Rebekah Jones’ firing is the COVID clickbait the media dreams of – but it’s all fake

Rebekah Jones’ firing is the COVID clickbait the media dreams of – but it’s all fake

By Brian Burgess, The Capitolist

Dozens of media outlets, both in Florida and nationally, published the sensational story of Dr. Rebekah Jones, a state Department of Health employee who was fired by the administration of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Trump ally, after – she says – she refused to manipulate data to support the governor’s plan to reopen the state.

But a deeper look at the underlying facts expose a less sensational, yet all-too-common narrative: a media feeding frenzy caused by a deep-seated desire to report on scandal and cover-ups, which Rebekah Jones’ claims delivered – if only they were true.

They are not.

Let’s pick through the individual pieces of wreckage from this crashed-and-burned narrative one by one:

Claim #1: Rebekah Jones was the “architect” of the Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard.

The truth: Jones was more like the drywall hanger of the dashboard rather than the “architect.” The dashboard was built on the same visual mapping tool that Johns Hopkins University made famous at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. In fact, Florida’s tool looks extremely similar. That’s because Johns Hopkins University is not the “architect” of the dashboard, either. The tool is actually built not on any of Florida’s many data servers, but using ready-made modules from a subscription service called ArcGIS. Jones’ job was to load data into those modules and decide how it appeared to visitors.

Claim #2: Rebekah Jones was a coronavirus “scientist” 

The truth: Jones has a doctorate degree in geography. Her skill set, as applicable to COVID-19, was in mapping data, as we explained above. That’s it. No special skills in epidemiology, biology, or even public health. Depending on the narrative a media outlet wants to convey, using the term “scientist” in headlines about coronavirus carries with it a very specific connotation, leading readers to believe Jones was involved in the front lines of coronavirus research. If media outlets insist on describing her as a “scientist,” they owe their readers a fuller explanation of her role, and should, at most, describe her as a “data scientist,” though even that could be misleading and would still be misconstrued for political gain.

Claim #3: Rebekah Jones was asked to manipulate data to support the governor’s plan to reopen Florida

The truth: Jones was asked to temporarily disable the ability to export data from the dashboard so that it could be verified that the data matched other sources.

We previously gave credit to the Tampa Bay Times for accurately describing Jones’ role in managing the COVID-19 dashboard. They also accurately describe events leading to Jones termination. Don’t misunderstand – the Times is still guilty of trying to make Jones a martyr. Take a look at how they describe what happened:

[On May 4th] the [EventDate] column vanished from the “Person Cases” data, which lists anonymized records for every confirmed case in Florida. The Palm Beach Post reported the disappearance the next day, May 5.

The Tampa Bay Times automatically checks for changes in the data and archives new updates. Shortly before 10:12 a.m on May 4., data still included the EventDate field, showing records with listed dates that people reported symptoms as early as January 1. By 3:02 p.m., the column was gone.

For much of the next day, May 5, the column was either missing or empty, with every row listing “None.” Finally, it returned shortly before 8:02 p.m.

If you’re struggling to see what all the fuss is about, you’re not alone. By the Times own account, a single column of data became temporarily unavailable for a day and a half. The only other item worthy of note in the Times’ story is that the state’s official epidemiologist (i.e. an actual medical scientist, not a data mapper, like Jones) asked to have the ability to export data from the dashboard temporarily disabled while health officials verify that the dates match other official sources.

This is critical. The Tampa Bay Times had the full explanation for why the data was temporarily unavailable, but they and other media outlets decided to run with “coronavirus conspiracy” instead. In fact, the Times headline claims Jones was asked to “delete” data. No where in the story itself does the word “delete” appear. It’s another clickbait headline.

Claim #4: Rebekah Jones was fired because she refused to comply with orders to hide the truth about COVID-19

The truth: The idea that Jones is somehow a martyr for truth about coronavirus and a victim of a DeSantis administration cover up is a narrative too many media outlets were willing to jump on.

She was fired for insubordination, according to the DeSantis Administration:

“Rebekah Jones exhibited a repeated course of insubordination during her time with the department, including her unilateral decisions to modify the department’s COVID-19 dashboard without input or approval from the epidemiological team or her supervisors,” DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferre said in a statement. “The blatant disrespect for the professionals who were working around the clock to provide the important information for the COVID-19 website was harmful to the team.”

Jones is no stranger to insubordination. In 2016, she was arrested on the campus of her employer, Louisiana State University, for refusing to obey the orders of a police officer:

On June 13, 26-year-old University staff member Rebekah Jones was booked on one count of battery on a police officer, one count of remaining after forbidden and two counts of resisting arrest, Scott said. Scott said officers arrived at the Sea Grant building when Jones refused to leave at the request of LSU Human Resources. Scott said Jones initiated physical contact against two LSUPD officers while resisting arrest and officers were forced to subdue her.

It’s not clear why LSU’s Human Resources department asked one of their own staff members to leave the area.

Jones also has an extensive criminal history in Leon County, where she’s been arrested and charged with three felonies, including one for robbery, and a handful of misdemeanor cases including “sexual cyberstalking,” a case where she created a website and used it to sexually harass her ex-boyfriend. The website has been taken down, but images from the case exist in Leon County court records.

Most of the charges filed against her came after she was hired by the Department of Health, so they would not have turned up in any background check.

The bottom line: Rebekah Jones was fired for performance issues, not for “refusing to manipulate data.” And her extensive criminal history, which predates her employment in Florida, lends credence to the DeSantis administration that she was just a troublesome employee who is now disgruntled and trying to get media attention about her firing. The easiest way to get media attention right now is to claim a Republican elected official is involved in a conspiracy to cover up COVID-19 data detrimental to reopening the state economy.

The media outlets listed above will not issue retractions. They will double down on the idea that DeSantis’s administration is withholding / manipulating / deleting / altering data. That, too is totally false. But mark these words, the embarrassment of touting Rebekah Jones as their coronavirus martyr will quickly fade into the mainstream media memory hole.

140 Responses to "Rebekah Jones’ firing is the COVID clickbait the media dreams of – but it’s all fake"

  1. Avatar
    Lee   May 20, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    The reporting of this issue has inspired me to get a subscription

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Jon   May 20, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Uh, how did she get hired in the first place with that record?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Staff   May 20, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      This is a great question. Her application has been requested.

      Reply
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      Hannah   May 20, 2020 at 3:00 pm

      “Most of the charges filed against her came after she was hired by the the Department of Health, so they would not have turned up in any background check “ that was stated in the article.

      Reply
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        Maggie   May 20, 2020 at 3:30 pm

        Still, you’d think being arrested and forcibly removed from her last job would raise some red flags….

        Reply
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          Ronni Blumenthal   May 20, 2020 at 5:09 pm

          The article says that her extensive record was after hire and a paragraph later says it was post hire. Hmmmm….

          Reply
          • Avatar
            test   May 20, 2020 at 6:31 pm

            “Post” MEANS “After”.

          • Avatar
            cheeflo   May 20, 2020 at 6:32 pm

            After hire. Post hire. Same difference.

      • Avatar
        Maggie   May 20, 2020 at 3:32 pm

        But like… getting arrested while being forcibly removed from your last job should probably raise some red flags.

