Gov. Kristi Noem: What shocked me the most is that the media used fear to push an agenda

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Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis and South Dakota’s Kristi Noem have been portrayed as heartless monsters, while Democrat governors like California’s Gavin Newsom and New York’s Andrew Cuomo have been celebrated as examples of perfect governorship.

Yet a year later, it’s now evident that the opposite is true: DeSantis and Noem are examples of quality governorship, while Newsom and Cuomo are seen as the heartless monsters.

But what explains this stunning reversal?

Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox News Primetime” on Tuesday, Noem said plainly that the media’s bias and interest in pursuing an agenda explains all of it.

“I think what’s happened recently is that we’ve seen the media pick and choose who they want to criticize. This has certainly been a challenging time for all leaders, and especially governors making decisions for their states and for their people,” she said.

Listen to her remarks below:

(Source: Fox News)

“But they have not told the truth when it comes to what has happened during COVID-19 in each of our states, what the facts really are and the holistic approach that many of us took to make sure we were taking care of our people,” the governor added.

The “holistic approach” involved making decisions that made sense for their specific states. In South Dakota, for instance, Noem reopened schools “early” in the late summer.

But these decisions weren’t made arbitrarily, as the media would have people believe. According to Noem, they were made using “what we knew about the virus, the science of it, the fact that our kids needed to be in school to learn.”

“You know, when kids weren’t in school, we saw that they were only achieving about 70 percent of normal in reading, only about 50 percent of normal in math. That was going to be detrimental to them long term, and their risk to the virus was much lower than it would be for older individuals that had health conditions,” she explained.

This is all true and has been borne out in study after study after study, yet schools still remain closed in some blue states, and a majority of Democrats believe they should stay closed, according to data from the Pew Research Center:

Why do so many Democrats think like this? Likely because they’ve been indoctrinated with fear by an agenda-driven media, according to Noem.

“So evaluating all of that — free of fear, free of emotion — helped us to make the best decision for our kids. And that’s what shocked me the most, was how the media would use fear to push an agenda during this pandemic. They used it to control people, and that is really what has been a grave disservice to the public,” she said.

The governor was then asked by Fox News host Trey Gowdy to describe what she thought “of leadership, the difference between holding office and being a leader.”

Noem responded by highlighting the need for honesty and accountability.

“I think a leader tells the truth. … They’re in search of justice, and that they know that ultimately the buck stops with them. They take input, they continue to be teachable in every situation,” the governor said.

“It was one of those things that my parents taught me growing up, was to be a problem solver but also that I could learn something from every single person that I had an encounter with, even if they were criticizing me, that I should evaluate the information that they gave me and use it to make my decisions,” she added.

This outlook on leadership seems to certainly contrast with the “leadership” displayed by Newsom and Cuomo.

Over in New York, Cuomo continues to refuse to take responsibility for the deaths of thousands of nursing home patients. And over in California, Newsom continues to be exposed for violating the same lockdown orders that he’s imposed on his constituents.

But again, these two were the ones portrayed as heroes by the mainstream press, except for Fox News. And the sycophancy toward them continues to this day amid their respective scandals:

Similarly, the hatred against DeSantis and Noem also continues unabated.

Yet, not only were the two Republican governors NOT responsible for the death of their own constituents and did NOT violate their own lockdown rules, but they also presided over better economies, as seen in data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As of December, South Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in the country at 3.3 percent. Florida’s unemployment rate was a tad higher at 5.1 percent. Meanwhile, California and New York’s unemployment rates were, respectively, 9.3 percent and 8.7 percent. That’s a big, big, big difference.

And even without draconian lockdown restrictions, the state is still faring well vis-a-vis the pandemic.

“Our infections are way down, we are on the downward slope of this. We’re one of the top three states in the nation leading in vaccines,” Noem explained.

“We also have the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. We have the least amount of jobs lost during this pandemic, least amount of hours lost, least amount of wages lost, people are moving to South Dakota in overwhelming numbers,” she added.

However, to the agenda-driven media, it appears she’ll always be the bad guy, just as Cuomo will always be the good guy …

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Vivek Saxena

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