Novelist and repeated lie-tweeter, Stephen King, has publicly apologized for his recent tweet about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in which he said that the Sunshine State Governor signed a bill requiring Florida students and professors to register their political views with the state. The false claim appears to have come from an article on far-left Salon last year but only recently went viral, and King decided to tweet about it without first checking the article’s veracity.
King’s “sorry, not sorry” apology reads:
“I regret having posted the headline without being more confident the story was correct. Salon is usually more reliable. Twitter is a constant learning experience, and I will try to do better,” the author said in a statement to CNN.
But as Breitbart reports as of last Friday, King had still not deleted the tweet, nor had Twitter visibly flagged the post for misinformation for violating their standards. But after some pushback it appears King deleted the tweet as of Saturday night. The original tweet read:
DeSantis signs bill requiring Florida students, professors to register political views with state.
I. Can’t. Even.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) July 6, 2022
According to Breitbart the original 2021 Salon headline stated: “DeSantis signs bill requiring Florida students, professors to register political views with state.”
The law in question that DeSantis did sign requires public colleges and universities in Florida to perform annual surveys on the subject of “intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity” but participation in the survey is entirely voluntary. After the original article publication DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw requested that Salon run a correction, but they didn’t do so, instead opting to revise the original headline just this week. Even left-wing outlets CNN and PolitiFact ran fact-checks which debunked the claim.
Stephen King spreads year-old lie about Gov. DeSantis to his 7 million Twitter followers.https://t.co/PHvhj57Bdw
— OutKick (@Outkick) July 6, 2022
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Rabid anti-DeSantite and Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Fried, also tweeted the false claim, but unlike King, she deleted her post once it was reported as erroneous.
Truth and Stephen King don’t often go hand in hand, especially when it comes to the State of Florida.
Last year King said that Florida had 1,200 COVID-19 deaths in just one day, apparently jumping to conclusions in a misunderstanding of reported deaths versus actual deaths that occurred that day in comparison to another time frame.
As Breitbart reported King was referring to reports of the latest CDC figures for Florida, showing an increase of 1,296 deaths on a Thursday from the total reported a day earlier. The figure doesn’t represent deaths that occurred on that Thursday but rather deaths over an undefined period that can go back weeks.
Unlike his most recent false claim tweet against DeSantis, the novelist still hasn’t deleted the incorrect CDC figures tweet from last year and no attempts have been made to flag it for misinformation or provide users with a warning. Several of King’s followers even posted that his tweet misrepresented the truth, whereas others praised the writer for his words:
1200 dead of COVID yesterday in Florida.
Not the total for a week or a month, but ONE SINGLE DAY.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) September 10, 2021
DeSantis spokesperson Pushaw said it best when countering the false claims made by novelist King and others, telling the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in a statement:
“I do not understand why the public or reporters would look to fiction writers for insights on infectious disease and environmental issues,” Pushaw said.