        Reply
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          Trout   May 21, 2020 at 12:33 pm

          Even if all these events, getting arrested, gong to jail, getting Baker Acted, restraining order, etc. happened after she was hired, how can someone hide all of that from their employer? Lots of questions to be answered here. I am guessing this is just the tip of the iceberg for good “Dr” Jones.

          Reply
          • Avatar
            Karen   May 24, 2020 at 8:42 pm

            The LSU incidents were pre-hire. The robbery and cyber-stalking were post-hire.

      • Avatar
        Sam Jabr   May 21, 2020 at 2:17 am

        Reading is hard.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          Brian Ott   May 21, 2020 at 8:36 am

          Reading is easy, comprehension is the hard part 🙂

          Reply
    • Avatar
      Sandra   May 21, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Did you read the story? It states it. Those crimes were COMMITED after she was hired

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Willers   May 22, 2020 at 4:51 am

      Good question. If she was arrested in 2016 and hired in 2018 ergo the arrest actions were pre-hire not post-hire.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Donna V   May 25, 2020 at 3:00 am

      Answer was given IN the above story line ! The charges came AFTER she was hired by the Health Dept !

      Reply
  3. Avatar
    Tyler   May 20, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I can appreciate the different point of view on the issue, but your narrative on “Claim 2” seems pretty off base to me. Geography, by definition is about as close as your can get to being a scientist. And while she may not have degrees in virology, epidemiology, or those suited to the biological side of the disease, geography is very much involved in the research. Knowing how and why the disease moves from place to place is exactly the kind of work geographers and GIS persons do.

    I also waiver on the idea she was fired for performance issues. I don’t believe she was asked to manipulate data, but rather censor it until reviewed.

    Overall, I appreciate your piece. Gives a better understanding of the situation than what is reported on by most outlets, just thought I’d weigh in on a few lines.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Michael Wikan   May 20, 2020 at 4:57 pm

      That’s like claiming your PHD in Philosophy somehow makes you a credible authority on Brain Surgery. Please.

      Reply
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      Deborah Gottwald   May 20, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      She was definitely not the architect of the program although definitely a liar and it appears a felon.

      Reply
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      Mike   May 20, 2020 at 9:44 pm

      Geography is NOT a science! Science is information that was gathered using something called “the scientific method.” In real science, hypotheses about reality are tested by carefully constructed tests called “experiments.” Experimentation, data gathering, analyzing data and then using that information to either confirm or reject a hypothesis is the definition of “science.”

      How does any of that describe freaking geography? “I hypothesize that Florida is next to Iceland!” (Looks at map…) “Guess I was wrong about that…”

      Reply
      • Avatar
        GIS Scientist   May 20, 2020 at 10:59 pm

        lol how embarrassing for you. hopefully no one sees this.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Amanda Solem   May 21, 2020 at 5:45 am

        A PhD in geography is not just making maps and naming countries, just like a PhD in biology is not just making body parts. Here are some examples of distractions https://www.lsu.edu/ga/programs/dissertations.php. A data scientist is called that because they are indeed scientists. I think trying to say she isn’ta scientist is silly, but specifying that her expertise is mapping and analyzing data rather than epidemiology is a good idea.

        Reply
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        Ricky   May 21, 2020 at 5:52 am

        That’s because ArcGIS spatial software requires computer science knowledge. ArcGIS is is the application of computer science in the field of geography.

        There are even many job positions with the title GIS Scientist, it definitely exists.

        Reply
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        Rick   May 21, 2020 at 5:54 am

        Yes, Geographical information science (GIS) is a real field and subspecialty within geography.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_information_science

        Geographic information science or geographical information science (GIScience or GISc) is the scientific discipline that studies the techniques to capture, represent, process, and analyze geographic information.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Eratosthenes   May 21, 2020 at 10:12 am

        Excuse me, I think you’re wrong. I hope this provides some clarity:

        Geography (from Greek: ?????????, geographia, literally “earth description”) is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets.
        Studies of human-land relationships, and the Earth sciences. Geography has been called “the world discipline” and “the bridge between the human and the physical sciences”.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      David   May 20, 2020 at 10:52 pm

      #2 undermines the credibility of the writer and shows an incompetence in gathering even the most basic of information. Every sector of the economy uses GIS, and most of those people use ArcGIS. The fact that she was using ArcGIS to create the dashboards does not mean she didn’t know what she was doing. The whole point that she isn’t the “architect” of the dashboards is asinine and should be removed, or maybe, according to this hack, thousands of GIS technicians, analysts, and database managers should find a new career because their jobs and expertise are fake.

      Reply
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        Variant   May 24, 2020 at 10:58 am

        It actually doesn’t. It’s actually quite analogous to a DBA, responsible for a finance-related ETL process claiming some expertise on the finance data. Yes, they move it around and manipulate it, but they’ve no involvement in its sourcing or initial calculation.

        They are very separate things.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      Clay   May 20, 2020 at 11:41 pm

      As somebody who took Geology and Geography for the two required lab science classes at Valdosta State, Geography is a science. However, when you tell people that you are a scientist, that’s not what they commonly think of.

      Also, according to a Desantis interview i saw today, he stated that she refused to put up data given to her.

      Reply
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      GB   May 21, 2020 at 8:22 am

      Tyler:
      She was data entry personnel. She was not the team leader on this. Manipulate data? based on what information? Stop making excuses for bad behavior. It was clearly an attempt to do political damage. You need to admit that.

      Reply
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      Methinks   May 21, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      No, how a disease moves through a population is one of the things (a main thing, actually) that epidemiologists study, not geographers. Geography doesn’t require deep knowledge of either biology or infectious diseases and that’s what’s necessary to understand spread in a population.

      Reply
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    Craig   May 20, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    I’d also like to comment on “Claim 2”. I have not been able to find evidence that she ever graduated with a PhD from Florida State University. Her curriculum vitae states a “Dissertation working title” and previous articles mention that she has (only) completed course requirements, not that she has passed any milestone exams. Do you have source that she is indeed Rebekah Jones, PhD?

    Reply
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      News Maven   May 20, 2020 at 9:31 pm

      If PhD stands for “Piled High & Deep,” then I believe she qualifies.
      This didn’t pass The Maven’s Smell Test yesterday, which is why I wrote what I wrote.

      Reply
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        Nordic Gott   May 21, 2020 at 9:45 am

        You must have gone to a different University, than most if that’s the Doctorate you earned.
        LoL.

        Reply
      • Avatar
        Presumptuous Maven   May 21, 2020 at 10:24 am

        I don’t know how your comment got pass the moderators.
        You must have gone to a different University if what you say PhD stands for is what Doctorate you ‘earned’ Lol.

        Reply
        • Avatar
          News Maven   May 21, 2020 at 7:27 pm

          Google “sarcasm.”

          Did you attend Leon County Screwels?

          Reply
    • Avatar
      Dave B   May 21, 2020 at 7:20 am

      Do people actually have “exams” when studying for a PhD though? If the entire purpose of the PhD is to add to the worlds knowledge base, so you’re essentially studying something that nobody has done before.

      I’ve never encountered a “taught” PhD which would be subjected to examinations, they’re all research based. Sure, at the end the thesis is submitted to a board whom ultimately decide if you’re to be awarded the PhD though.

