Well, That’s Embarrassing: Washington Post Forced to Issue a Correction After Inaccurate DeSantis Report

Gil C / shutterstock.com
Gil C / shutterstock.com

For liberal news outlets, distorting the truth and making up facts is such a common practice that the constant flow of misinformation is not only accepted, it’s expected. But sometimes, the “facts” are so far removed from reality that they require a correction, usually following a barrage of fact-checking by skeptical social media users.  

Case in point, a Washington Post opinion piece published by columnist Jennifer Rubin that erroneously stated, “DeSantis likes to brag that more people are moving to Florida than ever. Not so fast. An estimated 674,740 people reported that their permanent address changed from Florida to another state in 2021.’” 

Rubin gleefully dug into her flawed facts, adding even more misinformation. “’That’s more than any other state, including New York or California, the two states that have received the most attention for outbound migration during the pandemic, according to the American Community Survey released in June tracking state-by-state migration.” 

Rubin gathered her information from a Business Insider piece, written by journalist Kelsey Neubauer. Business Insider issued a retraction of its own after it was found that the numbers were accidentally transposed. The piece originally stated that 674,740 residents left the state, surpassing 433,402 residents leaving California and 287,249 residents fleeing New York. 

The error was quickly called out by Rapid response Director Christina Pushaw. “Business Insider journalist @NeubauerKelsey apparently does not know how to read a spreadsheet. That figure — 674,740 — is people who moved TO Florida, not OUT OF Florida. Retraction needed,” she tweeted. 

Business Insider corrected the mistake, admitting in a retraction, “We got it wrong: More people moved out of New York and California in 2021.”

Neubauer, the author of the original piece, wrote, “Out-of-staters flocked to Florida in 2021, with some 674,740 people moving there,” amending the claim. The retraction went on to add, “About 469,577 residents left the state, for a net population gain of 205,163,” and noted, “The state became a big draw for Americans who decided to move during the pandemic.” 

A Business Insider editor’s note confirmed, “This story has been updated to correct an error regarding Census data. In 2021, an estimated 469,577 people moved out of Florida, while 674,740 people relocated to the state. An earlier version of the story switched those numbers.” 

It’s important to note that the Business Insider retraction was issued a full three days before Rubin wrote her hit piece. 

Rubin can almost be forgiven for her willingness to publish a fallacy. The Washington Post is a liberal-leaning news platform, and the reality of America’s mass exodus from blue states is not one that sits well with Democrats. 

That reality is more devastating for liberals than most realize. New York, California, and Illinois, all states with the heaviest tax burdens in the nation, saw the biggest population declines in 2022.  

Illinois isn’t often listed with the “mass exodus” states, but more than 140k residents left last year. Although Chicago’s out of control crime alone could be responsible for the population shift, many former residents sought to escape the state’s cumbersome taxes. 

In what’s being called “The Sun Belt Migration,” people are moving to southern states, including Florida, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. Texas, Florida, and Tennessee have no state income tax.  

Conversely, New York, California, New Jersey, Oregon, and Hawaii have double digit income tax rates. 

Janelle Fritts, a policy analyst at the Tax Foundation, said, “This population shift paints a clear picture. People left high-tax, high-cost states for lower-tax, lower-cost alternatives.” 

“The Census data and industry studies cannot tell us exactly why each person moved, but there is no denying a very strong correlation between low-tax, low-cost states and population growth,” she added. “With many states responding to robust revenues and heightened state competition by cutting taxes, these trends may only get larger.” 

The Washington Post seized on the opportunity to paint DeSantis in a bad light, but it backfired in a spectacular way. From a warmer climate to strong leadership and limited tax burdens, Florida isn’t losing its place as a welcoming new home for victims of blue state policy any time soon.  

And now, thanks to the Washington Post’s failed hit piece, even liberal New Yorkers and Californians know where to move to escape their own bad policies.