.

        I destroy you Manchurians daily.
        I am legend!

Comments are closed.


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