      Reply
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        Bruce   May 23, 2020 at 10:31 pm

        Yes, but you have to defend a dissertation in front of a committee, to be deferred a PHD. Given this gal’s record, it’s not too much of a stretch to believe she may have lied on her resume…

        But what about the hiring manager?? Especially if those arrests pre-dated her hire. OOPS.

        Reply
  5. Avatar
    Gabby   May 20, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    You might want to check if she actually has a Ph.D. there is no evidence of a published dissertation on the FSU website.

    Reply
  6. Avatar
    rcade   May 20, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Your debunking needs some debunking. Geography is a science. Jones has a BA and MS in geography and is pursuing a PhD. It’s accurate to call her a scientist. The coronavirus dashboard was obviously the effort of geographers. That’s what they do and she’s qualified to do it.

    Reply
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      Rob Crawford   May 20, 2020 at 3:26 pm

      Except that with tools like ArcGIS, all you do to generate a map is create a table with some geographic identifier (say, ZIP code) and some data value (say, number of cases). Then you feed to data to the GIS tool and it generates a map. There’s no “science” needed; it’s not even particularly advanced computer usage.

      Any “geographer” work was done by the vendor, and most likely it involved digitizing maps or translating government-provided databases into their own format.

      Reply
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        Cob Rrawford   May 20, 2020 at 4:18 pm

        That’s more the case for ArcGIS online. Not really for other mapping applications or software. And just because she didn’t do anything particularly advanced in this instance, doesn’t mean she’s not trained in the science of doing so.

        Reply
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        Dirk Herr-Hoyman   May 20, 2020 at 5:47 pm

        Rob- As someone who has a background in GIS, data science and computer science, I think you are selling short what’s involved. ArcGIS is a tool and saying it’s easy to use it is like saying it’s easy to build a house if you go down to Home Depot and get some lumber. There’s quite a bit involved here, starting with data modeling (same as you need to do with a SQL database) and more generally understanding the problem domain. This is most definitely advanced computer usage.

        I also would say that the article by Tallahasseer Reports is selling Jones short in Claim #1 saying this is not a work of architecture. Nope, this is rather complex, much like building a house or in this case a new building. Sure you can look at similar works, like what Johns Hopkins did, but it still needs the hand of an architect, a GIS architect if you like, to get it right. Just like you bring in an building architect to build a new building and all that goes into doing that.

        GIS is a combination of Geography and Computer Science. Some term this a computational science. It’s certainly more complicated than either one, as you need to have a deep knowledge of both to do something new.

        Reply
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          Variant   May 24, 2020 at 11:05 am

          I have background here too. Understanding how to load data into a GIS system and manipulate it confers no added expertise in epidemiology or public health. Yes, managing a GIS system can be complex (though in this case the platform is ArcGIS with a templatized dashboard so much of the heavy lifting was already done), but it’s like saying a database administrator has some insights into the authenticity of financial data provided to them for loads into a Business Intelligence system. It doesn’t diminish the skill of the DBA, it’s more that the domains of expertise overlap far less than you’re alluding.

          Hope that helps…

          Reply
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      Ed   May 20, 2020 at 3:52 pm

      While true, geography is a science, so calling her a scientists is accurate. Where the other media failed is to disclose that she is not a scientist in a health related field and is a GIS level scientist.

      They had an opportunity to present all of the facts. The question is, why not? It can’t be due to space because the digital versions do not have such space limitations. Makes one wonder why?

      Reply
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        DJ   May 20, 2020 at 5:30 pm

        The first two sources listed for claim #2, NPR and The Guardian, both mention what her doctorate is in.
        NPR: “You know, she has a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in geography”
        The Guardian: “Jones, a data scientist with degrees in geography and journalism”

        Reply
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          Rob R   May 21, 2020 at 8:05 am

          Tell me how many semesters of statistics and calculus she has and I’ll tell you if she’s a “data scientist”. She may work with data, and may create dashboards, but I’ll bet she’s not statistically analyzing data to tease out correlations and causality from the “noise” inherent in any data set like this.

          Reply
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      Jay   May 20, 2020 at 4:10 pm

      Arguably, having a degree in a science field does not make one a scientist, in the same way having a degree in Education will not make someone a teacher.

      Reply
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      B m   May 20, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      So anyone with an MS can can himself a scientist?

      I consider a scientist to be a person who spends his time doing science. Generally that means his primary occupation or vocation is a scientific endeavor. Receiving remuneration for one’s ‘scientific’ work significantly supports the idea one is a practicing scientist.

      Having a Ph.D is not a requirement but lends support to the claim of being a scientist.

      Being recognized as doing real scientific work by one’s peers is not a requirement but also supports the claim.

      Being a low-level ‘data manager’ with the Dept. of Health futzing around with data presentation on a website that has nothing to do with your undergrad or grad degrees does not scream out “Scientist doing science!” To me…

      Reply
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      Deborah Gottwald   May 20, 2020 at 8:16 pm

      Persuing a PhD does not allow you the right to call yourself a doctor.

      Reply
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      methinks   May 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      I think in today’s world, calling someone a “scientist” working on something COVID-related implies that she’s on the same level as, say, a doctor or epidemiologist. It gives her an air of expertise in the disease. In fact, she’s not a scientist in any position to make judgements about health data. That data is fed to her by public health officials, thus she is in no position to make any judgements on the data itself. Maybe she can take issue with how it’s mapped, but the infection and death totals and causes of death are not things she is qualified to express opinions about.

      Reply
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    Anonymous   May 20, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    Just one clarification, she doesn’t actually hold a doctorate. She never completed her PhD.

    Reply
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    Christine M Lojan   May 20, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    And my cousin couldn’t get a job a Walmart with a misdemeanor! Lol!

    Reply
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    Joey   May 20, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Claim 2 is a bit disingenuous, geography is indeed a science. That being said, even a quick search shows no evidence she has a PhD. Given her limited time at FSU, and history of sexual misconduct, I doubt that institution would want to keep her around.

    Reply
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    Peter   May 20, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    She never claimed to have held a doctorate. She is a data scientist. An epidemiologist would not have a clue how to build such a dashboard.

    https://www.esri.com/about/newsroom/blog/scientist-maps-florida-covid19-cases/

    Reply
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      Pillage Idiot   May 20, 2020 at 3:33 pm

      An epidemiologist is also a “data scientist”. Their data specialty is the study of disease – including spatial distribution.

      Your statement, “An epidemiologist would not have a clue how to build such a dashboard” is evidence of your ignorance.

      Reply
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      Maggie   May 20, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      She absolutely identified herself as a doctor in other articles, and she’s identified as such in this one which is why some (probably former colleagues from FSU) are taking issue with it.

      Reply
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        Hope   May 20, 2020 at 4:03 pm

        Good job staff!

        The Democrats just keep digging themselves in deeper.

        Democrats protected this man for years and even gave him a job at the Florida Department of Children and Families…
        https://miami.cbslocal.com/2019/08/09/florida-man-liquor-store-clerk-hey-look-at-this-pulls-out-penis/

        Biden’s treasonist affiliations
        will soon come to light through a subpoena, yet he is the Democratic party nominee for president.

        When are they going to realize that humanity is what is needed for public service and not silly Democratic Party political partisan nonsense?

        Democrats should be rushing to change their political party affiliation.

        Reply
  11. Avatar
    Doug   May 20, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    She never earned a PhD, to give her the title of Dr. is fake news

    Reply
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    Anon   May 20, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Regarding claim 2. First, you do not need to have a PhD to be a scientist. She is what we geographers would call a Geographic Information Scientist. Period. On her CV it clearly states that she has extensive scientific research experience, including being published in peer-review journals (for those of you that don’t understand what that means, these are publications that are reviewed and approved by other experts in the field…). The journals she lists are respectable. There is a undisciplined in Geography called health or medical geography, such scientists look at health data that has a geospatial component. COVID does indeed have a very spatial component. You can look at the major scientists in academia publishing on COVID and they are largely health geographers. Ms. Jones’ research background shows that she has experience in disaster mapping applications and given her training and credentials on the CV would make her qualified for the job she was doing.

    Reply
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      R   May 21, 2020 at 5:55 am

      Yes, Geographical information science (GIS) is a real field and subspecialty within geography.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_information_science

      Geographic information science or geographical information science (GIScience or GISc) is the scientific discipline that studies the techniques to capture, represent, process, and analyze geographic information.

      Reply
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        Variant   May 24, 2020 at 11:07 am

        … and has nothing to do with epidemiology or public health.

        Reply
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    JS   May 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm

    FWIW, calling someone who loads data into an ArcGIS dashboard a system architect is similar to claiming you’re the architect of your Facebook page. It’s not completely false, but definitely misleading. Only govt would use a PhD for a role that’s performed by technicians or low level analysts in the private sector.

    Reply
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    Adam   May 20, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Well that’s a solid hit piece, considering she doesn’t actually have a criminal record; all of the cases that the author highlights were nolle prossed or no info’ed, and wouldn’t be admissible in any court, except the court of public opinion. This was 100% a character hit piece.

    I’m not arguing the merits of her claims, in fact I find it dubious that such a verifiable set of data sourced from other, local, data sources is subject to willful modification, given the political backlash it would bring but everything from “she isn’t really a scientist” to “she isn’t the “architect” of the dashboard” is just kind of a farce intended to distract from the issue at hand.

    Either she was told to modify data or she wasn’t, and the article was pretty short on verifiable facts there, just conclusory opinions. But hey, I might have been asking too much from the author (The Capitolist): An “insider” news aggregation blog purporting an “authentic conservative voice” written by a guy who runs a PR shop for conservative politicians. Bound to be viewpoint neutral, right?

    Reply
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      Bill   May 20, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      She does have a criminal record. She’s been arrested multiple times. That’s record. It’s obvious she has problems with authority and maturity. So you missed this part, “Rebekah Jones exhibited a repeated course of insubordination during her time with the department, including her unilateral decisions to modify the department’s COVID-19 dashboard without input or approval from the epidemiological team or her supervisors,”.

      What, do you have a crush on her?

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Chuck   May 20, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Pretty clearly states in the article that she ” asked to have the ability to export data from the dashboard temporarily disabled while health officials verify that the dates match other official sources.” I’d hardly call that “modifying data” try reading more carefully before you get on your high horse.

      Reply
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      Chad Bigly   May 20, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      the “solid hit piece” clearly states that she was ” asked to have the ability to export data from the dashboard temporarily disabled while health officials verify that the dates match other official sources.”. Maybe try reading more carefully before you get on your high horse.

      Reply
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      Adam   May 21, 2020 at 12:32 am

      She does not have a criminal record, Bill, she has an arrest record. My damn grandmother has an arrest record. The point is that until you’ve been convicted in a court of law, a mere arrest wouldn’t qualify as a “record” if this author had any journalistic integrity. You’re not a criminal until you’ve been convicted of a crime, “innocent until proven guilty” ring a bell for you?

      Chuck and Chad, y’all are missing the forest for the trees here. I know what the article says, I read it, I’m arguing its veracity (that means truthfulness), and it’s viewpoint neutrality (that means it wasn’t written to fit a particular political agenda). It’s something adults generally expect from their news media. The author makes claims about what Ms. Jones was asked to do, and it doesn’t comport with what Ms. Jones is claiming. The article provides no proof, sources, or quotes from persons who would have firsthand knowledge as to what Ms. Jones was or was not asked to do. It merely parrots a PR statement issued by the Governor’s office, who is clearly, you know, doing PR. That’s the point. This isn’t investigative journalism. It’s a hit piece. I’ll stay right up here on my high horse, thank you, I wouldn’t dare get into the pile of manure you manage to wade in all day.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Rick   May 21, 2020 at 5:49 am

        Thank you for speaking the truth Adam.
        It’s a 100% character hit piece.

        It’s election year too, so everything is hyper politicized.

        Reply
  15. Avatar
    Bud Reynolds   May 20, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Funny. You folks read an article about false claims in her being fired, ignore the false stories, the dubious past, and decide to argue over whether or not she’s actually a scientist. How about opening your eyes to the real problem? Reporting to fit a narrative, rather than what actually happens, is the news media’s biggest problem. And it’s killing their business.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      News Maven   May 20, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      You hit the nail on the head there, Bud. Doubling, tripling, & quadrupling down will obliterate the Fake News Media during the current decade.

      Keep the GAME BALL.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Thomas C. Hooker   May 21, 2020 at 2:19 pm

      I am a Dr. of Dog Walking. Extensive experience, read some about it, studied hard, made a website. I am a Dr. now. Of Dog Walking.

      Reply
  16. Avatar
    Christopher W Biron   May 20, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    You don’t necessarily have to have the degree in hand to be a PHD. Often if your in the process of defending your dissertation, you will be referred to as doctor (as you completed all the steps and years of work.) Looking her up, apparently she has dual master degrees…which is insanely difficult.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Randy   May 20, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      This perspective is not quite true, as the vast majority of institutions would not refer to someone as “Dr.” until they have at the very least successfully defended their dissertation. At best she would be ABD, which would put her as having completed coursework and passing any examination required to continue the program. After two years of coursework, that would be the most appropriate title, or “PhD student” if she had not yet passed her exams, but there is no evidence she should be called “Dr.” at all.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Jeff Hofstead   May 23, 2020 at 9:30 pm

        I have science PhD. Randy is totally correct.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      GeoffB   May 20, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      I don’t know anyone with a PhD who thinks you get to call yourself doctor before your dissertation is approved. And being ABD (all but dissertation), if I applied for an academic job and called myself doctor, I’d get laughed out of the room.

      Reply
    • Avatar
      John Stevens   May 23, 2020 at 9:27 pm

      Unless you graduate you do not have a PhD. No one calls themself “Doctor” unless they earned it. The dissertation is the final step and once it isapproved, along with satisfying any other previous requirements, then you graduate. I have a PhD

      Reply
  17. Avatar
    Rob   May 20, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    Calling her a “scientist” gives her more credence than calling her a “geographer” because readers would likely assume she’s an epidemiologist. So it’s an attempt to mislead. We know how the game is played.

    Reply
  18. Avatar
    Snidely Whiplash   May 20, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    You all are over anaylising and engaging in wild speculation.
    This is all gonna do a quick fizzle and disappear so quickly.
    Its gonna be like a few days a week at the most and you all gonna wonder “what ever happened with that Dep of Health lady”???
    Why do I say this?
    Its right under your nose just take a look at the picture. If thats her then she’s not of the proper ethnic background to interest the media much more than a week. And regardless theres some unhelpful background baggage the lady brings to her big virtue signaling bash DeSantis “reveal”.

    Reply
  19. Pingback: No, Florida Didn’t Fire A Department Of Health Employee For Refusing To Manipulate Data - Here's The "Build The Wall Hat" You Want | Walls-Work.org

  20. Avatar
    David Longfellow   May 20, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    One thing you can depend on with the media: they’re lying to you with an agenda.

    Reply
  21. Avatar
    Robert   May 20, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Ms. Jones’s geography degree makes her more qualified to be “the architect” of the site than most state website designers. An epidemiologist or other healthcare scientist would NOT be qualified to build such a site unless they had also learned to use the ArcGIS tools by training or on their own.

    The “drywall hanger” slam demonstrates that the author is as guilty as those he criticizes of making huge assumptions, in this case about how websites are designed. Almost all websites with changing data are built with large suites of tools. The designers pick from lists choices much like altering the colors of things on a computer desktop. There is little to no actual programming involved.

    Ms. Jones was reportedly fired for “insubordination” by making changes go the website without approval? Website designers and maintainers constantly make changes. Which kinds of changes require preapproval from the “stakeholders” varies by site and often changes over time.

    To state that her firing was “for performance issues”, as if that explains everything and is entirely justified, is a tried and true mantra of managers everywhere to cover up the real reasons. Those reasons may be legit and may not. We don’t know.

    I personally have experienced managers demanding instant results that do not allow time to do the job correctly and my pushback being called insubordination so I’m sympathetic to Ms. Jones until proven otherwise.

    The “criminal history” stuff at the end is a blatant attempt to discredit by calling acts of civil disobedience “criminal”. Technically correct, but acceptable and often revered in our culture.

    Employees don’t pushback against their managers without reason. I’d really like to hear the details of what she was ordered to do that she refused and why.

    Reply
  22. Avatar
    Keith   May 20, 2020 at 4:41 pm

    You’re sympathetic to her because she is criticizing a Republican. Let’s be honest about it, at least.

    Reply
  23. Pingback: Rebekah Jones' firing the Covid clickbait the media dreams of but it’s all fake - Conservative News Outlet

  24. Avatar
    GISP   May 20, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    As a Geographic Information Systems Professional your rebuttals to claims #1 and #2 are completely wrong. As are Rob Crawford’s comments, haha!

    Reply
  25. Avatar
    Philip Ward   May 20, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Nowhere in this article does it say what the results of all the arrests and charges listed were. And you don’t even bother to ask Rebekah Jones for her side of this story. A very biased and therefore unreliable article.

    Reply
  26. Avatar
    Jacob   May 20, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Her Masters Thesis is here:

    https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/gradschool_theses/3514/

    This suggests she was in fact a grad student

    https://geography.fsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/CURRICULUM-VITAE_8_2017.pdf

    Its not terribly uncommon for people to not get the thesis done; its a lot of work, and sometimes personal stuff and personalities gets in the way. To her credit, her CV does not claim that she’s finished her thesis. It says “working title”

    Reply
  27. Avatar
    Dirk   May 20, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    What’s also odd to me is why you’d terminate someone who is obviously doing something good, right in the middle of a crisis. It’s hard enough to get really smart and competent folks, why get rid of them? If there is a problem, well that’s where you discuss it. At this level of work, I would expect it to take months before someone is terminated. Not days.

    I would imagine Rebekah Jones won’t have trouble finding her next job.

    Reply
  28. Avatar
    Aber Crombie   May 20, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Governor Ron has doggie do on his shoes, and is trying mightily to wipe it off. However, it still smells

    Reply
  29. Avatar
    A concerned citizen   May 20, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    A hardcore conservative wrong about science? Color me shocked. What are your scientific credentials, Mr Burgess?

    Nice hitpiece though. Go for the ad hominem when your party once again has mud on its face.

    Reply
  30. Avatar
    WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot   May 20, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    CLICKCRAP Just more horse pucky from the left reported by the liberal agenda to make the Governor look bad.

    Reply
  31. Avatar
    Kevin   May 20, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    good stuff. I am not used to actual reporting…

    Reply
  32. Avatar
    Alex   May 20, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Glad to see all these comments. New folks to respond to Tall. Reports. Keep reading TR and join us in other issues. We need as much interest in getting our school system back on the right track.

    Reply
  33. Avatar
    Mark   May 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Click bait, just like Rocky feeding misinformation to Jeff Burlew then the Democrat printing Rocky’s misleading information Rocky lied to state and federal authorities but his damage was done. Anyone that supports Rocky is supporting someone who purposely filed knowingly false information to win an election.

    Reply
  34. Avatar
    Athena   May 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    What is your proof for the felonies mentioned? I could not find anything on the court site of the Leon county.

    Reply
  35. Avatar
    anonymous   May 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    She is obviously a self promoter, judging by all interviews and activities about this dashboard which is based on a tool already built by a private corporation. I have been a GIS professional at the University level for 25 years, and the Florida’s dashboard is very poorly designed. The way the data is summarized and displayed is very primitive and at times meaningless, compared to what the potential for it is. The accessibility of the data is cumbersome and it leads the user to the servers of the private corporation i.e. ESRI that is promoting her work, in order to be able to download public data. So, even her claimed work, does not convince one that she is a ‘scientist’. She is a manager by job description, and before that she was just a GIS analyst. Neither get even close to being a ‘scientist’ of GIS or any other field. This is not to say that there may have probably been an attempt of data cover up at any point, but her credibility is very very dubious to me.

    Reply
  36. Pingback: Last Call for 5.20.20 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics – Sustain Ovator

  37. Avatar
    Anonymous   May 20, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    I have met this woman a few times and I think she is extremely annoying and self absorbed.

    The DOH dashboard is not the greatest example of an esri dashboard. It’s not that complex, or well styled, so if she worked 16 hour days for 2 months, she was doing a lot of things wrong.

    You can be both a developer and a data scientist in the GIS field, but I seriously doubt either titles can be applied to her. Her own statements give the impression she doesn’t have the first clue about data analysis. You always, always ensure public numbers match in all places they are provided. That’s just very strange to think there are duplicitous intentions by trying to be consistent with data releases and if they disabled the ability to download raw data from her dashboard but not other places, then that implies her numbers are bad.

    I don’t like that this story got politicized. I’m not the biggest fan of DeSantis, but this whole thing is just someone who got fired for repeated bad behavior and tried to play herself up as a victim.

    Reply
  38. Pingback: THE WhistleBlowers   | FLORIDA, USA: REBEKAH JONES, scientist in Department of Health, created state COVID-19 data portal, Geographic Information System (GIS) manager, doctorate in Geography from Florida State University in 2018, holds a masters of scien

  39. Avatar
    Abe Molmud   May 20, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    There appears to be a political smear campaign against her in reaction to this event (https://cbs4local.com/news/nation-world/florida-covid-19-dashboard-designer-faces-cyber-sexual-harassment-charges-desantis-says). Further investigations are needed before anyone can 100% defend a side of the story. But looking back on history, I’m siding with the scientist.

    Reply
  40. Avatar
    jd   May 21, 2020 at 12:27 am

    On #1, she literally was the architect, not only the architect, but the builders too. She single handedly designed not only that application but the entire infrastructure supporting it. Processing and updating the data fed into those applications was hundreds of lines of code. Saying she wasn’t an architect is the same as saying modern architects aren’t architects.

    #2, not all GIS practitioners are scientists. Those that have an MS in geography, professionally design data systems, and conduct scientific GIS research are. Not all scientists have lab coats… most don’t.

    Reply
  41. Avatar
    GW   May 21, 2020 at 12:30 am

    There are all sorts of ways companies spin exits like this. But one thing I 100% believe is that someone asked her to modify the data to show a preferential view. I believe this because I have been in the role of a data scientist and analytics designer for over 12 years. The number of times I have been asked to do something similar with my data are PLENTIFUL. I have HUNDREDS OF TIMES been blatantly asked to modify data or displays to show an inaccurate but preferential view. The number of times I’ve heard “let’s exclude this record because we don’t believe it paints an accurate picture”… In my experience, 50% of an analytics role is finding/correlating/displaying good data, and 50% is defending against the corruption of that data for internal political gains.

    Doesn’t it start to feel more like a spun political narrative when they have to bring up her past private relationship issues to discredit her? Isn’t that how politics work? Someone rises as an opponent of your views and you dig up dirt on whatever bad behavior you can find in their past and plaster it all over the media? Gotta smack down her credibility in order to promote the idea that her narrative is false. For anyone to enter a public arena, knowing all your skeletons are going to be exposed, and to do it anyhow…that to me seems like a person who is willing to sacrifice a lot in order to maintain data integrity.

    We do a lot of “throw the baby out with the bath water” and not enough of independent data validation.

    Reply
  42. Avatar
    Barney   May 21, 2020 at 1:15 am

    Insubordination to her supervisors and the team of epidemiologists who really cares about the functions if this dashboard. Well, what if those epidemiologists take her side? Still insubordination because she was ultimately working for the governor and her supervisors, but that one little detail changes the entire story from “insubordination” to “fired for refusing to lie” so it’s not an insigificant detail we can bury in the list of arguments that supposedly break the narrative.

    Reply
  43. Avatar
    bob   May 21, 2020 at 1:37 am

    This article has made be realize that she clearly is being ‘tossed under the Trump bus’. The level of nit picky detail of her past wrongs shows that they want to do anything to discredit her. WELCOME TO CHINA!

    If she has a PhD is geography then data is her life blood and ARCgis software is her native language. You can tell she is the type of computer nerd that can’t leave work and that Human Resources has to resort to police to get her to leave. Now I am really scared

    Reply
  44. Avatar
    eliboys   May 21, 2020 at 2:18 am

    What you describe in your article is exactly,hat is called architect of a dashboard. Dashboard are not the graphics but the data that is pushed in them. The graphics are always made by a company or people not related to the data. You have splunk dashboard, SQL server dashboard, etc. The creator of the dashboard is the one that put the data in.
    Now, all of this is about geography. Collecting data and mapping them is the job of people having a PhD in geography. She has done it with hurricanes and other stuff. Now with covid19.
    Clearly you lack the knowledge to write on this matter and your fast internet searches will not help you know better. You simply lack the experience of a job. A real job.
    This smear campaign against that smart and honest employee is just another political attack to hide the truth and change the facts to please Trump and help him being reelected despite his incompetence exposed to all with this preventable crisis.

    Reply
  45. Avatar
    Rick   May 21, 2020 at 5:46 am

    The Johns Hopkins dashboard was also constructed by a PhD engineering student with geography mapping background.

    Collection of data from established sources does not necessarily require an epidemiology background.

    The Claim #2 is very questionable on this basis.

    Reply
  46. Pingback: The importance of vetting martyrs for the Left: Rebekah Jones

  47. Avatar
    Chris   May 21, 2020 at 7:19 am

    What’s Mayor Gollum up to these days.

    Reply
  48. Avatar
    nahroved   May 21, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Who cares about all of this “science” and “scientist” crap? She LIED about why she was let go. It was NOT because she wouldn’t manipulate data. That is serious enough. So she is a LYING scientist/PHD/crappy ex-girlfriend and a generally dysfunctional human being. Governor DeSantis did an admirable job with COVID, especially given our large elderly population and the influx of fleeing NYers. I am just glad Gillum did not get elected. FL would be like other Dem states with lockdowns until Election Day, no school, businesses gone, and a ravaged nursing homes population that would equal NY and NJ and PA. Thank you Governor DeSantis for caring about the citizenry.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Snidely Whiplash   May 21, 2020 at 8:36 am

      Good call on the leftist visitors here posting their bogus claim that Jones is an effin scientist. Science = 2020 leftist code word for 8ull $hit.
      But wait theres more to smell here:
      Those agency dash boards are copy and paste versions of basically the same easily obtainable Xcel spread sheet. Hello she was not a code writing programmer she was a glorified bean counter…that is all.

      Reply
  49. Avatar
    Spencer   May 21, 2020 at 8:08 am

    The reason LSU HR asked Rebekah Jones to leave campus is becuse they had just fired her for cause for behavior eerily similar to what the Densantis administration describes in this situation. She is a data scientist and nothing I’ve seen suggests she completed her PhD. Her claims should be carefully scrutinized.

    Reply
  50. Avatar
    Barney   May 21, 2020 at 8:30 am

    The funny part is that the governor and his spokesperson released an email from her supposedly supporting their position, but they didn’t read it carefully and think about the nuances in it because it proves exactly the opposite!

    The email basically says that people were bugging her for support and explanations for sudden changes after she was removed from the project, so she did lie at that point to COVER for the administration’s real reason and to avoid repeating the implied accusation, but it was before they gave her their official cover story, so her attempt to cover for the governor conflicts with the official story. And why were they asking her about the dashboard anyway? This is where you are supposed to stop thinking and just know that your ideology has all the answers, because….

    …Oops! They proved her right, demonstrated that they are the ones lying, and they didn’t even realize it! Welcome to the Trump era.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Bruce   May 23, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      Can you link to the email?

      Reply
  51. Avatar
    Patricia Ayers   May 21, 2020 at 9:44 am

    She’s also under active criminal charges in the state of Florida. She’s being charged with cyber-stalking and cyber sexual harassment from June 2019

    Reply
  52. Avatar
    Aurelius   May 21, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Classic Hatchet Job by this Tallahasse rag. Beginning with the picture used; very unflattering, the columnist makes no effort for neutrality, and leaves no stone unturned in his overzealous effort to discredit. and the Ohh Soo damaging rhetoric, and demonizing language such as “Her criminal record” All opinion devoid of factual data, Obvious political leaning, providing no proof of statements. conspiracy within a conspiracy, all to defend the indefensible: the inexcusably corrupt Trump sycophant DeSantis a confirmed anti-science attempting the inauspicious COVID-19 numbers on a dashboard, DeSantis obviously did not count on peoples integrity, but how could he, it is no something familiar to him.

    Reply
  53. Avatar
    Aurelius   May 21, 2020 at 10:05 am

    Classic Hatchet Job by this Tallahasse rag. Beginning with the picture used; very unflattering, the columnist makes no effort for neutrality, and leaves no stone unturned in his overzealous effort to discredit. and the Ohh Soo damaging rhetoric, and demonizing language such as “Her criminal record” All opinion devoid of factual data, Obvious political leaning, providing no proof of statements. conspiracy within a conspiracy, all to defend the indefensible: the inexcusably corrupt Trump sycophant DeSantis a confirmed anti-science politician attempting to conceal the inauspicious COVID-19 numbers on a dashboard, DeSantis obviously did not count on his subordinates integrity, which he calls insubordination. But how could he, Integrity it is no something familiar to him.

    Reply
  54. Avatar
    IAN D PRAVATA   May 21, 2020 at 10:26 am

    Will this article be retracted? DeSantis was wrong. She hasn’t been terminated. There is no active investigation. Other charges have been dropped except for one misdemeanor, which is why she is still employed. https://www.tampabay.com/news/health/2020/05/20/desantis-reveals-harassment-charge-against-fired-data-manager-but-questions-remain/

    Reply
  55. Avatar
    Damage Control   May 21, 2020 at 10:41 am

    This is not an article, is Damage Control, this tells me all there is to know about the “writer”.

    The Capitolist | For People Whose Business Is Politics.
    Brian Burgess owns Right Hook Consulting, a media communications consulting firm, helping clients get the right message in front of decision makers, opinion leaders, elected officials, their staff, and the voters who put them in office.
    Guiding CEO’s, high-ranking government officials, law enforcement, non-profit groups and political candidates through some of the biggest challenges they’ve faced.

    Totally unprejudiced and unbiased. right!

    Reply
  56. Avatar
    CafeChic   May 21, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Wow, just Wow! Can not believe what this story has turned out to be. I believed the original report as many media outlets were touting this as truth. It’s so sad that we can no longer trust any media outlets to investigate stories before they’re reported! What happened to investigate reporting and telling the truth based on facts?

    Reply
  57. Avatar
    Cale   May 21, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    Did a little digging on the Leon County Clerk of Courts and Comptroller,

    (http://cvweb.leonclerk.com/public/online_services/search_courts/process.asp)

    1st Petition | Dating Violence | Dismissed After Hearing
    2nd Petition | Dating Violence | Dismissed After Hearing

    Rebeka 1st Petition | Slander | Dismissed Before Hearing

    1st Petition | Stalking Injunction | Disposed by Judge (2017)
    2nd Petition | Stalking Injunction | Diposed by Judge (2019)

    Rebeka 1st Petition | Paternity | Dismissed Before Hearing

    Reply
  58. Avatar
    Bill   May 21, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    Keep in mind this article is from The Capitolist – a pro-DeSantis, self-proclaimed ‘center-right blog. It was written by a guy who runs a PR shop for conservative politicians.

    Objective journalism or hit piece from a conservative public relations guy?

    Reply
    • Avatar
      News Maven   May 22, 2020 at 12:41 am

      Keep in mind the “newspaper of record” in town is anti-DeSantis and a mouthpiece for the tax-and-spend illiberal left. If you’re looking for objective journalism, you won’t find it there.

      Reply
      • Avatar
        Tommy   May 26, 2020 at 12:51 pm

        Keep in mind, it wasn’t the “the tax-and-spend illiberal left” who passed a sweeping tax plan that adds trillions to the deficit and helps no one but the wealthy, and I don’t care what mouthpiece you choose to listen to, that’s just a fact. The right dropped their deficit hawk moniker as fast as they dropped their “pro-life” position in the midst of a pandemic.

        Reply
  59. Avatar
    Tim Murphy   May 21, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Bill claims that this piece may be a hit piece from a conservative public relations guy. Well, no matter who wrote it, or what their political preference is, the article can either be contested or not. Did Ms. Jones manipulate data or simply pull it at the request of supervisors until it could be validated? Easy to check out. Did she commit the crimes they detail or not? Easy to check out. Is she the architect of the dashboard or not. Easy to check out. The title Coronavirus Scientist is a label the press put on her. That is not her title. By putting the title of Coronavirus Scientist on her, is implying that she is an expert on the Coronavirus. Is she, or is she a an expert on geography? Easy to check out. I’m tired of guys like Bill who default to their position based on their political leanings. That’s like saying all Republicans deny Watergate as partisan reporting because it was the Democratic leaning Washington Post reported on it. It was Republicans who went to Nixon and said…ITS OVER. Its not that complicated Bill…if its true its not partisan. If its reported as true and its not, it is partisan. This report appears to be true…and its easy to find out if it is or isn’t. But for sure…the reports of Rebekah Jones being the sacrificial lamb that came out from Florida Today were blatantly false…and thus very partisan.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Bob Calder   May 24, 2020 at 5:38 pm

      Yes,of course it’s a hit piece. Perhaps checking on this website would be a good idea too. https://theflorida.report/top-5-most-biased-news-outlets-in-florida.html
      But the sources he quotes have made mistakes too.
      1. The Tampa Tribune and NPR have the best reputations. Start there and assume they have employed fact checkers. If they didn’t it would be really quite unusual for a biased outlet like this to get anything right. And for goodness sake don’t waste your time reading anything else except the Herald.
      2. The commenters on what she did and what her qualifications are, are very, very far off the mark. A scientist is anyone with a PhD who does research.
      3. The ARCGIS article on her is from the ARCGIS community’s viewpoint. People who can’t respect a professional organization and its community of professionals are just meat puppets. That shortens this comment section to a handful of people.
      Just below, Mike accepts an article from the NR. What you guys have to do is pay attention to how many times people get things wrong – everybody does – and ignore those with too many mistakes. Look for bias. https://www.adfontesmedia.com/?v=402f03a963ba

      Reply
  60. Avatar
    mike   May 21, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    “Other outlets, including MSNBC and NPR, reported that Jones was a “scientist.” While Jones was enrolled for over two years at Florida State University in a geography Ph.D. program, a university spokesman told the Tampa Bay Times the school had not posted any degrees for her, and Jones’s personal blog shows she is not set to complete the doctorate until 2021.”

    From an article in National Review

    Reply
  61. Avatar
    Gary Denton   May 22, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    This story is a misleading hit piece.
    1. Someone using ArcGIS to build a reporting system is an architect of the data system. I have used ArcGIS.
    2. She has a doctorate, that makes her a scientist. She is a data scientist, which was often used to describe her. (The first two smears and all the error messages in this report I immediately spot show the lack of professionalism.)
    3. Data went missing. The state refused to comment on it, at first. Of course, everyone will report deleted.
    4. Wow. Interesting criminal history. “Most of the charges filed against her came after she was hired by the Department of Health, so they would not have turned up in any background check.” That appears to be a line fed to them by the Florida DofH or a Governor’s aide as a cover our asses statement. Really like the “most” in there. I thought people refusing to bow down to “the man” are usually seen as Trumpster heroes?
    5. What else would the D of H say but there was another reason why she was fired?
    6. I really think NPR, not my favorite new source due to their unwillingness to go hard on corporations who provide much of their funding and their bad business reporting, is a much more credible source on this story which is ongoing.
    7. Her criminal record is interesting and the fact the state is now trying to justify and explain what happened is good but the smears on journalists and scientists are the modus operandi for GOP conservatives now.

    Reply
  62. Avatar
    Franklin Thompson   May 22, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    TR Staff…Be prepared. TD has either removed their article that accused Governor Desantis or has buried it, deeply within their on line pages. They are gearing up to present another story at some point and do everything within their power to dispute th truth that you put forth and the lies they will come out with be damned. Again…be prepared…as you always are.

    Reply
  63. Avatar
    Edward Lyle   May 22, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    It’s fascinating that there is literally nothing that happens these days, that isn’t looked at through the prism of Political Party’s and/or partisan ideology… that being said…

    There’s always the possibility that the woman was simply fired due to poor performance and insubordination… it does still happen you know.

    Ahh… the wonder of Occam’s razor.

    … carry on

    Reply
  64. Avatar
    Mike kelly   May 22, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    As a Senior Writer and Research Analyst, this author and editing team should be utterly embarrassed. Just a wild lack of understanding of geospatial analysis; one of the most applicable positions to handle this. As a research analyst, this article would make me ashamed of myself

    Reply
  65. Pingback: FloridaToday And Their Breathless Support Of Rebekah Jones. | Raised On Hoecakes

  66. Avatar
    Mitch Donnelly   May 23, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    I think DeSantis is right in not reporting all the deaths in nursing homes and senior living places, it feeds in to the Democrats narrative about Republicans not doing a good job.
    Who would’ve known that China was going to make us sick? No, we will not report the acts of a terrorist nation like China!

    If Donald Trump and Governor DeSantis want to release data that is positive, that’s great! Stop hiding all the good news about this, OK? We want positive stories about how even the president is celebrating this Great Recovery and Re-Opening by playing a round of golf, even as a couple of really old people, who were on their last legs just happen to die.

    Stop Testing, Reporting of Deaths, people are going to die, so get over it already!!!

    Reply
  67. Avatar
    SKVAM   May 23, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    1. Architect or not, she used a tool, much as a researcher uses a methodology based on a journal article. For that she deserves credit.

    2. That she is in geography matters, as one can be in one field and use information from another to make transdisciplinary efforts. That is best practice, not working out of her competency.

    3. This claim is weak and is based entirely on the state of Florida’s ultra right wing governor to be honest in why he dismissed her.

    4. Insubordination is a label used to smear. Just as disgruntled is. This claim is also weak.

    Can one expect a Florida source, Tallahassee Reports, whatever that is, and let’s use their own way of arguing, a bunch of MAYBE journalism majors judging outside their competence, a source that has no idea what transdisciplinary means and that attempts to smear by saying she used someone else’s tools to do her work, which is not only often done by scientists, but is a necessary part of research, tools she may have, and likely did, spent considerable time modifying for the site. The Tallahassee Reports shows its hand in their 3rd and 4th smears best, all based on the claims of a Trumpite governor, an incompetent who helped spread COVID 19 by his idiotic keeping open of beaches and businesses because, after all, money, the great capitalist God, is more important than lives. He is a death panel along with the rest of the craven people who argue opening up requires the death of the expendable, the elderly, the very young babies and children, and those with preexisting conditions.

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  68. Avatar
    Jimbo   May 24, 2020 at 6:05 am

    Nothing but a mud-sling article.
    Take a guess who payed for it.

    I’ve written large applications with the ArcGIS API and it doesn’t just do everything for you. No software is written for “scratch” if every developer built mapping libraries from the ground up every time they need to make an app companies would never get anything done.
    Sounds typical of a non-programmer who is just talking trash about things they obviously know nothing about, if it’s so easy there’s plenty demand for it and it pays well so everyone should be doing it.

    I don’t care what her record is or her boyfriend issues were it has nothing do do with whether the state was trying to force her to cover up deaths.

    So to sum up the propaganda:

    Opening. Desantis (and I) support Trump (this is your queue to agree with what i’m saying)
    1. Non-programmer telling non-programmers how programming works.
    2. Non-scientist telling non-scientists how data science works.
    3. Desantis did nothing wrong (but instead of linking you to sources and evidence i’ll just add links to random articles that have nothing to do with this)
    4. I scrutinized her entire personal life to convince you she’s not a very nice person and therefore you should believe what I am saying.

    It’s sad seeing how people are willing to put their lives at the stake based on the words of a politician, I wouldn’t take medical advice from Trump or Obama. I’d rather listen to someone with a degree they didn’t buy, but I guess the worshipers need an article to link to, which is how I got here (and they’re getting a downvote for wasting my time).

    Reply
  69. Pingback: Clown Show Update: CNN's Chris Cuomo Runs Interference for Brother in Interview With Discredited FL Data Tech – Real News Aggregator

  70. Avatar
    Speaker of the Truth   May 24, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    This article neatly sums up the situation and essentially verifies that Bek Jones is FOS.

    https://apnews.com/eaf591c566f99175234d0d3d031777bf

    What this looks like to me is someone who was too stupid to question why they were told to do something or understand its broader implications before disagreeing with actual public health officials who hold actual doctoral degrees. The praise of the dashboard received went to her head and she truly believed she actually had ownership of this thing (which as a state employee who takes direction from many superiors – nah). She MAY have actually believed she was doing the right thing, but it’s extremely apparent she just didn’t take the time to listen to or understand others and ran with her own narrative. She has now made an utter fool of herself and everyone who continues to believe her. The fact that she’s a horrible person aside with an extensive history of abusive behavior and a problem with authority, she is just plain wrong. As a moderate Democrat, seeing the media run with this after doing so little research is very disheartening. More fuel for the right and the fake news narrative (of which this is the essence). I hope she gets what’s coming to her, but she’ll probably be rewarded by those too lazy or blind to look at the facts. She is a megalomaniac and this pattern of behavior will doubtlessly continue, assuming someone is dumb enough to hire her again.

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  71. Avatar
    Bruce   May 24, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Whether this article is completely 100% the truth is not the point. The point is, the accepted narrative, that Rebekah Jones is some kind of martyr, when such a wild eyed claim is just not true. Whatever happened to accountability for your behavior in and out of the workplace? And her claims – like some kind of imputed whistleblower – are highly specious – given the nature of the CDC’s March 24th Memo, and the subsequent refiguring of state deaths in CO, NJ (and the Gun Shot deaths counted as covid deaths in WA State.) We’re supposed to BELIEVE that without question? And folks here want to talk about manipulation of data? Puuuuuhlease.
    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/coronavirus/Alert-2-New-ICD-code-introduced-for-COVID-19-deaths.pdf
    https://twitter.com/EthicalSkeptic/status/1264363309526122496
    https://twitter.com/EthicalSkeptic/status/1264064218216763392

    Reply
  72. Pingback: SADOW: A Case Study In Louisiana Media's Lefty Bias

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    Jessica   May 26, 2020 at 2:20 pm

    This article is a terrible hit piece. Claims #1 and #2 are incorrect and show the author doesn’t understand either computer programming or data science.

    Reply
  74. Avatar
    Eric   May 26, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    It just came out that she had an affair with a student in her job at LSU, had his baby, published a 300 page manifesto about it, and posted revenge porn after he broke it off. She’s certifiable bat-sh— crazy. That says a lot more than this article.

    Reply
  75. Avatar
    News Maven   May 27, 2020 at 4:21 am

    WOW. Arrested 3 times and a 342-page manifesto?https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8344121/Married-Florida-data-scientist-fired-affair-student-arrested-three-times.html
    Sounds like she won’t be getting her PhD degree from FSU because she is BANNED from their campus.

    Reply

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